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So that's how they do it!


New research from economists at the London School of Economics has highlighted one measurable way in which state schools lose a valuable resource, namely publicly-trained teachers, to private schools, the dishonestly named 'public schools'.

In their study, "Competition for Private and State School Teachers", the LSE economists show that private schools educate just over 7 per cent of pupils in England, yet employ 14 per cent of teachers. The apparent mismatch is due to the private schools' much smaller class sizes. The pupil-teacher ratio is 18:1 in state schools, 9:1 in private schools.

The private schools have also particularly recruited better-qualified and more experienced teachers, as well as those in shortage subjects like maths and science. So 45.2 per cent of male state school teachers, and 55.6 per cent of male private school teachers, have a higher degree. There is a similar gap when comparing teachers with higher degrees in sciences, maths and engineering. The gap among female teachers is also evident, although less marked.

In 2006, private schools recruited 1,125 teachers straight out of universities and training colleges. They also recruited a net 1,400 experienced teachers from state schools: a "significant loss" on the state's investment in teacher training and a "substantial bonus" for the private schools.