Simon Thompson: Dogma leading agenda in fee-paying debate
PROTESTANT-managed, rural, fee-charging schools have reacted with dismay to the manner in which the information received by the Department of Education – for its just-published report on schools – has been parsed and released to the media.
Much has been made in the media of significant funds, which 'on average' fee-charging schools have available to spend in a 'discretionary manner', compared with similar-sized free-scheme schools. This generalisation ignores both the history and the reality of what is required to run a community-based, co-educational boarding and day school.
In recognition of the dispersed nature of the Protestant community, in tandem with the recognition of plurality and diversity of education provision, since the 1960s a network of rural, Protestant-managed, fee-charging schools has existed.