Raid on private schools may impact art facilities in state schools
Labour’s planned tax raid on private schools could mean state-educated children lose access to art facilities
- Three quarters of private schools share art facilities to others in the community
- But Labour’s proposal may mean that some schools close their facilities
Labour’s planned private school tax raid may see state-educated pupils losing access to vital sports grounds and arts spaces.
Three quarters of fee-paying schools open their state-of-the art facilities to the wider community. This is because public schools can register as charities in return for acts that benefit communities.
But there are fears Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s proposal to add 20 per cent VAT to school fees could lead some schools to close and others to decide it no longer makes financial sense to operate as a charity.
Julie Robinson, CEO of the Independent Schools Council, said: ‘If some independent schools close – which is a possibility – as a result of Labour’s tax on parents, that will inevitably impact state pupils who use sports, arts and other facilities at those schools.
‘We are particularly concerned about the effect Labour’s tax on parents would have on children in smaller schools, in faith schools, children on bursaries, and pupils with special educational needs – as well as on the community initiatives that are core to the work of so many of our schools.
Labour’s planned private school tax raid may see state-educated pupils losing access to vital sports grounds and arts spaces
‘Schools will do all they can to try to absorb the pain this extra tax would cause and will not want to reduce any work they are currently doing.
‘But it is not reasonable to expect any school to reduce its running costs by a fifth.
‘It would be a real shame if Labour’s tax on children’s education led to a decrease in the valuable education partnerships that are at the heart of many communities and that benefit children throughout the local area.’
Labour’s plan has sparked outrage from Tory MPs who believe it will prevent parents from sending their children to schools which charge tens of thousands of pounds a year to educate them.
The Opposition was accused of ‘flip-flopping’ after it rowed back on a previous proposal to also strip private schools of their charitable status.
Ms Robinson said: ‘Instead of putting a punitive tax on children’s education, we’re asking Labour to work with us to build on the great work already being done in the sector to level up and deliver our shared goal of a great education for every child.’
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