Jeremy Corbyn has said seizing independent schools’ properties “is not the immediate issue”, highlighting taxation and removal of charitable status as the most important factors to consider.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Corbyn was asked about whether Labour was moving away from the idea of endowments, investments and properties owned by independent schools being redistributed democratically.
He said: “That is what was put forward in that proposal. What we’re saying at the moment is we want to see a fair taxation system that doesn’t in reality subsidise private education.
“I want to see the best investment in education for every child and that means I think it’s reasonable that those that own private schools should pay tax on them and the charitable status should end.”
I want to see the best investment in education for every child and that means I think it’s reasonable that those that own private schools should pay tax on them and the charitable status should end
He continued: “There is an issue about land ownership, who owns what and where it’s come from but that is not the immediate issue. The immediate issue is the end of charitable status and taxation.”
At Labour’s conference at the weekend, party members committed to dissolving the independent sector if it wins power.
The independent sector spoke out strongly against the motion, with one headteacher calling removing choice in education “absolutely tragic”.