Question 12: Do you agree that private schools should be brought into public ownership so that places can be allocated on the basis of need rather than income? If yes, how would you fund this?
Candidates for Leader
Green Party policy calls for all government funding of private schools to end, with a voluntary system of assimilation into the state sector. Any that continue with private funds should be included in the local authority admissions system, not be allowed opt-outs from equalities and diversity legislation, and have their charitable status removed. I strongly support this policy.
I support the party's policy ED126, to 'offer a programme of voluntary assimilation of private schools into the state sector'. I also agree that the 'Key to this is the provision of more funding to state schools to facilitate a higher standard' - i.e. we should not be 'levelling' by pulling the better-funded schools down to a lower achievement level, we should be pursuing equality of opportunity in education by improving public funding to those schools that are currently under-resourced. I've always agreed with the general Green Party philosophy that putting more public money into learning means investing in equality, in society and in our future.
I do not believe in educational apartheid, but there is a substantial gulf between the private and state sector in attainment levels. The current state education model has failed to develop the values, skills and characters which prepare young people for a worthwhile future, with 33% of children not reaching adequate literacy at 16. The UK does not map literacy levels against international standards and is consistently lower at 23rd place. The emphasis has to be on a dramatic improvement in educational standards in the state sector. Only then should we start to think about full public ownership of schools.
Initially their charitable [the rest of this answer is not displayed as the candidate had reached the word limit]
Candidates for Deputy Leader
The state funding of private education via tax breaks and charitable status needs to end immediately! Nationalising them may take a little longer and we must consider the benefits of alternative forms of education. I have no problem with the state taking over private schools without compensation.
As a teacher this is something very dear to my heart. I believe neither private schools, academies nor free schools should exist. I would like to see private schools stripped of their charitable status. We have to tackle inequalities in our education system, because that is what our engrained class society is based on. A properly progressive system of taxation, coupled with scrapping nuclear and defense budgets would be the way to raise the cash for this.
I believe that private schools are socially divisive and would like to see them cease to exist. But I think our policy is the right way to go about making this change; allow schools to voluntarily come back into the state sector, improve the state sector so there is less need for a private sector and stop subsidising private schools; stopping charitable status, making them pay all relevant taxes and contribute a teaching training levy. I believe this would lead to the withering of the private sector without having to throw money at the situation.
No answer supplied.