Wednesday 5 November 2003

Educational lunacy

In today's Daily Mail (no link) Allan Massie writes about choice in education:
"On the one hand, is the parents' right to choose the sort of education they want for their children. On the other, there is the assertion that such schools perpetuate the sectarian divisions in Scotland and so help breed intolerance"
The correct response to the claimed "right to choose" is to ask: "At whose expense?"

We have taxpayer-funded non-denominational schools, Catholic schools, Jewish schools and understandably Muslims now want their own schools. Why stop there? What about separate state schools for Methodists, Mormons and Jedi Knights?

I believe that in fifty years' time people will find it extraordinary that schools were once run by the government. It is already possible to give parents vouchers that would enable all children to be educated privately at no extra cost to the taxpayer. Once schools are fully privatised parents would of course be free to spend extra to send their children to all sorts of schools - at their own expense. In the meantime the state should not fund religiously divided schools. It is quite wrong that taxpayers be made to pay for the kind of nonsense that has been going on in Dalkeith.