Evil Knievil: Scholarly endeavour

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Evil Knievil: Scholarly endeavour
Master Investor Magazine

Master Investor Magazine 54

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Today’s Daily Mail runs an article on private tuition, remarking that parents are paying very considerable sums for private tuition above and beyond what they are already paying for private schools. This is a subject of central interest to my family since my elder daughter, Lucy, established twenty years ago Osborne Cawkwell. This is a very successful tuition business.

I am well aware that some tutoring firms charge outrageous fees to parents who imagine that by paying vastly beyond market rates their children will somehow benefit. But this is merely grasping opportunism and nothing to do with the underlying business in hand.

Tutoring is different to teaching where the interaction between the teacher of a form and the pupils is quite different. I think my family is pretty good at tutoring. (I also think that it is not bad at teaching, either. Here my family is grateful to the idiot at teacher training college who advised Lucy that she should not be a teacher. She therefore left to make a living as a tutor and this morphed into Osborne Cawkwell. I think the idiot may have reckoned that Lucy would not fit into the Blair project. He was right there.)

Have we reached peak private tuition? Hardly. Mr Gove proposes VAT on school and, I presume, schooling fees whilst Corbyn wants to close private schools altogether. The economics of these barmy proposals have yet to be properly considered. But there is no chance of their coming to reality since society cannot afford them. Nor should society: it would indeed be barmy to put up barriers to education.

*****

There is an administrative delay to the completion of a disposal in Canada by Watchstone (LON:WTG). But it makes no difference. They remain a buy.

*****

Finally, I still do not understand why Bernard Shapero is not on the board of Scholium (LON:SCHO). After all he is the driving force behind their rare books business. I have asked the company but have yet to receive a reply.

That said, this morning’s results statement is very encouraging. TNAV is 73p as against an offer price of 42p. I grant you that there is not much stock around. But an investor who is prepared to wait should achieve a very good return.

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