Row over private school fee and holiday cost comparisons

  • 4th August 2023

Schools minister Nick Gibb

The Labour Party has used a written parliamentary question to ask education secretary Gillian Keegan to provide evidence for her claim in the House of Commons that “many” private schools “cost the same as a family holiday abroad”, Yahoo has reported.

Schools minister Nick Gibb, replying to shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson, said: “Many private schools are attended by middle-income families who make financial choices to do so. The Independent Schools Council has confirmed there are around 50 private schools that charge £1,500 or less per term. Research from the travel company Expedia suggests that families spend an average of £4,800 on family holidays each year.”

However, with 2,408 independent schools in England, 50 schools represent around 2% of the total.

Shadow schools minister Stephen Morgan told the PA news agency: “The Conservatives’ cost-of-living crisis is pushing families to the brink, yet ministers would rather argue over the costs of a holiday. They have no clue about the reality of families’ lives.

“Labour will choose to improve opportunities for all our children in all our schools, delivering thousands of new, expert teachers and mental health support in every school, funded by ending private schools’ unjustified tax breaks.”

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