PARENTS are paying up to £80,000 extra for properties in order to get their children into the leading state schools in Scotland.
The figures quoted may be a bit overdone:
Parents pay the extra believing it could save them thousands of pounds in private school fees. Houses near Jordanhill school, in the west end of Glasgow, were selling for an average of £152,103 - £40,000 more than the city-wide averageWell, yes, I'd expect houses in the west end to be considerably more expensive than elsewhere in Glasgow even if schooling were not a factor.
But the quality of local state schools clearly does make a difference:
Williamwood High school in Clarkston, to the south of Glasgow, helped house prices reach an average of £154,445 - more than £10,000 above the typical price for the area.It is impossible for all schools to be of equal quality, whether run by the state or otherwise. Nevertheless, schools in the private sector benefit from market mechanisms that make for continual improvement. I believe that all schools should be privately owned and that they shouldn't be funded by the state. In the meantime we could give parents vouchers to be used in a privatised education system. That way everyone can get access to a sound education without having to run the risk of a catastrophic loss in the value of one's home whenever some bureaucrat redraws the catchment area boundary.