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« Some more thoughts on the Lib Dem leadership | Main | Important news on school costs »



It's a commonplace of blogospheric discourse that government isn't made up of the sharpest minds under the firmament. In fact there appears to be abundant evidence that the powers that be are actually the intellectual and moral dregs of society.

Here's just a tiny bit more confirmation.

The previous socialist administration in Edinburgh took a pot-shot at the private school system by means of instituting a review of the rules for the granting of charitable status. The idea was, presumably, to force up school fees sufficiently that only the very rich, and MSPs, would be able to afford them.

However it is also a commonplace of blogospheric discourse that whenever the government does something they forget to consider something pretty important, and this is no exception.

The current socialist adminstration in Edinburgh (that's different to the previous socialist administration you understand) have found that they have been left a welcome present by the last lot. The legislation targeted at private schools seems to have caught HE colleges in its crossfire.

All charities, including Scotland's colleges, are required to demonstrated to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) that they meet the new charity test, set out the in the 2005 Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act. In a pilot, on John Wheatley College, OSCR ruled that the college did not meet the charity test because its constitution permits Scottish Ministers to direct or otherwise control its activities. This ruling means none of Scotland's colleges would currently pass the charity test and is why ministers are reviewing the situation. 

They're not bright and they're not clever.

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Reader Comments (4)

they forgot something else: something like 45% of the children who are at school in Edinburgh are at private schools. Even if you allow for those who are boarding (and thus probably not living in the city), that is still a massive number to absorb into the state system if you close those private schools...

Oct 30, 2007 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDevil's Kitchen
I assume they are thinking they would just take over the private schools wholesale, although obviously they would have to support the costs.
Oct 30, 2007 at 9:11 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
It's more likely that they will bend the private schools to their will and largely destroy their advantages, while allowing the appearance of independence to remain, so that the children are still sort-of educated, and (importantly) the parents continue to pay twice.

This is the normal NuLab way with any institution it wishes to emasculate. Think House of Lords, etc etc.

The process has already begun, and they'll never give up.

Private schools need to go truly independent, NOW, before any more damage can be done.
Oct 31, 2007 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterandrew duffin

I think even if private schools are set up as profit-making companies (as many are) the government can still emasculate them because it has brought them within the remit of the HMIs. This means that they can effectively be forced to operate the failed teaching methods that have made such a mess of the state schools.

It may be that the answer lies in offshore schools, or perhaps with home education.
Nov 1, 2007 at 8:36 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

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