Private Schools


This topic discusses British private schooling and the paywalling of educational institutions. 

Private schools are often only accessibly to those who can afford them. This becomes a concern for equality as private school graduates dominate high-paying jobs. Are we guilty of turning a blind eye to the privilege perpetuated by private schooling? Do private schools concentrate resources on those who will make the most difference? Is it hypocritical for us to work in a marketised education sector yet criticise the historic marketisation of secondary education?

Facilitation Notes

Discussion Questions
  • It may be useful to start with an explanation of terminology e.g. the terms ‘private’ and ‘public’ school are typically used interchangeable and refer to fee-paying schools, whilst ‘state’ school refers to schools that are free to attend.
  • Is it discriminatory to restrict the number of places at university for private school graduates?
  • Do private schools perpetuate privilege and segregation?
  • If free and accessible education for all is an important ideal, why do private schools still exist? 
  • Would banning private schools be a restriction of freedom?
  • Should private schools be turned into places for the exceptionally talented? Would we have the same issues of privilege?
  • Is private schooling an obstacle to making education equal?
Resource Personalisation

You could add resources about your university’s opinion/policies on public schools. This could include:

  • The acceptance rate of private school vs state school graduates
  • The job prospects post-university of those who went to private school vs state school
  • Opinion pieces on restricting the number of places at university for private school graduates

Culture Club.