Specific survey of private schools

Most price survey data used for the calculation of A64 parities is obtained from the European Comparison Programme. However, a specific approach is adopted for the calculation of education parities. This is because education is long acknowledged to be a comparison-resistant component due to the different systems adopted by Member States for organising and delivering this service to consumers. Possible scenarios include:

  • Full payment by consumer household.
  • Part payment by consumer household with balance paid by government, non-profit institution or employer.
  • Full payment by government, non-profit institution or employer.

Consequently, a three-pronged solution is employed.

  1. Cost per pupil data is compiled for European Schools, in those places where such a school exists.
  2. Cost per pupil data for national non fee-paying schools is supplied by the European Comparison Programme, who obtain cost data from the regular joint collection of education information by UNESCO/OECD/Eurostat and adjust that data for quality differences by applying a conversion factor established using regular PISA survey of education outcomes.
  3. Price per pupil data is compiled for fee-paying schools by a direct survey of internet websites. This data is stratified to distinguish Anglophone international schools (eg. COBIS, IB, American); other international schools (eg. French AEFE, German ZfA); local private schools.

For each of these datasets (1, 2, 3a, 3b, 3c) the cost or price information is then expressed relative to Brussels. Finally, a weighted average of these ratios is calculated using data on pupil numbers obtained from internal Commission services (who maintain records about the education choices of international officials).

Other things being equal, the survey of fee-paying schools is organised at three-yearly intervals.