Schools are ‘perfectly entitled’ to engage with MPs over Labour tax proposals
The Labour Party has been talking about putting VAT on fees for private schools. They plan to use the extra money this would raise (around £1.7 billion) to hire more than 6,500 new teachers and make sure every child can see a counsellor for mental health issues at school.
They also want to improve state schools so more parents might choose them over private schools.
The Independent Schools Council (ISC) aren’t happy about this. They worry that adding VAT would make private school fees much more expensive for parents.
If parents can’t or won’t pay the higher fees, smaller private schools might lose a lot of students.
While larger private schools might be able to cope with this change, smaller ones could struggle.
The ISC has said that Labour’s education spokesperson, Bridget Phillipson, doesn’t fully understand or value what private schools do.
They think she should recognise the good things private schools offer, like high standards of education and saving money for the local state education system.
In response, the ISC has started a campaign against Labour’s plans. They’ve written letters to Labour politicians, telling them how this policy could hurt families in their areas. They’ve also given schools a template that could be shared with parents to criticise the proposal.
However, Labour has said that schools need to be careful about this. Because many private schools are charities, they’re not supposed to get involved in politics.
If they do, they might get in trouble with the Charity Commission, the group that oversees charities.
If the proposal ever comes into force, smaller private schools might need to come up with new ways to raise money or offer scholarships to counter the financial impact and keep providing quality education.
Whatever happens in the future regarding this proposal, our main focus is on making sure your finances are in order so you can continue to offer a great education to your students.
Contact Haslers for advice.