State schools deserve 'more certainty and more money' than Labour's tax plan, says ISC CEO

Posted on: 29 May 2024

In an interview with Sky News, ISC chief executive Julie Robinson discussed Labour's plan to add VAT to independent school fees, and the number of pupils it could displace.

ISC CEO Julie Robinson said: "It’s so difficult for schools to plan just based on headlines at the moment so we’re looking for more detail. Schools are really concerned, not least because right now is the time when parents need to be making decisions for next academic year for September.

"Of course schools are looking at their costs, they’re planning ahead, they’re scenario planning, but there’s an awful lot of uncertainty about what this will be and when it will come in and that affects parents as well.

"[Labour's] estimates rely on no or little pupil movement, so if children are displaced into state schools as suggested by these polls, then actually no money will be raised for state schools through this policy. It is a gamble, and our state colleagues deserve more certainty and more money than this.

"We all want to see a fully funded state sector, and I perfectly understand governments and policymakers seeking ways to increase funding for state schools – the problem is this particular policy just isn’t it, because potentially it raises nothing and causes extra pressure on the state system."