TFN poll: should private schools be stripped of charity status?

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30th October 2014 by Graham Martin 4 Comments

Should private schools be stripped of charity status?

Poll results (total votes: 204)

Should private schools be stripped of charity status?
Answer:
Yes
Votes:
109
Ratio:
53.43%
Answer:
No
Votes:
95
Ratio:
46.57%

Holyrood has agreed to gather evidence on whether private schools should have their charitable status removed.

A meeting of the Scottish Parliament's public petitions committee heard claims that the current system, which allows fee--paying schools to reciieve an 80% discount on non-domestic rates, is "unjust".

Campaigner Ashley Husband Powton told MSPs: "This charitable status means that all tax payers, including the poorest, are subsidising the rich and privileged to privately educate their children."

However, Tory MP Jackson Carlaw defended the system, saying it takes 33,000 pupils out of state education and thereby represents a saving to the public purse.

 Holyrood has called for evidence to be given on the subject by the charity regulator and council leaders.

What do you think? Jon the debate by taking part in our poll.

Comments

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30th October 2014 by P Baird

Public (private) schools provide a high level of eduction and pupils attending do not place a financial burden on state schools.

30th October 2014 by SCIS

Anyone interested in the reality of this issue, and the actual work done over the last 8 years on widening access, might want to take a look at this: http://www.scis.org.uk/assets/Uploads/Public-Affairs/scis-press-releases/SCIS-initial-response-to-PE01531-Remove-Charitable-Status-from-Private-Schools2.pdf

31st October 2014 by Tom Bain

charity relief for private schools is a national scandal. People have the right to private education if they wish, and local authorities might wNt to provide support - but they are not charities.

3rd November 2014 by MK

Private schools do NOT meet the charitable test. They should either have charitable status removed or else they should meet the charitable test by making available a number of free places where the beneficiaries are selected via an open, transparent system designed to allow smart kids from deprived areas free place at school. It should not be for the private school to decide how to offer discounts or free places - it should be a national system, with strict eligibility criteria.