There are a thousand independent school in this country with charitable status. They make a fantastic contribution in providing public benefit as they are legally required to do. But they have some flexibility as to how they do so. Labour have proposed meddling state interference as to how they fufill their charitable obligations.
The Daily Telegraph this morning reports:
David Goodhew, the headmaster of Latymer Upper School in London which has partnerships with 28 primary schools and 12 secondary schools, said: “We believe that mutually designed and meaningful links at a local level have the power to bring the greatest benefit to all our young people, rather than a nationally prescribed, ‘one size fits all’, box-ticking exercise.”
Latymer Upper has nearly a hundred pupils on scholarships. Over the years many children who have managed to pass the (very tough) entrance exam have had a free education there if their parents are on low incomes. Mel Smith was a scholarship boy there and raised a lot of money for others to have the same opportunity. The school should be left to get on with it.
Given the direction Labour is heading I suspect their proposal is just the start. Their 1983 manifesto – which Jeremy Corbyn regards as a splendid document – demanded the abolition of independent schools. It declared a Labour Government would “phase out fee charging; and integrate private schools within the local authority sector where necessary.”