Labor wants to force vote to end tax breaks for private schools

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Labor will seek to force a binding vote to end tax exemptions for private schools, and use the £1.7bn per year from that to drive new teacher recruitment.

Keir Starmer’s party’s motion for Wednesday’s opposition day debate is drafted to challenge the charity status scheme that many private schools enjoy being investigated as the party seeks to shift its political focus to education.

It came as the party released new statistics highlighting the status of teaching staff, and the Labor Force analysis of official figures from the Ministry of Education revealed that 36,262 teachers left the profession in 2020/21, compared to 34,394 new entrants in initial teacher education. , left a deficit of 1,868.

The Labor party’s motion aims to create a new House of Commons select committee on the fair taxation of schools and education standards to explore reforming the tax benefits enjoyed by private schools and investing the proceeds in a new national excellence program.

Bridget Phillipson, shadow education secretary, said the party will invest the money raised from tax breaks to hire 6,500 additional teachers and will “reduce workloads and raise standards in all our public schools through our national excellence program.”

After 13 years of Conservative economic mismanagement that resulted in the Conservatives crashing the economy last year, Labor recognizes that tough choices must be made to protect the public finances – but the choice lawmakers face today is easy.

“Conservative lawmakers can either vote for an excellent state education for every child, or they can vote against the interests of parents in this country who want better for their children, especially in areas where their party is committed to ‘leveling up’.”

Labor will hope the resolution will force lawmakers to reject an issue rather than ignore the government’s process. A Labor source previously said: “Conservative lawmakers who voted against our proposal are voting against setting higher standards in public schools for the majority of children in our country.”

A government spokesman said the number of teachers working 24,000 more in public schools than in 2010 “continues to be high”, with scholarships and increased bonuses helping to attract new entrants to subjects such as math, science and computing.

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