Monday, February 16, 2009

Highland Council advertises Independent school

The Gurnmeister has nothing at all against private education but hopes that the Highland Council is receiving payment for the detailed display in the Nairn Library Window today that advertises the Moray Firth School. Good luck to anyone who can afford the annual fees of £6,780 for the Junior School or £7,980 for the Middle School. It is only natural that those with the means might want to seek the best for their children but is it right that this facility is advertised in a public building especially at a time when there have been crisis meetings about the state of Nairn Academy?
At a time when the Highland Council has had to make some drastic cutbacks let's hope that some cash is coming in for this display.
Picture will enlarge.


growtosow said...

well spotted yes i think they
should pay for this

Bill said...

Did you bother to try and find out whether this advertising was being paid for before writing this? You seem implicitly to assume that no payment has been made.

I know nothing about this (nor, unlike you, do I much care - I have far more important things to occupy my time than bothering about haves/have not 'griping'), but it appears nor do you.

Bill said...

... but is it right that this facility is advertised in a public building especially at a time when there have been crisis meetings about the state of Nairn Academy?

On reflection, it appears that whilst you say you do not mind those who can afford to educate their children privately doing so, you do not actually care for the practice and question the very right to advertise such services in a public building. What, exactly, has the apparently deplorable condition of Nairn Academy got to do with this? Would banning the advertising of a private education provider in public premises, or indeed banning the provision of private education altogether, be likely to have any material positive effect on Nairn Academy. Would not banning such advertising, or the provision of such private educational facilities not, in fact, be more likely to lessen the clamour for improvement in public education provision, or at least the notice that the public authorities might take of any clamour for improvement as the lack of ANY viable alternative, even at direct cost to the parent, would reduce what incentive there may be to improve such public education provision, because there was no realistic alternative and criticism could safely be ignored?

If I had children to educate I would certainly make it my business to obtain a more than decent level of education for them, if necessary scraping together the funds to pay for private education and I would most certainly have absolutely no intention of paying much attention to 'socialist' carping.

State education is of course not 'free' - it is funded lavishly through rather high taxes, but like most things in the public sector is at best patchy in its efficacy and value for money; the apparent poor standards at Nairn Academy are merely the result of a cumbersome state system which spends money badly.

Graisg said...

I'm a taxpayer Bill, I believe the Library should use the opportunity to make cash from its front window display if private institutions wish to display their wares there. That cash could then help to keep the bills down. If that makes me appear to be a budding Hugo Chav or whatever his name is then so be it.

Bill said...

I'm a taxpayer too Graisg. Have you actually asked in the library if they are charging for this display? You implicitly seem to assume it will be free advertising. First get the FACTS then if necessary write your article, rather than just write a winge (or a 'gurn' if you like) about the fact that some people don't have to accept the rubbish service that state-provided entities rather too often deign to provide to the people who pay for it through their taxes.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Graisg.

The state education system offers an education to all, not just those that, at times, choose to patronise it , and at others, prefer to pay for a private education.

While there are some that are in a position to make this choice, the vast majority of parents are not.

The private education sector have the right to advertise their services, as any other business does but, when uptake of that service has the potential to materially impact on the education of the greater mass of children, due to cutbacks in funding based on falling school rolls, then I would step right up in support of Graisg and say that such advertising should not be displayed in Council buildings.

If you were the parent of a child Bill, your philosophies may be tempered , as are those of most parents, by the wish to offer their child the best education possible, and, for the greater mass of people , this means the state system, which still deserves high praise in the vast majority of circumstances.

Bill said...

Hello 'Spurtle'

Please don't presume to try and work out how I might react if I had children. I do not hide behind some kind of pseudonym as do most of the people who post comments in this blog, so am not particularly inclined to give such anonymous comments much weight, frankly. I'm not afraid to reveal my identity when stating my views.

However, at least one thing is clear - the smokescreen with which this article is cloaked clears at last to reveal that the 'hook' upon which it is based (the payment or non-payment for advertising space in the Nairn library) is merely a feint to disguise antagonism to the idea that anyone should have the temerity to use private resources, if they are fortunate enough to have them, to buy their children better than what is apparently available at Nairn Academy (and rather too many similar state-funded educational establishments throughout the country).

Similarly I have no compunction about having private medical insurance to buy my way out of waiting lists for all but the most life-threatening of conditions. I also have no compunction about using NHS services whenever convenient to me, because I pay enough for them in taxes. So sue me.

Anonymous said...

'rather than just write a winge (or a 'gurn' if you like)'

If you can't have a gurn on the Gurn then I wonder as to where we are supposed to have one?!

The library used to allow community groups to display for free, I'm not sure if that has changed

Maybe private schools should find private libraries to display their wares then everyone would be happy?

Anonymous said...

Bill, could you enlighten us as to what basis in fact, or recent experience, you have for making your statement "the rubbish service that state-provided entities rather too often deign to provide to the people....".

I would have to say, as a parent, and a Parent Council member, that children in the UK have the chance of a wonderful education. Admittedly , not all of them maximise its potential but the ladder is there to be climbed, should anyone want to do so.

Personally, I don't care if the school in question did pay to use the library window. The library is not there for that. The after school clubs and adult learning that they promote I have no problem with but to advertise a facility than could reduce the viability of local Primary Schools should not be given such promotion.- and believe me, over the next few years, teacher numbers, separate individual year classes , and ultimately the viability of some schools will be decided on the attendance, or non-attendance of very small numbers of , or even individual, pupils.

Your evident knowledge of education matters leads you to these sentiments, where as my, admittedly limited experience, leads me to mine. In this regard, perhaps you're pretending to swim, and perhaps I'm pretending to drown. Who knows:) or indeed cares.

Bill said...

Personally, I don't care if the school in question did pay to use the library window. The library is not there for that. The after school clubs and adult learning that they promote I have no problem with but to advertise a facility than could reduce the viability of local Primary Schools should not be given such promotion.

QED - the point I was making about the disingenuous nature of the article and most of the [anonymous] comments. Why don't people want to identify themselves when they come out with such anteldeluvian, socialist rhetoric? Aren't you proud of what you profess to believe in?

nuff sed - I have more uses for my time than thinking further about this with people who decline to reveal who they are.

Anonymous said...

Bill, some people, due to personal reasons or their employment situation, are not comfortable or really able to use their real names .

I'm sorry if you consider that a valid reason to dismiss their thoughts on any particular matter but, as you obviously do feel that way, there's no point in disussing this any further.

It's a pity that your 'Libertarian' philosophy doesn't extend to the right of another to express an opinion.

To quote, 'Nuff sed' ( which would have both my English Teacher and my Mother turning in their graves. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't want to get too caught up in the argument about whether or not Moray Firth School should pay. But I am pleased to see the issue of Nairn Academy has surfaced. And I hope people continue to keep a close watch on developments at the school. As a parent of pupils I can say Highland Council haven't even scratched the surface of the problems that are self evident just walking through this building. The new science block and the accommodation it will release are positive steps. But in the existing school children see leaks in the ceilings when it rains, they get cold in the winter, hot in the summer and generally have a totally sub-standard learning environment. And it must not be forgotten they have ONLY between four and six years endeavouring to get a satisfactory education there. The teaching staff could be stuck there for most of their careers. As for anonymity Bill, Spurtle is right. Many people cannot identify themselves for a variety of reasons. And you are not exactly giving away your identity. Hence I'll sign off with another pseudonym for you to ponder over! The Bagnet.

growtosow said...

your quite right spurtle we can all have our say be it right or wrong freedom of speech. and your comments i share. we should
all take a bit more notice of whats going on in our town thanks to the gurn he is looking.
william fraser milne

Nairn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nairn said...

I have often viewed the occasional comment you have made on the Gurn with interest.
True, we haven’t always seen eye to eye, which has sometimes led to disagreement (Homecoming?), but when debate happens I see it as a positive.
I do however find your recent comments on this particular Gurn topic as quite extraordinary, with what I can only describe as paranoia that someone was perhaps making a negative comment toward private education.

No matter what our views on private/state schools I’m sure we would all like our young people to collectively enjoy the best education possible, comments have highlighted the current shortfalls around our own Nairn Academy which is a great shame.

With Highland Council currently being cash strapped it seems fair to ask if what in effect is advertising is being paid for (Library window).

I was sorry to read that you don’t think you can contribute to the Gurn anymore due to you not knowing who people are. I would have thought you might have been a bit more web savvy, after all ‘Bill Cameron’ may have a plausible web page and indeed might be a real person, but only you know that. I don’t see that the issue of identity adds or subtracts to any debate or comment but clearly you do, which is a view I respect but I’m not sure as to how you could enforce it. I can only assume that you are in favour of ID cards, which could maybe be used on the web somehow?

I hope you enjoy your time in Spain (If indeed that is where you are going), and good luck with your blog, which like the Gurn has its own unique slant and identity.

AyeRight (My real blog name - honest)