Students at Eton let out a sigh of relief yesterday. They wouldn’t be forced to join the other 94 per cent of kids who don’t attend private school if Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister. Well, as long as their parents can afford to cough up extra fees that is.
Keir Starmer insisted he wasn’t at war with the private education sector, and his plans to end tax breaks for fee-paying schools was simply a common-sense approach to finding the cash to fund extra resources in state schools.
He said “there are very good private schools” which add “a huge amount” to Britain.
It’s another marked shift from Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, who made abolishing private schools by “integrating” all institutions into the state sector part of his plans for government.
Scrapping the tax break would raise some $8bn, Starmer says. But critics fear it is a move which would make private school unaffordable, and push more students into busy state classrooms.