Private schools to lose £700m tax breaks if they fail to help state schools
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has warned private schools that they risk losing their £700m tax relief subsidy unless they do more to help underprivileged state-funded schools.
The Labour minister accused private educators of doing very little to earn the gift, adding that they caused a “corrosive divide of privilege” in Britain’s communities.
He said: “The next government will say to them: step up and play your part. Earn your keep. Because the time you could expect something for nothing is over.”
According to the minister, they would need to run joint extra-curricular activities with state institutions so students and teachers could learn from one another.
Though they are given charity status which shields them from vast tax payments, many private schools are providing mere token benefits to the community, such as allowing the occasional use of a football field or entrance to an art exhibition.
Hunt has urged private schools to share expertise with state institutions to help get British students into the best colleges and universities. He said: “The division between state and private education corrodes our society, stifles opportunity and, by wasting talent, inflicts damage upon our economy.”
The Labour party has been seeking legal advice over the move, which would empower ministers to strip a school of business rate relief, without challenging its charity status.