indicates that a fifth of pupils at independent schools could be withdrawn by parents unable to pay VAT imposed on fees.
In response to the proposals, shadow Education Secretary,
Bridget Philipson, said
: Labour believes that excellence is for everyone, yet Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, claims 14 per cent of Labour MPs were privately educated.
This isnt the first time Labour has proposed plans that would damage the private school sector. Jeremy Corbyns intention to abolish private schools at the last general election in 2019 led to the loss of my vote for the Labour Party. While Labours motion to end tax breaks for private schools was thankfully rejected earlier this year, with MPs voting 303 to 197, the Labour Partys failure to abandon the issue suggests it thinks it has the right to hinder access to educational choice.
This hypocrisy beggars belief. Labour has extensive ties to private schools, including front-bench shadow ministers. Annelise Dodds, John Healey, Louise Haigh, Harriet Harman were educated at private schools, as was Barry Gardiner and Dame Meg Hillier. Lets not forget, Diane Abbott sent her son to a fee-paying school, Baroness Shami Chakrabartis son attended Dulwich College, former leader Jeremy Corbyn attended a private prep school and current leader, Keir Starmer, attended a selective grammar school that later became independent.
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that black children within schools are faced with prejudice, stereotype and bias when it comes to grouping, assessment and discipline.
A damning
report published by the Runnymede Trust
race equality think-tank also found that black children are over-policed and under-protected at school. These new findings suggest a high concentration of safe schools officers at schools with children on free school meals, often with higher numbers of black children.
These findings simply strengthen my belief in the benefits that independent schools offer black and ethnic minority pupils. The
teaching sector is predominantly white
and I feared that my children might be subjected to negative stereotypes, adultification bias, othering or prejudice by attending state schools. Some teachers wrongly assume that black children are lazy and therefore are not pushed to reach their full potential, or stem from broken homes without both parents to support their learning. Whilst private schools arent particularly diverse, I was impressed by recent appointments at my childrens school, which include a black deputy headteacher and additional working-class teachers.
Unless your child attends a grammar or high-performing state school, is academically gifted or pushed to excel, the likelihood that they will underperform in an average state school is a real prospect, considering the impact of prejudice, stereotype and bias on educational attainment. This is coupled with the threat of black children being over-policed, as opposed to pastoral care or access to internal disciplinary systems such as detention or seclusion.
I acknowledge that private schools are unaffordable for many parents, irrelevant of class, background or nationality. However, first-generation
families like mine seldom have inheritance, trust funds or generational wealth to rely on when it comes to funding private school education; we simply work hard to break the cycle for our children. The proposed 20 per cent VAT on top of the already extortionate school fees will almost certainly result in the removal of my children from private school.
With extensive research to support the rise of systemic racism, in addition to pay gaps that disproportionately impact based on