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English private school fees 90% higher than state school spending per pupil

school fees

English private school fees 90% higher than state school spending per pupil

The gap between private school fees and state school spending per pupil has more than doubled in England over the past decade, with private fees now more than 90% higher than spending on state schools, a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has revealed.

A decade ago, after adjusting for inflation, the gap was just over £3,000 per pupil. But it has since doubled as private school fees have risen sharply while government spending on the state sector in England has fallen in real terms.

The IFS study included running costs and capital spending for state schools, and subtracted scholarships and bursaries given to pupils in private schools to fairly compare the two. The average private school fee (not including boarding schools) was found to be £13,700 a year, compared with £7,100 in spending on each state school pupil.

“While day-to-day state school spending per student has fallen by 9% in real-terms over the last decade, private school fees have gone up by 20%. At the same time, numbers of pupils in private schools have remained pretty much constant,” said Luke Sibieta, an IFS research fellow and author of the report.

“Longstanding concerns about inequalities between private and state school pupils, which have come into sharp focus during the pandemic, will not begin to be easily addressed while the sectors enjoy such different levels of resourcing.”

The report comes two weeks after the Labour party leadership pledged to strip independent schools of their charitable status and other tax privileges, with the extra revenue used to fund more teachers and career support in the state sector.

Kate Green, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said: “[State] school budgets have been hammered over the last decade, which is holding children back. As state school class sizes have soared and enriching activities – art, sport, music, drama – have been cut back, the gap with private schools has grown ever wider.

“Labour’s recovery plan would extend the school day for new activities for all, and by ending private schools’ tax exemptions we would invest in state schools with 6,500 new teachers, and careers advice and work experience so every child gets an excellent education that sets them up for life.”

The IFS calculations used average private day school fees of members of the Independent Schools Council, and reduced the total by the scholarships and bursaries given to approximately one in four private school pupils. The figures excluded non-association independent schools – which includes many special needs or faith-based schools – and boarding school fees, as well as endowments and donations that would substantially boost spending.

The IFS found that while state school spending had fallen in real terms over the past decade, private school fees had rises by 20%, from £11,000 to £13,700, although during the pandemic in 2020-21, private school fees dropped for the first time in more than 20 years.

The gap in spending is particularly acute in sixth forms, where state spending per pupil has plummeted in recent years. The IFS found that average fees for sixth formers in the private sector was more than £15,000 in 2019-20, more than three times higher than day-to-day state funding per pupil.

Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the shocking fact in the report was that per-pupil spending in real termswas lower now than it had been a decade ago in state schools. Adjusted for inflation, spending per pupil had fallen from £8,000 in 2010-11 to £6,900 in 2019-20.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said the government was increasing school funding in England so that it would be £7bn higher in 2022-23 compared with 2019-20.

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Education

ASUU Saga: Reps Summon Ngige, DG Budget Office, AGF, SGF And Others

ASUU Saga: Reps Summon Ngige, DG Budget Office, AGF, SGF And Others

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has invited the Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige and several others to appear before the lawmakers on Thursday next week

Gbajabiamila, who said this on Thursday at the resumed fact-finding meeting on the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Universities (ASUU), also invited the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan; the Accountant General of the Federation; Director General, Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission; the Director General Budget Office among others.

As part of the push to resolve the lingering ASUU strike, Gbajabiamila, alongside his deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase and other leaders of the House on Thursday met with the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS),  the chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, among other government officials.

Thursday’s meeting was a sequel to an earlier one the Speaker held with ASUU officials on Tuesday where issues related to the strike were discussed.

The outcome of Tuesday’s meeting led the House leadership to invite the Head of Service, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission, and the Accountant General of the Federation, among others.

“At Thursday’s meeting, NITDA told the House leadership that the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System (U3PS) failed its integrity tests regarding the university payroll, which the agency conducted between March and JUNE this year,” the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Lanre Lasisi, said in a statement.

“According to a NITDA official at the meeting, the government directed the agency to test UTAS in October 2020, adding that the platform failed the two integrity tests conducted on it.

“He said following the first test, ASUU was asked to go back and review, which it did. Yet, the platform did not meet NITDA’s requirements the second time.

“For the third time, NITDA was then asked to conduct tests on UTAS, IPPIS, and U3PS, which the official said all three platforms failed its requirements regarding the payroll system of universities.”

Lasisi added that “Not satisfied with the explanation, Speaker Gbajabiamila asked if NITDA advised the government to take action on the lapses found on IPPIS, which has been in operation by the government since 2011. But the NITDA official said they were not in a position to do that.

“Gbajabiamila also asked if NITDA queried the IPPIS platform, to which the official responded in the negative.

Deputy Speaker Wase also expressed reservations at NITDA’s action, saying it ought to have advised the government on the appropriate action to take in view of its discovery on IPPIS.

“But the Head of Service, in her explanation, said the ministry of communications and digital economy wrote her office following NITDA’s observations about IPPIS on the need to take a holistic look at the platform and that a committee was empaneled to carry out the assignment.

“She also noted that IPPIS is not just a payment platform but that it also has a human resource component, which all government agencies have been directed to activate, noting that all those directly under her purview have since complied.

“Also, the chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr Nta, told the House leadership that in view of the general agitation in the tertiary education sector, the agency advised the government to look at the possibility of increasing the salaries of the staff in the entire sector, comprising universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

“He said, however, that at the end of the day, the government decided to increase the salaries of lecturers in the universities by a certain percentage, while professors were considered for higher percentage.

“He said he was not aware of any agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU for salary increment.

“Also speaking at the meeting, the acting Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh, said under no circumstance should employees dictate to their employers how they should be paid, faulting ASUU’s insistence on UTAS.

“After hours of deliberations, the Speaker suggested that a further follow-up meeting with ASUU officials be held on Thursday next week, which the stakeholders subscribed to. The meeting was, therefore, adjourned to Thursday next week.”

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Education

Bad Leadership Causing Poor State Of Universities- Ebonyi Varsity V.C

The Vice-Chancellor of David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences, Uburu, Ebonyi State, Prof. Jesse Uneke, has attributed the failure of most government-owned universities in the country to poor leadership.

He stated this during a press briefing at the university’s conference hall, in Uburu, Thursday.

He said, “A lot of universities have issues and problems, and most times, people blame it on the Federal Government. That ought not to be. Most of the problems in the nation’s universities are caused by bad leadership. This is very critical.

“If you go to any university and you find that things are not moving well, check the leadership. If the government is giving you salaries, giving you capital projects and giving you recurrent; for goodness sake, all you just need is to have a good leadership and management, the university wouldn’t have problems.

“That’s the challenge we are having. But I don’t want to go into that. However, I want you to understand that the failure of some the universities we have in Nigeria is not because the government is not doing its best; it has been as a result of bad leadership”, he added.

 

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Education

Court Order Does Not Affect Negotiations With ASUU- F.G

The Federal Government has restated its commitment to ongoing negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU despite the court order asking the lecturers to resume to classes.

Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, said this on Wednesday when members of the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics paid him a visit in Abuja

Speaking on the court ruling, Ngige said the federal government is still open to negotiations with ASUU.

“The court ruling does not preclude us from going on with further negotiation and consultations,’’ he said.

“It is no victor, no vanquished.

“You doctors in academics are for now members of ASUU. But you are here, even though you have dissociated yourselves and you are working.

“We want to thank you for working and teaching your students.”

The minister also spoke on the recent meeting between ASUU and the leadership of the house of representatives, and commended Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, and other lawmakers for their efforts.

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