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A private education… August 21, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, Education.
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Some interesting underlying assumptions about education and private education in particularly in this judgement here, aren’t there?

A 12-year-old boy ranked in the highest percentile of scholastic achievements for his age is to be enrolled at a private school by order of a High Court judge.
Mr Justice Gerard Hogan today ruled that the boy, whose education is one of a number of divisive issues in a broken marriage, should not have to attend a particular non fee-paying school as earlier ordered by the Circuit Court.

And as ever with private education it points up the role of availability of money as the card that trumps everything else in terms of gaining access, in fact this case points up in perhaps the most stark way not merely those assumptions working in relation to (private) education but also suggests how inequitable they can be in the way they work out both at the individual and general level.

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1. 6to5against - August 21, 2013

This comment from the judge says a lot :

“Given especially his scholastic aptitude it seems appropriate that he should go to a school that would seem best suited for his talents,” the judge said.

On what basis could the judge make that decision. Certainly no evidence is mentioned that this school was in any way more suitable to the boys particular talents, whatever they make.

What the betting judge went to a fee paying school?

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eamonncork - August 22, 2013

And as anyone who’s witnessed the majesty, the remorseless logic and the sheer erudition of the Irish legal profession up close in their local district court could tell you, they’re a walking, pontificating advertisement for the efficacy of a private education. No wonder he wants to share this legacy with the young lad.
Now for more of this brown acid.

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2. marcusampe - August 22, 2013

Is the judge convince no state school can give the boy a good education?

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3. Hard or easy ways to afford education | Marcus' s Space - August 22, 2013

[…] A private education… (cedarlounge.wordpress.com) And as ever with private education it points up the role of availability of money as the card that trumps everything else in terms of gaining access, in fact this case points up in perhaps the most stark way not merely those assumptions working in relation to (private) education but also suggests how inequitable they can be in the way they work out both at the individual and general level. […]

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4. RosencrantzisDead - August 22, 2013

The judgment is here.

A is the mother. B is the father. One aspect of the case that might be worth considering is this: A wished for the son to go to that particular private school, but she was unable to pay for it (She had a monthly income of €700 – paltry by any standard). B was working and was making about €54k per annum (he had rent and other expenses). He did lose his job but ‘his employment prospects were good.’

From this I would infer that the true controversy was that A wanted the son to go to a private school and wanted B to pay for it. B, on the other hand, was disinclined to pay out (and it is unlikely that he was doing so out of a commitment to egalitarianism). I would say that this is the latest skirmish in a (unfortunately typical) family law war of attrition between former spouses.

Also, 54k per annum is almost double the average industrial wage. Gviven that it was accepted that B would not be able to discharge the private school fees, it does raise the question as to how ‘middle’ the ‘squeezed middle’ who may have to take their kids out of private school are.

An interesting quote (School B is the unnamed private school):

28. Third, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that School B. would be the more appropriate school for a boy of Conor’s aptitude, even if he would also do well at School A. He is a bright boy who would be likely to thrive in the more academic environment of School B.

29. It must here be emphasised that this is not to endorse School B at the expense of School A, still less to suggest that private education is in some way more desirable than education in the public system. There are, of course, many – not least educationalists and social reformers – who decry the ranking of schools and the emergence of a small coterie of “elite” schools. Perhaps in an ideal world all schools would (and should) be ranked equally. But in considering what is best for Conor, I have to take the world as I find it and not perhaps as one might wish it to be. Given especially his scholastic aptitude it seems appropriate that he should go to a school that would seem best suited for his talents.

The order is -very- conditional: B is not expected to put up any money regarding the son’s education and School B has to continue to waive 50% of the fee.

Still, does give you an insight into the attitudes to private education among various groups.

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5. Ghandi - August 22, 2013

Looking at the figures its likely that A’s money is SW, the €54k is gross for B. The key question I would have thought for the Court was what was the intention before the split, if only B was working and on €54k gross then I think its unlikely though not impossible that the intention was not to go to a fee paying school. The reality of the income now is taht the same money with a SW top up will have to run 2 homes. €54k probally nets to €40k – €3, 300 per month taking his new rent out and presumably a mortgage on the original house would leave him approx €1,500, deduct travel & living expenses of €700 before maintianence to her and the child, assuming a minimum maintenance of €200 per week there is no money left for education. Hogan does indicate that the trust fund and a saving fund, for the child should be used whatever about the savings fund its unlikely that the trust is accessable.

All in all a bad decision.

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RosencrantzisDead - August 22, 2013

54k is certainly gross and he did have expenses/taxes as you outline. Hogan does seem to implied that they did not have a mortgage: ‘the family home is owned outright by the couple’ so the disposable income on the part of B would be a bit higher.

My point was more that, even with a salary at double the AIW, it is difficult to financially countenance paying for private education. How wealthy is this squeezed ‘middle’ who may have to take one or more children out of private education? Certainly, they would have to be taking in more than 60k per annum.

It also makes you wonder at the wisdom of taking this case in the first place: what good is a court order telling you to enroll in a school you cannot afford? (Note: the 50% reduction and the offer by A’s parents came about after the circuit court ruled against A.)

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CMK - August 22, 2013

I think average industrial wage is about 35k.

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RosencrantzisDead - August 22, 2013

I thought 31 or 32k.

Anyway, the point still holds (sort of).

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CMK - August 22, 2013

Not that low but around 34-35k mark.

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eamonncork - August 22, 2013

35K. What a stark and shocking contrast to the average Public Sector wage of 1.5 Million Euro. More evidence that this country needs a new right wing party.

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RosencrantzisDead - August 23, 2013

TV3 has captured this footage as part of its investigation into the lives of public sector workers. The person seen here is a primary school teacher of ten years experience with an undergraduate degree. They have just arrived home from work at 3.15 pm:

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6. Ghandi - August 22, 2013

I wrote the above before I had read the full judgement, the home is owned outright so so mortgage, the €700 income may be some form of disability payment for “Ciara”. Overall this does not change the overall which Hogan recognised he found in favour of School B if the following follows

33. This, however, is subject to a number of conditions. Specifically, it is expressly predicated on the assumption that School B will waive 50% of its fees and that the balance of these fees will be discharged by Ms. A’s parents. Under no circumstances could Mr. B. be expected to contribute to any additional costs associated with Conor’s attendance at School B. If, moreover, this financial support were not to materialise, then the matter would have to be re-visited”

Again I think this is a bad decision, which Hogan seems to concede in indicating that if matters change it will have to be revisited, thus causing more disrution to the child. What happens if Ms.A’s parents die or loss their money?

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