I very strongly disagree with your comment that "private schools have access to better teachers (through higher salaries)". In terms of disciplining children, I feel that the challenges that state school teachers face on a day to day basis are far more difficult than one would face as a private school teacher. Teaching is a job which demands a great deal of skill, but teachers at a state schoolface a greater challenge because they are required to relate to pupils from extremely diverse backgrounds and with very different academic abilities. I would argue that this requires a higher level of skill than teaching at a private school, in which every pupil is from a family who obviously values education very highly if they are willing to pay such expensive fees. No one can deny that the homeenvironment is a central factor in academic success, and if parents have socialised their children into valuing education, this makes teaching them a lot easier. Of course I would not argue that parents of children who go to state schools value education less, but pupils from private schools are predominately from advantaged middle class backgrounds, whereas pupils at state schools are from a widerange of backgrounds -some of which value education, some do not. Perhaps some of the best state school teachers can be tempted to private schools by the higher salaries, but I think the best teachers of all are the ones who aim for equal opportunities, and work to give a better future to those children from the most disadvantages backgrounds. Such teachers cannot be found in the private sector.More importantly, no one goes into teaching because they want a high salary. They go into teaching because they get job satisfaction out of working with children and helping to maximise their potential. I think most teachers would tell you that they get higher job satisfaction in a state school, for all the reasons Emma explained.
do not agree that there is a ‘clear trade off betweenequality and overall quality’. In germany there exist two contradictory ideals concerning education: that of a tripartite system (which luckily is abolished in Great Britain) to provide the rewarding of merit and that of a comprehensive system to achieve equality of opportunity. In the course of the internationalPISA study (how do you call it in English? :)) many independent specialists doubted theefficiency of the still common tripartite system due to the bad overall performance of german pupils. In contrast to that, the compulsory education in the countries with the best performances is based on comprehensive schools. Hence the idea of equality versus overall quality is proven wrong – how else could these countries achieve both more equality and better performances?
Besides the ‘two classeducation’ clearly contradicts the values of a modern society. As mentioned before, private education links the chances of pupils to their social background, or rather to the financial situation of their parents. The ‘upper class education’ (namely the private schools) and therefore the higher education standards (which I take as a fact) are not available for a child with parents who cannot affordit, regardless of the child’s intelligence and ambition. (By the way, this makes my first thesis self explanatory: Refusing a child its appropriate education clearly reduces the overall quality of education!) As a result society is no longer based on the so important equality of opportunity but endorses the division into classes and the predetermination of its members.
Last but not least let mesuggest a solution to the financial problem. That the raising of education quality in state schools is simply prevented by lack of money goes without saying. Provided that private schools are abolished there are – as might be expected – a large number of rich parents saving their money which they otherwise had spent for the fees at a private school. It’s obvious that this money can flow into the...
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