Don’t fall for the school ‘subsidy’ myth
Sir, – I write in response to Steve Kerr (“No rates relief for schools,” Letters, February 13) who is the latest person to fall for the complete myth that independent schools somehow benefit from a government ‘subsidy’.
The very opposite is true.
The High School of Dundee receives no money from the state.
On the contrary, the very existence of our school alone saves the state £8 million per year by educating 1,000 children outwith the state.
Our tax-paying parents pay school fees out of their already-taxed income.
This pays for children in state schools, not their own.
Additionally, our parents, through the school, also pay 20% of business rates, a sizeable and additional contribution to state coffers.
Independent schools therefore provide a massive subsidy to the state, not the other way round.
The constant reworking of this myth is a bankrupt illusion which deflects from the real difficulties facing Scottish state education.
We need to be much more creative and joined up in our thinking, and form partnerships to benefit all Scotland’s pupils.
One small first step would be to abolish rates for all state schools.
To give state schools taxpayers’ money with one hand, then claim it back with the other wastes my taxes which could go into improving schools.
There are many other ideas out there – and independent schools are a part of the solution.
Dr John D Halliday. Rector,
High School of Dundee, Euclid Crescent, Dundee.
High School of Dundee rector Dr John Halliday disputes the myth independent schools receive a government subsidy, and points out they actually contribute to state coffers.