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School fees grab in Labour manifesto could ‘force 135,000 pupils into the state sector’

School fees grab in Labour manifesto could ‘force 135,000 pupils into the state sector’, analysts warn

  • Labour confirmed it would saddle fee-paying parents with punitive taxes
  • The shake-up could add 20 per cent to the cost of educating a child privately
  • Party admits move could affect 30,000 pupils – but analysis suggests it could be up to 135,000 

More than 135,000 pupils could be forced into the state sector by Labour plans to impose VAT on private school fees, analysis suggests.

Labour confirmed it would saddle fee-paying parents with punitive taxes – and suggests private schools could be abolished. 

The party admitted 30,000 pupils could be affected by the move – but an independent analysis concluded the real figure could be more than 20 per cent of pupils into the state sector – which amounts to about 135,000. 

The move on VAT could add 20 per cent to the cost of educating a child privately, meaning average termly fees of £4,600 for day pupils would potentially rise by around £900. Documents show the party expects five per cent of all independent pupils to switch to state education due to sky-high fees – the equivalent of around 31,500 children.

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn gestures at the launch of the party manifesto in Birmingham, yesterday. More than 30,000 pupils would be forced into the state sector by Labour plans to impose VAT on private school fees, the party admitted yesterday

Forcing tens of thousands of fee-paying families into the state sector will create even more pressure on stretched schools, with the taxpayer left to foot the bill.

The party also committed to seeking advice on integrating private schools into the state – potentially paving the road to their abolition and seizure of their assets.

But the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents top private schools such as Eton, said Labour had underestimated the impact of their policies. 

Exterior Facade of Historic Eton College, a Boarding School for Boys, in Berkshire on June 11, 2015. But the Headmasters¿ and Headmistresses¿ Conference (HMC), which represents top private schools such as Eton, said Labour had underestimated the impact of their policies

Exterior Facade of Historic Eton College, a Boarding School for Boys, in Berkshire on June 11, 2015. But the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents top private schools such as Eton, said Labour had underestimated the impact of their policies

Analysis by consultants Baines Cutler found putting VAT on fees would force more than 20 per cent of pupils into the state sector – about 135,000.

They said this would cost the taxpayer at least £416million in the fifth year through funding extra places in state schools.

Mike Buchanan, HMC executive director, said: ‘Any further tax is putting politics before pupils and will have serious unforeseen consequences. It will hurt hard-working parents and drive up class sizes.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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