Fee-paying elite IN 'FREE' TALKS
PRIVATE schools are considering entering the free education scheme as parents struggle to pay large amounts for their children's school.
Some 12 of 55 schools have opened discussions with the Department of Education about changing their status.
New figures show that the number of pupils enrolling in private schools has dropped steadily since the economic downturn.
There is also anecdotal evidence that some parents are not paying fees, particularly for sixth years, in the expectation the school will not throw the child out at that stage.
The schools are also under pressure to reduce the number of teachers.