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Threat of Labour government's proposal

Discussion in 'Independent' started by cliffbooth, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. cliffbooth

    cliffbooth New commenter

    Hello everyone,
    I am relatively new to this sector and have been struck by recent articles/ discussion of Labour government's plan to effectively 'abolish' private education.
    I must admit this has caused some anxiety and led me to question whether I made the right decision in leaving state education during such a tumultuous and divisive time in Britain.
    What are people's views on this? A genuine threat? Or, as experienced private educators are you used to this talk of overhaul and 'leveling the playing field'.
    thekillers1 likes this.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    There have been Labour governments in the past and they did not scrap or abolish private schools. It seems unlikely that the next one will do this, if and when it arrives.

    The real question is not whether you have made a wise or foolish decision to move into private education, but rather whether it is sensible to stay in education in the UK. Teachers' salaries are falling further and further behind, house prices keep spiraling ever higher and now the TPS is nowhere near as good as it used to be.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Labour would also like to abolish grammar schools, free schools and academies and have everything back to LA control. However it isn't going to happen. It would take longer than one term of government to achieve and they'd get voted out before they could do it.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Labour have been threatening this since the Dark Ages. They have tried and failed, and if they form a government I think they will be far too busy with other things anyway. In the meantime the independent sector would be hard at work finding ways to block any such attempt. I reckon you have no need to worry.
  5. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Would be politically difficult, given they would need to address other parental rights to choose education in the process.

    For example, It would be difficult legally to challenge a parent's right to choose independent schools over home education.

    It would be difficult legally to challenge the right to set up an independent school as opposed to a free school, faith sponsored school.

    What about independent specialist schools for SEN, would they be included?

    It would be difficult legally to challenge the charitable status of a education provision and yet maintain the charitable status of many other organisations which are also education focused.

    In short, I can't see any government which may have only 5 years, or 10 at best, that would have anything like the time to try and force this through, or even have the political will to really force it through.

    Politically it is probably better to keep it as a whipping pole anyway.
  6. MrLW1

    MrLW1 New commenter

    For the indie sector I'd be more concerned right now about the changes to the teachers' pension scheme (under this government) and the fact that a not insignificant number of private schools are considering or are planning to withdraw from the scheme.

    It's not going to have a positive impact if they do leave (on recruitment and retention of staff) or if they decide decide to stay in (huge increase in pension contribution costs).
    thekillers1 and annascience2012 like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    As it is now September, a fair number of teachers are no longer part of the TPS because their school has already withdrawn.
    At least 500 from the group of schools I work for and there are certainly many others.
  8. MrLW1

    MrLW1 New commenter

    It might not bother some people but it would probably put me off as an applicant to some extent.
  9. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    It certainly makes it far less likely that I would consider moving to an independent school unless there was a significant salary increase so that I could make up the difference.

    That being said, at 55 the situation would change. However, I expect it would put a lot of middle aged teachers with families off applying for jobs in the sector, as they tend to be thinking a lot more about such things.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A fair few staff are looking to move schools for this reason.
  11. MrLW1

    MrLW1 New commenter

    I've become aware of some of the schools who are pulling out and I've been rather surprised given they are well-established and well-regarded. I guess the idea of just putting up fees significantly just won't be a long term option.

    I think it'll make it more difficult to decide whether to even put in an application for a post in an indie school, without knowing in advance whether they are still in the TPS and have no plans to pull out. I wonder if it would look back if a potential applicant contacted a school to enquire about this pre-application?
  12. MrLW1

    MrLW1 New commenter

    correction - *would look bad*
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Yes, it probably would.
    However in independents it is normal to negotiate terms and conditions, including salary, before accepting the post formally. Therefore then would be the time to find out and pull out if you wished.
  14. davidmu

    davidmu Occasional commenter

    One has every right to ask about pension arrangements. Every employer must provide pension provision and any employee needs to know exactly what is on offer. Any school that thinks it is bad practice to ask is a DUMP.
  15. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter

    Don't worry, Labour are going to get trounced at the next election anyway. So don't worry about it, they can be bold with their policies if they like!
  16. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Personally I heartily approve of the abolition of Free schools and academies and the recreation of the LEA. As for Grammar schools - they're ok, but what about the Secondary Moderns they inevitably create? At a rate of 3 Secondary Moderns to 1 grammar school no less.

    As for the independent sector, abolishing it would be hard - and in my view unnecessary and counter-productive.
  17. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Logically (not that there is much logic around in Westminster at the moment) you'd also have to ban private tuition - reports today suggesting 25% of children get some tuition - and also stop people buying houses in attractive catchment areas, presumably bussing children to even up catchments.
    And if parents aren't to be allowed to buy education for their children - stretching a point here - parents should only be allowed to give their children the books supplied by the State?
  18. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Like others have said to actually come into power and stop all Private Schools seems extremely unlikely. Most of the politicians in the Party probably went to a Private School.

    It's the same as when Private Schools were attacked for offering the IGCSE recently- not their fault that Gove and his chums decided to force a weak disadvantaged student to sit a 6 hour English GCSE closed book and banish any engaging literature for their level and age and replace it with Victorian University texts.

    Basically State Schools are in tatters due to a lack of Government funding and a ridiculous accountability system so Private Schools are getting the blame now.
    tonbridge87 and annascience2012 like this.
  19. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    Banning independent schools is only going to make the funding and places crisis in state schools worse! I think it's a strange idea as a lot of teachers tend to be lefty why would you want to annoy a core group of voters. Who is this actually going to attract to the Labour party? It is just utterly bazaar to say there is a problem with some independent school educating some child too well! It's like saying the food is really tasty at some restaurant let's ban them! Bring policy suggestions that are going to improve the schools in your remit and don't worry about what the rest are doing.
    EBC likes this.
  20. EBC

    EBC Occasional commenter

    Scrap private this, scrap private that.... Yes let's just all add more pressure on the state!

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