Independent schools drop charitable status following ‘cranked-up’ government threats

The change follows government proposals to force schools with charitable status to work more with the state sector, which one independent school headteacher equated to “a gun pointing to our heads”Tes reports 

Many independent schools were already thought to be unhappy with the requirements placed on them by having charitable status, which provides certain tax breaks.

Now it has emerged that nine schools have changed their legal status from charitable to non-charitable in the past year.

Bernard Trafford, interim head of the Purcell School, in Hertfordshire, and a former headmaster of the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, said “There’s this huge pressure on independent schools to prove public benefit…The political rhetoric has got so cranked up now that people might just say, ‘We’re going to spend our lives proving we’re doing good stuff,'” he said.

“Already what we’re putting in annual reports is pretty over-the-top really – proving and proving and proving that we’re good neighbours.”

The ISC report also reveals that private school fees have risen by more than the rate of inflation, with families now paying out more than £5,700 a term on average. 

Julie Robinson, ISC general secretary, said: “It is important to remember that these families save the government money by not taking up state school places.

Read more Independent schools drop charitable status following ‘cranked-up’ government threats

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