Labour pledges to close private school 'tax loopholes'

Angela Rayner

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“Tax loopholes” that benefit private schools would be scrapped by a Labour government in its first budget, the shadow education secretary has said.

Angela Rayner told the Labour Party conference that the money saved would “improve the lives of all children”.

Members voted to back the move, saying the party will commit to integrate private schools into the state sector.

This includes the withdrawal of charitable status, other public subsidies and tax privileges.

It comes as Labour also unveiled a plan to scrap Ofsted and replace it with a new school inspection system.

Speaking at the party’s conference in Brighton, Ms Rayner said she will task the Social Mobility Commission – which the party would rename the Social Justice Commission – with “integrating private schools”.

“We will set that commission to making the whole education system fairer through the integration of private schools,” she said.

“Myself and John McDonnell will set out further steps the Labour government will take, but I can say today that our very first budget will immediately close the tax loopholes used by elite private schools and use that money to improve the lives of all children.”

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The motion, backed by Labour members, also said the party would commit to ensure universities admit the same proportion of private school students as in the wider population.

Endowments, investments and properties held by private schools would be redistributed democratically and fairly across the country’s educational institutions, the motion said.

Proposing the motion at the party’s conference, Ryan Quick said the education system must offer fair opportunities for all and not reward a privileged few based on their parents’ wealth.

The “old boys’ network” originating in private schools was holding the country back, he said, and the media was failing to challenge the “false consensus” on the issue.

He called for the “wonderful resources” that private schools had at their disposal – including historic endowments originally intended to help the poor – to be made available to all.

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