Public schools must be parted from pensions

12th November 2010 at 00:00

During the 1980s, "public" schools attempted to rebrand themselves as "independent" schools. They also tried to promote the idea that parents were making a choice about being "independent" from state control. The fact is that the state pays for the training of teachers and public schools enjoy other subsidies through charitable status.

Last week the Green Party managed to winkle out another whopping subsidy. Teachers in public and state schools are eligible to join the teachers' pension scheme. Teachers contribute 6.4 per cent of their salary and their employer 14.1 per cent. Because the scheme runs at a loss, a private sector employer would need to contribute 20 per cent. The Green Party calculates that the 5.9 per cent difference for the 62,349 teachers in public schools (average salary #163;35,000) is equivalent to a subsidy of #163;131 million.

I would respectfully suggest teachers in public schools are thrown out of the teachers' pension scheme and become a bit more, shall we say, "independent".

Richard Knights, Liverpool.

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