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Implications of Labour’s new education policy?

In the event of Labour "integrating" private schools into state sector, what would the impact be?

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It’s conference season and with some of the accountancy bodies joining the circuit I’ll join ACCA and CIOT at some fringe Labour conference events in Brighton. Before heading off I was wondering what members thought of Labour’s new policy to to “integrate” private schools into the state sector.

The plan would abolish charitable status and all other public subsidies and tax privileges for private schools, with their land and other assets redistributed across the country’s educational institutions.

The loss of charitable status and asset redistribution would pose a lot of challenges for the sector – and accountants working within it. However, it might also see an expansion of the academy sector, where the private schools become part of the official system, but operating independently as academies. This has been a huge growth sector for accountants over the past few years. Do any members who work in the sector have deeper insights and suggestions about the likely impacts this policy might have?

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By Fruit Pastille
23rd Sep 2019 12:02

It will never happen because the current Marxist Labour Party will never be elected. If you want to know the future of private education you need to ask Boris what he plans after Brexit on 31 October.

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By Justin Bryant
23rd Sep 2019 12:24

I wouldn't worry about it at all, as that would probably be the least of everyone's concerns if Corbyn was PM.

A bit like how you don't worry about the stewardess bringing you the wrong drink immediately after the captain tells you to brace for a crash landing.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By Alex_T
23rd Sep 2019 12:22

I couldn't agree more @justinbryant. That is a terrifying prospect.

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Replying to Alex_T:
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By Fruit Pastille
23rd Sep 2019 13:12

Agreed, I'd hate my final drink to be something awful like whisky when I only drink brandy.

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Replying to Fruit Pastille:
By Ruddles
24th Sep 2019 13:29

Brandy and magic mushrooms is a fairly dangerous combination. Explains a lot, though.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
23rd Sep 2019 13:32

Strange sense of deja vu here- the 1970s saw Labour playing with the direct grant schools which resulted in the school I attended (John Watson's School- JWS) closing and my education being severely disrupted.

My knowledge of organic chemistry is accordingly zero as the school I then went to taught the syllabus in the opposite order so I was never actually taught anything about carbon, oxygen and hydogen ,though back then was really good on sulphates and nitrates having been taught them twice- I somehow passed (poorly)the O Grade on the back of half the curriculum.

Of more significance was going from a co-ed school to an all boys school just as the girls were becoming more interesting- frankly Stewarts Melville was never going to replace its predecessor no matter that its fees were three times as much and it did not have holes in the walls and a boiler that was on its last legs- when I started at JWS in 1965 it was a wreck and by 1975 was beyond the pale- on the plus point we got extra holidays when in totally broke and it was so cold we had to be sent home.

The net result of the above interference in my happy(ish) existence was I could never vote Labour until finally forgiving them in 1997 when the Conservatives had gone beyond the pale (as they currently are- more deja vu)

The likely impact in places like Edinburgh , having a lot of private schools, is the education system would just not cope with the influx of ex private pupils forced into the state sector due to spiraling fee costs. The population of say Edinburgh would still play musical houses based on depth of pockets (as we did moving to our current house to have both children at a good feeder primary for a decent state secondary) to get their children into the better state schools (which I will not list as my other half works in one that does not make the top three/four) and none of it will really make a blind bit of difference to state education outcomes in the round- good state schools will still be good poor ones still poor, usually down to demographics.

Still, will make them feel good, seen to do something etc, easy kneejerk "improvements"

If the Labour Party want to improve education in the UK the place I would start is FE and continuing education, access/use of schools for classes in evenings for those that have left etc.

In addition I would offer more hands on practical training in schools (gardening and horticulture,engineering,automotive,wood and metal work, hairdressing etc- even practical accountancy) with an ability to mix paths /readily meld path by grouping city schools in clusters.

Of course these requires thought, are complex, so instead of dealing with the real problem they knock out a good soundbite cure all that actually cures naught- will they never learn.

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Replying to DJKL:
By Ruddles
23rd Sep 2019 13:32

I have a strange sense of deja vu as well. Fruit Pastille? More like Fruit and Nutcase.

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By Tax Dragon
23rd Sep 2019 13:41

But more lucid and less ranty.

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By SXGuy
23rd Sep 2019 13:55

How about raising the standard of public education before s"[email protected] all over private education?

All Labour will do, is reduce the standard of those schools education so everyone are at a level playing field.

It will do nothing to better the average person.

All in the guise of removing privilege. Once again they haven't got the foggiest.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Sep 2019 14:16

Stepping back to reality of where this story has come from, and what its about. This is very unlikely to be in the manifesto in its current state, its just a fringe group passing a motion.

The long standing motion which will appear however is to remove the tax exempt /charitable status of private schools, although I think all that will do is raise the cost of school fees and mildly dent numbers,
The chances of private schools being banned, assets being seized and redistributed? None what so ever, but it plays well in a pro-tory press.

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By justsotax
23rd Sep 2019 14:35

I wonder how many of our 600+ MP's are privately educated...a true reflection of the success of the system...if Brexit is anything to go by I wish more would be privately educated....(?!)

The trouble with having a privileged up bringing is that it is then a challenge to comprehend the life of the minions you rule over....throw away statements of how we will all have to tighten our belts etc often applies to those on the lowest rungs of the ladder disproportionally.

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Replying to justsotax:
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By paul.benny
23rd Sep 2019 15:05

29% of MPs attended private school, compared with 7% of the population as whole.

That’s success for those who are privately-educated – if you consider being elected to Westminster to be success. Whether that is success for the country as a whole is moot.

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Replying to justsotax:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
23rd Sep 2019 15:25

"often"? - nearly always in my experience.

Still, at least with private education it is not totally the Conservatives, other parties take part. {Spoken here like a true hypocrite who himself attended private schools for 12 years and a state school for 1 year}

As someone who has attended both, the main difference appeared to be " quiet in the classrooms", private schools did not take **** as they had a list of parents who wanted to send their kids there , state schools took all and these days can exclude few. (These days I believe some sit in my wife's office drumming their feet and hopefully cooling down a bit before going in to see the head teacher)

Frankly the quality of teaching in the 1970s was in my experience much the same across both sectors, best physics teacher I had was in my sixth year at a state secondary, best English teacher at my first school (the cheaper private one), the expensive private wins best history teacher and so it goes on- I rate it a draw re actual ability to teach by school type, but where the private schools won was ability to control.

So this really all boils down to broadening state education from just the academic to keep more kids interested and controlled(there will always be some who are not irrespective of what you do), preventing a two track system by keeping them say in one "super group" of schools that offers both practical skills as well as academic ; imho you could learn a fair bit about say electric circuits for school physics with some more applied, hands on, multimeter and test bulb playing about on an old car, in fact I think letting kids loose with vast swathes of Meccano, model railways etc would teach a fair few who do not readily grasp just by reading .

I know we all did experiments at school but they to me were a waste of time in the main, being told how to do the experiment often does not help you learn the underlying physics .

Imho the best way to learn is to make mistakes then work out how to solve your own mistakes, so wire a model railway with live frogs and then work out the sector power supply switching issues etc that are preventing it from working, or create (with a nice dangerous hot soldering iron) a display board using lit LEDS (why do you need a resistor ?) that indicates the train route via the point openings, frankly there are a million and one craft skills that have physics and maths learning opportunities.

(As an example, as a failed engineer (I did two terms of a BSc) I am currently pondering a model rail swivel bridge with geared motor that will only open 90 degrees and the circuit I need to get it to open to 90, stop, then close- and I also want a live DC rail line over the bridge when it is closed; so nice issue with limit switches/contacts etc- whilst I cannot remember much circuit theory (Thevenins/Kirchhoff and the simultaneous equations to resolve same) I can likely knock something up on a test board and problem solve until it works then apply what I learn because I spent my childhood taking things apart (and not always getting them back together)

Do this well and those using private schools will want to send their kids to state schools, especially where an AI future might somewhat dent career prospects for lots of them- practical craft skills may be the way to ensure employability.

(Rant over- subject I have considered a fair bit whilst chatting with my other half in the evenings)

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By Fruit Pastille
24th Sep 2019 11:14

According to financial expert's reports the cost of this policy will be £5 billion extra cost to educate these children in state schools, and, £4 billion in lost tax currently paid by private schools.
A total cost to the taxpayer of £9 billion a year to pay for just this one small part of Labour's "class war".

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By Mr Hobbit
24th Sep 2019 11:52

Surely an election is the only answer given the news this morning. The country is going to hell in a handcart.

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By Fruit Pastille
24th Sep 2019 13:38

When I hear the likes of Dianne Abbot on the news I have to ask, can you actually use the words "education" and "Labour" in the same sentence?

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Replying to Fruit Pastille:
By Duggimon
24th Sep 2019 14:04

How about: "The labour expended on Fruit Pastille's education was unfortunately almost entirely wasted."

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Replying to Fruit Pastille:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
24th Sep 2019 14:17

She has a decent degree from Cambridge, catch is it was history not "sums"

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By Duggimon
24th Sep 2019 14:05

It's a crackpot scheme that doesn't work and is aimed at convincing the 93% of people who didn't go to private school that Labour are the party for them.

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