The Scotsman reports that fee-paying schools should have to pay business rates for the first time, according to a major review of the tax which also targets universities and private sports clubs.
A review into the levy commissioned by the Scottish Government has called for an end to the arrangement that sees private schools excused from the levy courtesy of their charitable status.
The Scottish Council of Independent Schools said ending private schools’ exemptions would cost the Scottish taxpayer and have “serious consequences” for staff and the 30,000 pupils taught in the sector.
Parents of privately educated children were warned that they could face fee increases if the government adopts the recommendations.
A 135-page document prepared by Mr Barclay said the schools measures would bring in £5 million a year. Education insiders said around 60 fee-paying schools would be affected. The amount they would have to pay will vary, but large secondary schools with a lot of property could be looking at a bill of up to £500,000 a year.
Yesterday John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, said: “The findings of the Barclay Review run completely contrary to the charity test the Scottish Parliament required all schools to undertake; would put Scottish education at a competitive disadvantage in the UK and globally; would substantially impact the work schools can do on offering bursaries and other community provision; and would set independent schools aside from all other charities – for no sound legal, political, educational or economic reason.
“Most of all, for a rates review, they would most likely cost the Scottish taxpayer and Government more than they seek to raise.”
Can you see this happening in England? Should this happen in England? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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