Private Schools Join The Recession Proof?

You have to love the newspapers that people leave on trains. They’ve killed many a boring journey for me. Yesterday, for example, I found a paper in the refreshments carriage on the Eurostar which meant I could discover, while whizzing through Kent, that private schools are joining the list of those institutions untouched by the recession.

It seems that while many private schools across the country are upping their fees (Eaton by 2.7$, University College School Hampstead by 2.3% and Concord College by 6%), very few parents are taking their children out of the such schools. It looks like parents are more willing to “cut every other item of family expenditure before disrupting their offsprings’ education.”

Given the recent ‘revelation’ that those educated at a private school end up with better salaries and positions, it’s not too surprising that parents are so steadfast in their resolution to keep their children in these institutions. Is the idea that, if they walk out and into a well-paying role in another archaic instituion like the Home Office, their investment will be paid back?

It’s even more strange considering that the average fee has been lifted well and abouve the level of inflation. Do these instituions really have such a hold on parents so keen for their child to do well. With all the warnings about adjusting fees in line with the economy or expecting a backlash, it puzzles me how so many private education bodies are able to continue. It’s almost as if they’re taking advantage of parents’ desire for their child to get the best in life.

Perhaps it’s a class / wealth thing that I simply don’t understand. Either way it certainly got my mind wandering while supping overly hot coffee and waiting for my sandwhich to cool. Makes me think of the old cartoon of the surly teenager asking “if you’re rich enough to send me to a fancy private school, why do I have to attend?”

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