CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Education chief calls for private schools to pay tax

But she has a cagey response to questions about abolishing them

17 October, 2019 — By Richard Osley

CAMDEN’S education chief has called for private schools to lose their tax breaks.

Labour councillor Angela Mason had been challenged by the Conservatives over whether the council would be prepared if private schools were abolished, a new policy raised at last month’s Labour Party conference in Brighton.

Cllr Mason did not comment directly on abolition, but said: “I made some enquiries about the business rates that our private schools are not paying. All our state schools, all our maintained schools have to pay business rates. In Camden, private schools benefit to the tune of about £2.5million. I think that’s completely unjustified and that should be addressed.”

Maria Higson

She had been questioned by Tory councillor Maria Higson, who said she had been researching how much it would cost for the public sector to cater for children currently in private schools in the borough.

“There are over 9,000 private students here in Camden,” said. “I have run, at a very high level, the numbers using the Department for Education figures as to how much that would cost – should all of those students be brought into the state. And based on my estimation,, that would be over £60million pounds per annum.”

Cllr Higson also said she was concerned by Labour’s conference announcement that it would scrap Ofsted, which she described as providing “quality assurance” for parents.

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