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Charity plans “no-frills” private school for low income Scots

This news post is over 6 years old

Organisation is looking for appropriate site in either Edinburgh or Glasgow

A charity is planning a no-frills private school – for £52 a week.

The Schools Education Trust plans to offer families on lower incomes the opportunity to opt out of state sector schooling.

It has been compared to the Easyjet approach to flying where the basic cost is cheap with additional charges for add-ons.

Work has begun to find a site for a small school, probably in Edinburgh but possibly in Glasgow, for 200 pupils.

If the project is successful it could be rolled out to other areas.

James Tooley, professor of education policy at Newcastle University is behind the plans and is currently at an advanced stage of opening similar school in Durham.

“Private education is not affordable for most people,” he said at the charity’s launch event in Edinburgh this week, chaired by Lord Digby Jones, the crossbench peer and former UK trade minister.

“Digby came up from Milan yesterday, he flew British Airways business class. He could also have flown Easyjet. In private education, all we offer at the moment is British Airways business class, there’s no Easyjet equivalent.

“Yet both will still get you to Edinburgh.

“Or, to mix my analogies, you can come and experience the beauty of Edinburgh and stay at the Balmoral, the poshest hotel here. Or you can stay at the youth hostel and still enjoy Edinburgh. You can still experience education at a low-cost level.”

Private schools in Scotland charge an average of £14,000 a year, with the most expensive setting fees of £26,000 for a day school place.

Ross Greer, education spokesman for the Scottish Greens, said: “Comparing schools to airlines is probably an indicator this scheme is unlikely to take off.

“Education should not be a business. Creating another tier of private education, where those with enough money can withdraw from state schools, will only create more closed loops of privilege and inequality.”



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Sharon Bissett
over 6 years ago
I think the answer here is not to create another private school - affordable or not, but put more money into local schools giving them the same privileges etc as private schools!
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