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Corbyn, vat, private schools

(394 Posts)
NoisingUpNissan Fri 20-Sep-19 19:28:55

So... Just worried about corbyn and private schools.

I'm naturally labour but couldn't vote for him with this.

We have two kids in prep, couldn't really afford any extra cash. As it stands we have a leaking bathroom (no bath for a year) and old unreliable shitty car, certainly not entitled or priveledged people. Not that it should matter.

Very annoyed as they are only there because ASD and they had 33 kids in their classes!

So, just wondering... Does anybody think this is a real risk?

I don't care if I come across as being all out for myself, I'm all out for my kids. My son is just too autistic to deal with a big class size and needs the extra work as he's v bright.

MyCruiseControl Fri 20-Sep-19 19:56:22

It's not going to happen. If they get to form a government, John McDonnell will soon have proper advisors who know maths. They will tell him that he will be stupid to cut off his nose just to spite his face. To add VAT to fees will raise less than £2 billion for the government purse. Meanwhile, putting pressure on private schools (the majority of which don't have the kind of funding that the Etons and Dulwiches or schools of that ilk have) will lose the government more than twice that amount. Let's not mention the school spaces that will be required when the inevitable happens and many private schools close. The policy of adding VAT to fees won't improve state education, instead it will show up all its warts. If we then add the fact that many private schools provide bursaries, work in their communities and form partnerships with state schools, all of which they'll stop doing, I can't see this policy going through. It's just a way to pit the poor against the middle class. They feel it worked in 2017 when many of the young went out and voted for Labour because they promised no tuition fees and cancellation of student debts. This policy is not in isolation. There is a PR battle being fought telling people that rich people are source of their problem and everyone who sends their child to a private school is very wealthy.
By the way I don't think you need to justify to anyone why you send your children to a private school. You should be allowed to spend your money whichever way you see fit. For some its whisky, others its shoes and handbags for others of us, it's the education of our children.

ListeningQuietly Fri 20-Sep-19 20:00:25

VAT will not go back onto private school fees
(I am old enough to remember when some did have them)
SEN schools will always stay exempt

removal of charitable status I admit I support - lots of private schools are not charities anyway

abolition of private schools - again it won't happen because the SEN schools protect everybody else !!

Corbyn is all hot air
if your local Labour candidates are good, keep voting for them :-)

BogglesGoggles Fri 20-Sep-19 20:03:21

I agree with everything that cruise control says but I do think people tend to underestimate just how stupid a lot of higher ups in the Labour Party are. If you add loss of charitable status you’re looking at huge problems, especially for students on bursaries.

NoisingUpNissan Fri 20-Sep-19 20:21:40


I also think that because they're all such self serving hyprcrites, half of them probably have a vested interest in not letting this happen.

I hate myself for saying this, but for once...I'm on the side of the wealthy. My son's not in an SEN school, it's a v academic school but I was amazed that about a quarter of his class are there for the same reasons.

Are labour committing to smaller class sizes specifically? Does anybody know? I should know this, just don't have the headspace for details right now...

NoisingUpNissan Fri 20-Sep-19 20:24:07

I do feel like I have to justify it. I really do. I feel a lot of guilt but only assuaged by the fact that I am relieving pressure of the DoE!

ListeningQuietly Fri 20-Sep-19 20:27:30

(a) Class sizes have been proven to have minimal impact on results worldwide
(b) proper support of SEN / ASD pupils is a failing of both much of the private sector exclude all but v high achievers and the state sector do not properly fund at primary then be surprised when secondary bites them in the arse

The only countries without private schools also have their politician's kids educated abroad

Private schools are not the issue
proper funding of state schools negates their effect
(as was happening up till around May 2010)

ListeningQuietly Fri 20-Sep-19 20:29:21

Feel no guilt for doing the best you can for your own kids

BertrandRussell Fri 20-Sep-19 20:39:06

I don’t think it will happen- not least because it’s looking unlikely that Labour will get into government for the next 600 years.

But, setting your situation aside, surely imposing VAT on school fees is the only logical thing to do if, as we are frequently told, removing charitable status is impractical?

noblegiraffe Fri 20-Sep-19 20:39:24

Labour can say all they like about wanting smaller classes, there aren’t enough teachers or classrooms in the state system as it is. Creating a mass exodus from the private system would be lunacy. Like banning private healthcare and expecting the NHS to just pick up the slack.

scaevola Fri 20-Sep-19 20:39:38

You can't put VAT on school fees. VAT is an EU tax and it is specifically forbidden to tax education in schools and universities (crammers are subject to it tho)

So is. he really saying Labour will ensure Brexit?

NoisingUpNissan Fri 20-Sep-19 21:12:37

Class size was everything to do with why we moved. No, he literally wouldn't enter the classroom. It was just too noisy, for him, he started refusing school etc etc. I did consider ear defenders for a microsecond then thought "Jesus I had 20 in my primary class and it felt like a lot."

When I saw the Class in all its chaotic glory, filing in for assembly one day, I suddenly understood why it was overwhelming for him and moved him. He wouldn't speak. He never spoke once in that school. He speaks now he's in a class of 14! There were other issues but no other primary school in the area had smaller classes, it makes me so angry, I don't know why children should have to cope with such big classes. We didn't in the 80s, 90s, did we?! His cousins are outgoing robust types and even they find it difficult with 30+ in their respective primary classes, but I guess thats for another thread.

And it goes without saying that the larger class sizes mean that teachers have no time for 1:1 in any meaningful way: he started school reading his elder brothers books (Flat Stanley, wimpy kid etc) but was trapped in phonics hell because somewhow there wasn't the time to go into another classroom and find him other books etc. And with SATS pressure you end up with teachers focussing their spare time on bringing struggling kids up to speed rather then dealing with the emotional and social and intellectual development of the little oddball in the corner.

I was giving him sums and stuff at home at his request because he was just so bored.

There is no money, no funding, successive governments are sucking education dry. If we had no money, we'd be fucked as a family and there are thousands of kids like him, it upsets me so much. And I really don't think that the answer lies in taxing families like mine, who Opt out the system voluntarily, and at substantial sacrifice.

And you know, ASD aside, you just can't interfere with people's wishes regarding their children's education. Pick on something else, there's fuckloads of poorly managed revenue streams which would generate more cash anyway.

ListeningQuietly Fri 20-Sep-19 21:17:34

Class sizes
We didn't in the 80s, 90s, did we?!
Your memory serves you ill
Private school classes were routinely over 20 in Seconday
State school classes were only lowered to 30 ish when the school leaving age rose
the class size is not the issue
his ASD is the issue

There is no money, no funding, successive governments are sucking education dry.
Again, your memory is short
School budgets have been cut every year since May 2010
before that they were rising.
there is LOTS of money for education
if taxes are allowed to rise back to the level they were under Margaret Thatcher

BogglesGoggles Fri 20-Sep-19 21:19:52

I agree with everything that cruise control says but I do think people tend to underestimate just how stupid a lot of higher ups in the Labour Party are. If you add loss of charitable status you’re looking at huge problems, especially for students on bursaries.

ListeningQuietly Fri 20-Sep-19 21:26:08

Bursaries are trivial in the big scheme of things for fee paying schools.
It would be easy for a separate charitable arm to fund the six or seven kids per year while the rest of the school became taxpaying
- as many many private schools already are

beckymum Fri 20-Sep-19 21:49:51

I have just moved my ASD son from prep school to state school (at y4)
They seem to have a much better idea of supporting him. Visual timetables, nurture lunch, time out cards etc.
At the private school they tried to put him in detention all the time....err that won't stop him having ASD....
Also the constantly being in the C team was wearing.
You are lucky you've found a helpful school.

NoisingUpNissan Sat 21-Sep-19 07:10:51

That's terrible, did they not help at all? My school has a weekly ASD session where they learn social skills, give him as much extension as he wants and are super approachable. His old school had a termly SENCO session, never helped him out at playtime and basically left him to get on with it. Total difference. What does your state school do?

NoisingUpNissan Sat 21-Sep-19 07:11:43

I mean in terms of 1:1

GCAcademic Sat 21-Sep-19 07:14:28

I wouldn’t worry about it, there’s no chance of Labour winning an election under Corbyn. They have pushed all the centrist voters firmly away. And there are rather a lot of those.

happygardening Sat 21-Sep-19 09:14:58

“It’s just a way of pitting the poor against the middle classes”
I don’t think it is it’s a way of saying you’re getting at the very rich (who send their children to famous schools) to both please the middle classes and the poor. But it flawed. The very rich won’t care if you add VAT onto school fees because they can afford the increase. People cheerfully stumping up £40k + a year per child will pay the VAT they won’t remove their children and send them to the local state school. Of course the people it will impact on if it ever happens which I doubt are families like the OP. But it’s makes Corbyn look like a man of and for the people.

Letseatgrandma Sat 21-Sep-19 09:22:12

I don't know why children should have to cope with such big classes. We didn't in the 80s, 90s, did we?!

Check your facts! I was in a class of 37 for the whole of primary (1980-1987).

PettsWoodParadise Sat 21-Sep-19 10:11:35

My DD has such a better education than I did in the 80s. Both state system. She is in classes of 27 in a highly oversubscribed school just over a mile from our home that it is a Grammar, it is relevant as if she hadn’t got in we’d have had to choose between selling our beloved family home to fund fees or accept a school two bus journeys away that has repeatedly had RI. Labour don’t like grammars either. So OP I sympathise, don’t feel like you have to explain. I left a political party as I felt my lifestyle didn’t fit with their policies and am a proud floating voter.

If they took away both grammars and independents it would become about who can afford a home in the nice areas. Then they’d do away with catchments, then we’d have lottery access and loss of community, plus more pollution from all the travelling. Not least all the very rich flying off to foreign boarding schools. For each policy change there are consequences.

peteneras Sat 21-Sep-19 14:15:41

Didn't read the whole thread but well said, MyCruiseControl. It's NEVER going to happen - the private school system is much, much, MUCH bigger than born losers like those they called the Labour Party. It's not as if they never tried - they did - just to find they got an almighty slap on the face! It's an old tune they're trying to play but all this nonsense just goes to show me this present lot of younger generation Labour just do not know their history. Take it from me, given half quarter of a chance, the ones who shout the loudest about closing down private schools will seize at the opportunity with all five limbs (including their tails)!

And they KNOW what they want too! Haven't you guys heard the latest episode of the shadow attorney-general applying to ETON (ffs) for her son? But unfortunately, they did not reckon that the great Windsor school has eyes and ears - let alone they reckon that the state school system will grind to a complete halt with all the private school kids now being forced to join the system. And I'm not going to comment on the private school workers e.g. teachers, admin staff, ground staff, etc. as well as workers from businesses dependent on private schools, etc having to register with their local Job Centres now they're being made redundant.

As usual, it's another Labour Party fantasy!

Aussiejazz Sat 21-Sep-19 14:50:25

I'm close to the politics of this.

Irrespective of who might do it, imposing additional costs on parents through VAT, a levy or removal of business rates relief for charitable schools will force families into the state system and indie schools will close. This will harm children in both sectors, harm families who can least afford, harm state schools and not save a single penny. In fact it will cost about £10k/child every year + a one-off additional £10k of capital investment.

Most importantly, there's no evidence that it will help social mobility at all. This issue is much deeper than education. These are political moves and nothing more.

The threats are real and the damage caused is also real.

The next government needs to focus on great teaching by experts in every school and college because that's how we will widen opportunity for all.

SalrycLuxx Sat 21-Sep-19 15:02:22

The threat is real. But relies on labour actually getting in (or the Lib Dem’s agreeing to vat on fees as price of coalition).

I hope it doesn’t happen, but I’ve scoped out our local state school just in case.

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