Private schools will increase fees under Labour’s tax raid

  • 25th March 2024

95% of independent school leaders expect to increase fees as a result of Labour’s tax plans, according to research carried out Censuswide for The Telegraph.

Of those saying they would increase fees, 76% said they would have to rise by more than 10% and almost three-quarters feared being forced to close in the next five years should Labour’s plans be enacted.

The Independent Schools Council’s chief executive Julie Robinson said: “We know a lot of heads are worried about the effect a tax on education would have on schools, families and communities. In particular, we would really welcome the chance to talk to Labour about our concerns around the impact their policy would have on SEND support, faith education, military families and care-experienced children.”

David Woodgate, chief executive of the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association, added: “schools can’t budget based on headlines”, and repeated his call for Labour to provide details about its intentions.

In s comment piece The Telegraph stated: “This [Labour’s plan] is a vindictive, class-warfare policy whose only outcome will be to shut down good schools, put some of our best institutions far beyond the reach of all but the wealthy, wreck the partnerships that have built up between the independent and state sector and ultimately be to the detriment of the country.”

Writing in The Telegraph, former home secretary Suella Braverman said Labour’s VAT policy will affect working families and vulnerable children with SEND and make many small independent faith schools “unviable”, forcing up to 370,000 pupils into the state sector.

Aatif Hassan, founder and chairman of Dukes Education, said Labour’s VAT policy is “lazy politics” that will drive inequality within education, adding he is “frustrated, disappointed with the whole narrative around VAT and school fees”, and concerned about children with special educational needs who do not have an Education Health and Care Plan, who would not be exempt from the VAT levy.

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