E-mails and comments welcome from teachers and learners of all ages.  
January 13, 2003
On the economics of schools and of getting to school

There is an interesting story in the latest TES (that link is to the publication website but not to the piece itself), under the headline "Congestion fee forces teachers to quit jobs" (TES Jan 10 2003 page 12):

Teachers facing congestion charges which start in London next month are quitting their jobs, while parents are planning to move children from city centre schools.

Well, that was the idea.

In general, I suspect that one of the reasons why homeschooling may be growing in popularity in Britain is that our transport system is becoming ever more shambolic and clogged up. Complaints about "congestion charging" seem to me to blame the messenger (the price system) for the message: "Travel costs more these days."

This topic was briefly mentioned in the discussion that followed my talk last Friday, but the general notion that homeschooling is an economic as well as just an educational phenomenon (which I had hoped to talk about) didn't really get much of a mention. But it surely isn't just that the schools themselves that are a problem; there is also the increasingly fraught battle to get the kids to school every day.

Yet it makes perfect sense. I regard modern mass education as an economically ridiculous arrangement, never mind how nasty and mind-dumbing it is. Why on earth do schools have to be so big, and as a direct result, so far away from most of their "customers"? Why can't children, especially younger ones, just gather in someone's front room to learn things?

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:51 PM
Category: Home education
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