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 THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland

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PostSubject: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:13 pm

Annual Summer Rant - Here goes......

Mad School books at €150 a child and the school brings in a "new" jumper with blurry badge costing €50.00.

Mad School uniforms are so badly made and out of such cheap and nasty fabrics that you may was well resew the whole thing on day one. The price bears no relation to the product.

Mad School books are an outrageous scam - other countries have free books and a curriculum that is only changed when there is a substantial shift in the knowledge base, not every 12 months.

Mad Work books are another scam, and could be completely done away with if there was proper IT provision in schools.

The costs of sending one child to primary school are estimated at €4,000.

Can anyone explain this systemised robbery, or offer solutions?

One aspect of the uniform side of it is that some schools use expensive school uniforms as a way of keeping children from lower income families out - they simply choose the school with the cheapest uniform, not having the financial option.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:16 pm

cactus flower wrote:

Mad School books are an outrageous scam - other countries have free books and a curriculum that is only changed when there is a substantial shift in the knowledge base, not every 12 months.

Do we change our cirriculum that regularly or do the publishers just publish a new book that regularly and the schools want the most up to date book. For instance, I don't believe the Junior Certificate History Course has altered since I sat it in 2001 (the LC one has since I sat it in 2004) but there has been huge change in the book being used. I would add that the book currently in use is far inferior to the one that I used - discovered this when I was giving grinds to people.

I wouldn't have a clue about national school level.


Quote :
One aspect of the uniform side of it is that some schools use expensive school uniforms as a way of keeping children from lower income families out - they simply choose the school with the cheapest uniform, not having the financial option.

Do they really? Seems like too much of a sinister plot to me.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:56 pm

johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Mad School books are an outrageous scam - other countries have free books and a curriculum that is only changed when there is a substantial shift in the knowledge base, not every 12 months.

Do we change our cirriculum that regularly or do the publishers just publish a new book that regularly and the schools want the most up to date book. For instance, I don't believe the Junior Certificate History Course has altered since I sat it in 2001 (the LC one has since I sat it in 2004) but there has been huge change in the book being used. I would add that the book currently in use is far inferior to the one that I used - discovered this when I was giving grinds to people.

I wouldn't have a clue about national school level.


Quote :
One aspect of the uniform side of it is that some schools use expensive school uniforms as a way of keeping children from lower income families out - they simply choose the school with the cheapest uniform, not having the financial option.

Do they really? Seems like too much of a sinister plot to me.

On the last point, I've asked people about it and they have confirmed that costly school uniforms decided them on where their children went to second level.
Perhaps its not a conspiracy, but just a total lack of consideration for people on low incomes, but the effect is the same.

I think you're right on the curriculum not changing. That means there is even less excuse. Also - there is not a standard text book for each course and teachers pick and choose. That is ludicrous as it means an uneven playing field for students. Some of the books look very good to me, but others really bad - there is a history of art textbook illustrated mainly by nasty hand drawn black and white scrawls.

Another thing the publishers do is bind the whole course into one book that weighs ten tons instead of splitting it into annual components.

Are there any teachers out there who want to explain all this? Question
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:09 pm

Another thing is the fact that the Department should provide a text book where none is available. This might sound like a bizarre point, but I sat Classical Studies for my leaving certificate and there is no text book on the market for that cirriculum.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:10 pm

I was wondering what it costs the state to educate the average pupil and how that compares with the cost of private schools?
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:15 pm

Squire wrote:
I was wondering what it costs the state to educate the average pupil and how that compares with the cost of private schools?

Fees for the school I attended were in the region of €4,500 per annum. That is at the slightly cheaper end of that particular market. The figure is not tax deductible. Certain people can receive a capitation grant towards the fees of Protestant fee paying schools as part of the capitation structure worked out with the Government. I gave a brief outline of this procedure on politics.ie yesterday. For clarity I will repost it, despite the manner of it being somewhat out of context.

johnfás wrote:
bobbysands81 wrote:

Minority religions are given extra funding in order to try and preserve their religious ethos'.

No, what happens is that there is a funding from the Department of Education called the capitation grant. This is granted on behalf of all students on a pro rata basis who attend a 'public' secondary school, this would include many Catholic secondary schools that are not fee paying, as well as VEC schools etc. However, there is not a supply of non fee paying Protestant schools - just two in Dublin, Newpark and Mount Temple Comprehensive Schools. This situation is the result of a number of different dimensions but simply put that is the case today, despite attempts by both the churches and at the State at different times during the middle of the twentieth century to integrate some of the fee paying Protestant schools into the 'public' system.

For that reason, in order to protect the parental right to choose education in the religious manner of their choice for their children the State supplies a capitation grant for children to attend a Protestant fee paying school. This capitation grant is no more or no less than the grant paid for 95% of other children in the State, those who attend free Catholic secondary schools, VEC schools etc. However, the manner in which it is distributed is different, rather than being granted on a pro rata basis it is granted to a board of education who then make means tested grants to parents in order to pay the fees to fee paying Protestant secondary schools. Therefore, those who have means will pay the full fees and those who do not will have heavily subsidised fees.

In actuality, all that it really means, is that many fee paying schools, which are seen as elitist are anything but. Most Protestants attending fee paying Protestant Schools are receiving grants to do so and would rather not be paying any fees at all. There is however, little desire for or from the State to take over the schools from a financial point of view, whilst maintaining their religious ethos, which would only be fair given the support for various Catholic schools which are financially controlled by the State.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:10 pm

It would be very difficult to work out cost per child per year in the public system I think - the buildings are maintained by the Board of Management who are semi autonomous and built/improved with funding from the Dept. of Env. Teachers salaries, pensions etc. could be worked out.

I presume the best private schools pay their teachers more to attract the best.
I had always believed that teachers are paid by the State whether public or private - does anyone know if that is the case? What about school buildings?

The bottom line though johnfás is that in Ireland children can attend very good private schools with great facilities for a fraction of what would be paid in the UK - your school fees there would have been closer to €30,000.00 per annum.

How in the name of all that's holy do they ration the places here?


http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2005/nov/10/consumernews.publicschools
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:37 pm

Don't forget Eaton is 100% boarding. Day fees are about 50%-60% boarding fees. It is about £10,000 - £12, 000 per year typically, for a good school, but extras can add up.

I was pondering the cost per pupil of the current education system. Is it getting anywhere near the cost of private schools?

There is a lot to be said for private schools the results speak for themselves.

Eton Oxbridge 37% University 99%
Wycombe Oxbridge 22% University 99%
Winchester Oxbridge 30% University 98%
Tonbridge Oxbridge 22% University 99%

Places like Oxford High which is a girls day school fees about £7000-£8000 per year but Oxbridge 15% Higher education 100%

It isn't just that they attract better teachers it is very much about the ethos and tradition of the places. Pupils are there to learn and their characters developed. The anticipation is that they will have a career (and an important one) not a job if they are lucky. The difference is very much attitude and self esteem. (not to mention contacts)


Last edited by Squire on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:51 pm

The poor old 63% from Eton who don't make it to Oxbridge must feel like topping themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:09 pm

cactus flower wrote:
The poor old 63% from Eton who don't make it to Oxbridge must feel like topping themselves.

No they go to places like Trinity, some of the better American establishments and perhaps rub shoulders with the dreaded French or Germans.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:12 pm

cactus flower wrote:

I presume the best private schools pay their teachers more to attract the best.
I had always believed that teachers are paid by the State whether public or private - does anyone know if that is the case? What about school buildings?

I can only speak on behalf of fee paying Protestant schools, but I would hold a good degree of experience in this regard given various situations. I would assume the situation is the same in fee paying schools of whatever variety. Essentially, the schools do not pay their teachers more to attract the best, this is a nonsense that some people have flashed about to give the idea that fee paying schools bribe teachers to come to them. This is true of the Institute and other grinds colleges, which are in essence the only 'private' schools in the Irish system.

What happens is that the State has a ratio of pupils to teachers which they strive to attain. So if your school has X number of pupils the State will provide salaries of Y number of teachers and this goes up proportionately. What the fee paying schools do in order to attract parents with additional subjects and smaller class sizes, is to hire teachers over and above their allocation. Therefore, in my school we had X number of students, meaning the State supplied Y number of teachers, this was supplemented by Z number provided directly by the school giving us a grand total of Y+Z teachers. Those teachers are paid at precisely the same gradings as the teachers paid for by the State. Up until 5 years ago they were actually paid less because the schools did not pay them over the holidays, this has now changed, following renewed legislation.

What then happens is that there is a number of teachers paid by the State and a number paid by the school in the fee paying schools. Essentially what then happens is that when a teacher who is paid by the State retires, the next teacher paid by the school in line will receive a State paid position, known as a permanent position. These are the positions that all the teachers in the schools aim for because they are more secure, pensionable etc.

Hope that clears the matter up?

In regard to school buildings, the running costs of the school are met solely by the school itself. They may apply to the Department for capital grants (ie for new building projects etc), but these are entirely discretionary and they compete with every school looking for this money. They are in fact far less likely to receive this money because the Department looks on them as fee paying schools and therefore lower in the order of priorities. In essence, most capital projects in private schools are met just like they are in free schools, by voluntary contributions by the parents. €4,500 a year from parents won't pay for capital projects, in fact many fee paying schools run very close to the edge financially in order to keep the fees as low as possible. It makes for a difficult situation because the schools have to go with the begging bowl to people already paying over alot.


Quote :
How in the name of all that's holy do they ration the places here?

What do you mean? I'll be happy to try and give an explanation but I don't follow the question Smile.


Last edited by johnfás on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:12 pm

Squire wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
The poor old 63% from Eton who don't make it to Oxbridge must feel like topping themselves.

No they go to places like Trinity, some of the better American establishments and perhaps rub shoulders with the dreaded French or Germans.

Or even St. Andrews (shudder). But do they ever recover from the shame ? Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:15 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Squire wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
The poor old 63% from Eton who don't make it to Oxbridge must feel like topping themselves.

No they go to places like Trinity, some of the better American establishments and perhaps rub shoulders with the dreaded French or Germans.

Or even St. Andrews (shudder). But do they ever recover from the shame ? Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

I'm sure its has gone up in the opinion of people following its royal student in the last few years.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:17 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Squire wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
The poor old 63% from Eton who don't make it to Oxbridge must feel like topping themselves.

No they go to places like Trinity, some of the better American establishments and perhaps rub shoulders with the dreaded French or Germans.

Or even St. Andrews (shudder). But do they ever recover from the shame ? Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

Yes ending up in St Andrews would indeed be shameful. Some are of the opinion it has been known to let its standards slip.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:22 pm

Is a teacher well paid In Ireland?
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:31 am

arnaudherve wrote:
Is a teacher well paid In Ireland?

Starting at 31,804 raising to 64,202 dependent on the number of years worked. There are also bonuses available for possession of, for example, an honours level degree, a masters degree, a doctorate etc.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:38 am

cactus flower wrote:
Annual Summer Rant - Here goes......

Mad School books at €150 a child and the school brings in a "new" jumper with blurry badge costing €50.00.

Mad School uniforms are so badly made and out of such cheap and nasty fabrics that you may was well resew the whole thing on day one. The price bears no relation to the product.

Mad School books are an outrageous scam - other countries have free books and a curriculum that is only changed when there is a substantial shift in the knowledge base, not every 12 months.

Mad Work books are another scam, and could be completely done away with if there was proper IT provision in schools.

The costs of sending one child to primary school are estimated at €4,000.

Can anyone explain this systemised robbery, or offer solutions?

One aspect of the uniform side of it is that some schools use expensive school uniforms as a way of keeping children from lower income families out - they simply choose the school with the cheapest uniform, not having the financial option.

I went on the rampage about all this stuff a few years ago, especially the book prices. Our bill for books is over €600 this year for 3. The Educational Co. is a trading as name for Queen something or other Limited. This private company have the schools and us by the rollies.

Some of the books are hideously overpriced for what they are. These people effectively have a monopoly. It sucks. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:02 pm

Could the schools not introduce a scheme of buying books and loaning them out for a deposit? and keeping the same books unless there is a change in the curriculum?
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:07 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Could the schools not introduce a scheme of buying books and loaning them out for a deposit? and keeping the same books unless there is a change in the curriculum?

I agree with that. When I was in fourth year my secondary school did that as of course there is not a cirriculum for most subjects and you are only using them for a single year. The condition of each book had been noted on deposit to the student and if you returned it in worse condition at the end of the year you had to pay for the depreciated value.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:07 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Could the schools not introduce a scheme of buying books and loaning them out for a deposit? and keeping the same books unless there is a change in the curriculum?

I was thinking getting someone like the Institute for Public Administration to publish primary school books and screw the private monopoly.

The IPA already publish tonnes of stuff for training courses etc.
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PostSubject: Re: THe Cost of "Free" Education in Ireland   Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:33 pm

Can any teacher here explain why there is a need for work books?
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