Make privately educated pay full university costs

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From: J Brian Harrison-Jennings, Fulstone Road, Stocksmoor, Huddersfield.

YOU printed a 12-page supplement advertising private schools, and a separate 28-page glossy brochure from one particular school (Yorkshire Post, January 4). Most of these schools offered “scholarships”, “free transport”, “fee assistance” and “bursaries” etc.

When will people realise that these “scholarships”, by whatever name they are known, and given by private schools to pupils who would otherwise be at state schools, do three things: they enable that public school to convince the Charity Commissioners that they are meeting the criterion for tax relief on their income; they “cream off” the best of the local talent from the state sector of education in the hope of boosting the average IQ of their own establishment; and lastly, they render truly “comprehensive” provision in the state sector a logical impossibility. And all this in the hope of boosting the future life chances of a “rich” child compared to a “poor” one.

I have a proposal. Why not make the parents of those children who enter university from a fee-paying school pay the full economic cost of that higher education rather than the £9,000 which is currently levied?

For subjects such as medicine and science, these costs would be considerable.

But if there were no fee-paying secondary schools, there would be no need for fee-paying preparatory schools. And the playing field for all pupils would be a lot more level than it is at present.