There is now media hysteria around the “seizing” of private school assets, but the policy proposals laid out in the high-profile Labour Against Private Schools (Laps) conference motion seek a phased integration, implemented over longer than the course of one parliamentary term. Transitional policies, such as the removal of charitable tax status, charging VAT on school fees and contextual university admissions, for example, could be adopted in the first term of a Labour government, as popular intermediary demands. Tes reports.
More controversial has been the Laps proposal to redistribute the historic endowments held by some private schools. Eton was founded for the education of poor scholars, using endowments pledged by wealthy benefactors. Eton’s portfolio of investments and properties is worth £438 million today, and there is clearly a moral case that these should be redistributed to their original beneficiaries, rather than being used for the education of a tiny elite.
Given the complex practical and legal challenges this would undeniably entail, this proposal is almost certainly a longer-term policy ambition.
Read more about what this teacher thinks should be done. Should Labour be concentrating on improving state schools first? ‘Our apartheid education system is a burning injustice’
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