360° Coverage : Private Schools Have Public Benefit, Says Study

1 Updates
Private Schools Have Public Benefit, Says Study
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Private Schools Have Public Benefit, Says Study

Apr 2 2014, 2:33am CDT | by

In what counts as a good news day for the fee-paying education sector, a study published today claims to put a value on the public benefit of private schools. Research conducted by the consultancy...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

29 weeks ago

Private Schools Have Public Benefit, Says Study

Apr 2 2014, 2:33am CDT | by

In what counts as a good news day for the fee-paying education sector, a study published today claims to put a value on the public benefit of private schools.

Research conducted by the consultancy Oxford Economics found that Britain’s private schools contribute a gross £11.7 billion ($19.5 billion) to annual GDP, support 275,000 jobs and generate £4.7 billion ($7.8 billion) in tax revenue, £173 for every household in Britain.

This puts private education on a par with the city of Liverpool in terms of its contribution to the U.K. economy.

The report is well-timed. Despite pupil numbers bouncing back after the dip caused by the economic slump, the private, or independent, school sector in the U.K. has found itself on the defensive in recent months.

Last year, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, accused the independent sector of refusing to commit to partnerships with publicly-funded, or state, schools, instead offering them only “crumbs off your table.”

Earlier this week, I reported on a study showing state pupils outperform those from private school at university. On top of this, above inflation increases in fees have led to fears that private education is rapidly getting out of reach for many.

The proliferation of privately-educated pupils in public life has also been seen as both a symptom and a cause of social divisions in Britain. Even Education Secretary Michael Gove, a close ally of Prime Minister David Cameron, weighed in last month, describing the number of former Eton pupils in Cameron’s inner circle as “ridiculous.” The prime minister is an Old Etonian himself.

Today’s study, commissioned by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) which represents most fee-paying schools in the U.K., should also be set against the background of pressure from the Charity Commission for private schools to justify their charitable status.

So the findings provide reassurance that private schools have public benefit, at the same time as setting out the scale of their economic importance.

According to Matthew Burgess, general secretary of the ISC: “While our schools have been long recognised for their educational excellence, we can now see how important our schools are in stimulating growth and employment, in contributing our fair share of tax and supporting local economies and communities across the country.”

As well as analysing the contribution of the independent school sector to the economy, the researchers also estimated that the U.K.’s 2,600 private schools represent an annual saving of £3.9 billion ($6.5 billion) to the taxpayer, who would otherwise have to pay to educate those students in state schools.

There is no doubt that the U.K.’s private schools are also an international asset. The ISC’s latest census shows that one in 20 of all pupils at a UK independent school are non-British, with a big increase in recent years in the number of students from Mainland China.

It is also a brand that travels. In 2013 ISC schools taught almost 19,000 students in 29 campuses overseas, an increase of almost 50% on the year before. As education becomes an increasingly international commodity, the appeal of a British private school education could become more and more valuable.

The balance sheet is not entirely one-sided. The government estimates that charitable status is worth around £100 million a year to private schools. On top of this, the majority of teachers in private schools are trained at the taxpayer’s expense.

A study by academics at the Centre for the Economics of Education at the London School of Economics found that in 2006 private schools hired 3,300 teachers either straight from university or from state schools. Given that evidence to the House of Commons suggests it costs at least £16,000 to train a teacher, this suggests private schools are the beneficiaries of £54 million of public investment.

Even with these subtractions, the financial benefit is clear. But opposition to fee-paying schools is rarely based on their being a drain on the economy. Rather it is on the perceived unfair advantage conferred by a private education and the barriers to social mobility that independent schools are seen to represent./>/>

Many private schools have taken these concerns on board and are working with state schools in both partnership and sponsorship arrangements. But this needs to become both the norm and more widely-known if they are to have an impact in the public consciousness.

Demonstrating the economic contribution it makes will buy the private education sector some breathing space, but it will take more than hard currency to show it is a positive force in society.

*At the time of writing, the report had not been made available online. When it is, I will post a link in the comments section of this article.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of 20,000 by 30 per cent. ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Snoring masks don't kill sex life: Study
New York, Oct 28 (IANS) A common therapy to tackle obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) does not become a hindrance between the sheets, says a study, allaying fears of OSA patients who believe the therapy interferes with sex.
 
 
Advanced hearing aids distort music more
New York, Oct 28 (IANS) The more advanced an hearing aid is today, the worse experience it would offer to music lovers who use such aids, says a study.
 
 
Hair disorder could signal dental decay
Washington, Oct 28 (IANS) If you are experiencing hair fall problems, your teeth may require extra care as researchers have found that hair disorder could increase risk of dental decay.
 
 
Three Red Cross workers cleared of Ebola in New Zealand
Wellington, Oct 28 (IANS) Three New Zealand Red Cross healthcare workers have been cleared of possible Ebola infection after being put on "self-monitoring" since returning from working in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said Tuesday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Snoring masks don't kill sex life: Study
New York, Oct 28 (IANS) A common therapy to tackle obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) does not become a hindrance between the sheets, says a study, allaying fears of OSA patients who believe the therapy interferes with sex...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nine alive buried in China landslide
Beijing, Oct 28 (IANS) Nine people were buried alive Tuesday by a rain-triggered landslide in southwest China's Yunnan province, authorities said. The disaster struck Xiaoxin village in Dongchuan district of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Skin allergy makes Fox miss 'Teenage...' premiere
Beijing, Oct 28 (IANS) Actress Megan Fox was forced to skip the premiere of her film "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" here after she developed skin allergy. On Sunday morning, the actress joined producers for a press...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Advanced hearing aids distort music more
New York, Oct 28 (IANS) The more advanced an hearing aid is today, the worse experience it would offer to music lovers who use such aids, says a study. Less sophisticated hearing aids might actually be more compatible...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Hair disorder could signal dental decay
Washington, Oct 28 (IANS) If you are experiencing hair fall problems, your teeth may require extra care as researchers have found that hair disorder could increase risk of dental decay. Keratins, proteins associated...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Three Red Cross workers cleared of Ebola in New Zealand
Wellington, Oct 28 (IANS) Three New Zealand Red Cross healthcare workers have been cleared of possible Ebola infection after being put on "self-monitoring" since returning from working in Ebola-affected countries in...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Hugh Jackman has third session of skin cancer treatment
Los Angeles, Oct 28 (IANS) Actor Hugh Jackman has been treated for his third basal cell carcinoma in 12 months. The actor had a basal cell carcinoma removed in November 2013 as well as in May this year. The actor's...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
MIT survey reveals sexual assault on campus
New York, Oct 28 (IANS) Nearly 17 percent of female and five percent of male undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have revealed that they were sexually assaulted on the campus, said...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Flashlight apps stealing your data?
New York, Oct 28 (IANS) Do you use a flashlight app on your smartphone? Security experts warn that free flashlight apps are secretly recording sensitive information from your phone. According to a US-based security...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
People flee as lava reaches Hawaiian village
Honolulu, Oct 28 (IANS) Many residents of a Hawaiian village have fled their homes, threatended by the flow of lava from Kilauea Volcano, a media report said Tuesday. People at Pahoa are running away as the lava from...
Read more on Politics Balla