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JK Educate Factsheet: Private School Taxation Plans and Special Educational Needs

This factsheet provides an overview of Labour’s proposed taxation changes for private schools in the UK, including the implications for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision, potential impacts on private and state schools, and political responses to these plans.

Exemption for SEND Children:

Labour plans to exempt children with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) from new private school tax changes if they are placed in fee-paying schools due to insufficient state provision.

Private Schools in the UK:

The UK has approximately 2,500 private schools, educating around 7% of all pupils.
Average annual fees are about £15,000, with some prestigious schools charging around £50,000. Many private schools benefit from VAT exemption and business rate relief due to their charitable status.

Labour’s Tax Proposal:

Labour intends to remove the VAT exemption and business rate relief from private schools, aiming to raise about £1.6bn annually. This policy could increase state school spending by up to £1.5bn.

Impact on Fees and Attendance:

  • Private school VAT rates may be around 15%, not the standard 20%, due to the ability to reclaim VAT on purchases.
  • Attendance may decrease by 3% to 7%, affecting 20,000 to 40,000 pupils.
  • Smaller private schools might face closure, and bursaries could be reduced.

State School Implications:

Labour claims the policy will not increase class sizes, referencing a projected decline in overall pupil numbers. Teaching unions highlight existing pressures in state schools.

Political Responses:

  • Conservatives and Reform UK oppose the tax changes, emphasising parental choice and potential strain on state schools.
  • The Green Party supports removing private schools’ charitable status.

For further information on navigating the proposed changes and how this may affect your child, contact Katie Krais –

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