A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: Ben Goldacre on the mathematical errors in Reform's maths report
Previous entry: State-funded Hindu school choice
Tuesday June 10 2008

Fraser Nelson links to this Telegraph story, about Lord Adonis’s latest pronouncements about rearranging schools, this time to make them bigger, teaching all the way through from 5 to 18.  Making people who don’t want to do that sounds like a really bad idea, and I agree with Nelson.  Let the parents decide.

However, this story strikes me as rather more interesting:

More parents are taking out loans to pay for independent school fees as the credit this crisis starts to bite, according to a report.

As many as 18,000 parents took out personal loans last year as fees increased to a record high, it is revealed.

The average loan was for £9,065, with experts claiming that applications will rise in coming years as parents struggle with rising energy, fuel and food bills.

The conclusions - in a study by Sainsbury’s Finance - come amid growing concerns over year-on-year fee increases.

Last month, Chris Woodhead, the former chief inspector of schools, said that some parents were being ripped off as schools spent money on “five-star facilities” with little education benefit.

But schools insist that increases are due to staffing costs, with class sizes in the independent sector considerably smaller than state schools.

That some of these parents will learn an unwelcome lesson of their own, about the dangers of getting into debt, I have no doubt.  What would be the educational equivalent of negative equity?  A qualification which seems valuable at the time, but which later turns out to be useless, I suppose.  Let’s hope they’ve done the maths.