Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

The Left and Private Schools - Time to Get Real


 Given I have not seen any coherent argument in the Media spelling out the true facts aimed At any members of the public who have been taken in by this ill thought through proposed policy of taxing private schools. It's time for a simple statement of the obvious to be circulated to as many people as possible.

The notion Labour is trying to sell is that it is only the very rich who send their children to private schools and therefore they should pay more. It makes no allowance for middle class and even some working class parents who are prepared to make big sacrifices in their standard of living to get the best education for their children.

In my own case my wife and I decided for junior school to send our son to a private school as the smaller class sizes and a lot of personal attention would (and did) benefit him. This decision was readily made as our research showed that the chosen school would concentrate on the three R's. and other key subjects without any political input of any kind from the teaching staff (a benefit realised in recent years), plus the allocated local state school was overcrowded.

We, like many other people, made many sacrifices to be able to afford this. Our decision! with no regrets but if the fees had been increased by taxation we and many others with a finally balanced income/budgets would simply not be able to afford it.

It isn't only 'toffs' and the 'Nouveau Riche' who decide on private education for their children (ask Dianne Abbott), of course it would be wonderful if one could guarantee the same quality of education in all state schools (with no risk of political indoctrination from the teachers) that one can get when you go private– sadly this is not and will never be the case.

It's true many state schools do a very good job but with the long standing UK education system schools are generally allocated by postcode on a "take it or leave it" basis and if you want to "leave it" then the only option apart from home schooling is put your hand in your own pocket – it's called freedom of choice.

Sadly many people can never afford private education even with personal sacrifices, I understand that, but the people who pay for private education have already contributed to their neighbours children's education via their personal taxation. Plus, by approx. 600,000 going the private route, it takes big pressure off the state system.

How does taxing the cost of private education - which will force many people into sending their children into State schools against their will (and put some private schools out of business) help the current problem of oversized class numbers and the other pressures on the state system?

The extra money raised via tax will be a drop in the ocean compared with the money needed to genuinely raise standards which in many instances are well below the required level already.

For me It will simply make matters worse due to a large shortfall of money and deprive some children the extra boost and attention they need. The real sick joke in all this is that if people want to make the decision to use private education it should be well noted that they have already paid their contribution towards state education via their personal taxes. By paying out of their own pocket to go privately they are helping to relieve the pressure on the state system.

There is no refund on the tax they pay into the system for state education and they get nothing back – this fact needs to be explained to the private education critics. Another self-defeating un-costed Labour policy not thought through – the politics of envy springs to mind.

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Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
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