Letters extra: Who pays?

20th April 2001 at 01:00

As a governor I welcome any stimulus to debate education funding, but I was bemused by the article "Paying is the only way to go" ( TESnbsp; March 30).

I make the following observations:

  • State education funding is already means-tested. Those with higher earnings pay more income tax and those who live in expensive houses pay more local taxes.
  • Those parents who choose private education, and often suffer financially, continue to provide full means-tested tax support for the state sector.
  • Introducing fees for state secondary education will drive more parents to better private schools, which often benefit from substantial endowments and will continue to spend more per pupil than state schools
  • Taxation is supposed to be fair and easy to collect. Placing an additional burden specifically on parents of secondary students would be unfair. Means testing and collection would add a further layer of expensive administration.
  • Successful state schools will always be more popular and some parents will even move to their catchment areas. Restricting choice by preventing a small number of tactical house moves is unlikely to help.
  • Motivated parents are more inclined to provide voluntary financial support and community involvement.
  • Education is too important to be a political pawn.
  • Funding is only half the equation; Mr Seldon is right to point to management failings where strategic decisions have too often led to wasted resources
    • Paul Miskin
      Loughborough, Leicestershire

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