An extraordinary privilege for a tiny fraction

THE arguments advanced by representatives of the Catholic community for the retention of free transport costing over £1,000 a year each for their schoolchildren, whether Catholic or not, are spurious arguments and the council should have no compunction ab

THE arguments advanced by representatives of the Catholic community for the retention of free transport costing over £1,000 a year each for their schoolchildren, whether Catholic or not, are spurious arguments and the council should have no compunction about cancelling what amounts to an extraordinary privilege for a tiny fraction of the pupil population. Consider the counter-arguments: if the nearest catholic school were to be much further away and the transport costs even higher, would we council taxpayers still be pressed on this matter? If parents are fervent about their wish for their children to attend a Catholic school let them club together and organise their own transport. Why should any council taxpayer, including those, by the way, who are already paying the full bill for their children to have private education in satisfaction of their personal choice, subsidise the schooling preferences of a few?Most convincing of all are arguments put forward by the late Christopher Hollis, renowned MP, author and Catholic in his autobiography The Seven Ages. He declared that the majority of Bishops knew absolutely nothing about the pros and cons of Catholic education, having been taught the slogan of A Catholic School for Catholic children which they had gone on repeating through life, never having enquired into its supposed merit.He adds that attempts to critically assess the worth of Catholic education went unanswered and that the Bishops "clearly did not know the answer and what is more it had not occurred to them to ask the question".Before continuing the support, said to run at £261,000 a year, the council should demand just such information, the question being what lasting benefits come to those pupils who attended Catholic schools which could not be obtained at other schools and given that there may be such benefits why should all taxpayers be obliged to support what amounts to a self-defined elite?PHILIP BINDING - Monks Haven, Sidcot


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