If we were to forget:-
- That the income of the average independent school per child is twice that of a mainstream comprehensive which enables the kind of reduction in class sizes we are told doesn’t make any difference to the education of a child (I’ve never been sure which planet that research is carried out on, I just know it isn’t Earth);
- That children who live in homes that can afford up to £30,000 a year in fees are likely to have had a copious supply of books at home, as well as every other comfort a child could hope for;
- That social and academic selection in independent schools does tend to skew their intake;
- That a parent who pays upwards of £10,000 a year is likely to attend parents evenings and take the kind of active interest in their child’s education that we know has a positive impact;
- The endowment funds, build up from many years of donations, held by many independent schools enable the provision of some of the best education facilities in the world;
then we might be taken in by the idea that the excellence of many independent schools is due entirely to them hiring unqualified teachers.
As it is I think the purveyors of that particular idea would be best served in remembering that the people they are talking to aren’t completely stupid. The only stupid thing here is the idea that less qualified means more able. In what perverse Universe does that sound sensible?