A question came up in the being British thread which raised the question of whether Hogwarts is a private, or fee-paying school. As that thread wasn't the most appropriate place I thought I would start a thread here because I was curious to see others' opinions. (I did a search first and couldn't find anything so apologies if this has been discussed greatly.
So, reasons I can see for it being private:
The Weasleys have made references to not being able to afford Hogwarts, however this could just be related to uniform/books/equipment for seven children for seven years each.
Hogwarts seems to have long holidays; in Muggle England, only private schools have holidays that long - the idea of a school finishing for the summer in June and not going back until September as seems to happen at Hogwarts is not typical. BUT, maybe the magical world and Muggle are different and have different systems. Someone else pointed out that Hogwarts does not have half terms which would add a few weeks to their holidays.
It is a boarding school and therefore you would suppose that to get to food and board for a year, you would be expected to pay.
It never explicitly says that you have to pay - Harry is an orphan and the Dursleys never seem to have been approached about fees, though they could have been coming out of his account without us knowing, at his parents' request.
It is the only wizarding school in Britain and therefore you would think it would not be too difficult for the Ministry to fund it.
It also seems to limit who Hogwarts education is available to, however in the books the impression is given that anyone who wants to (and is magical) is able to receive education at Hogwarts. Also, it would be difficult for them to have made Hogwarts compulsory in DH if you had to pay.
Also, how would Riddle, an orphan have gone to Hogwarts - dumbledore says there is a fund to buy books but nothing about fees.
On balance I think that it would not be private, mainly for the third reason I listed in reasons against because making people pay to get a magical education would seem to go against everything Hogwarts stood for.
So, what are other people's thoughts