Labour hates anything it does not control. The very fact that schools are independent sends them into a visceral rage at the mere thought that they are beyond their reach. That the independent sector continues to demonstrate year-in and year-out that it outperforms the State education system sends them into even greater paroxysms of anger, highlighting as it does the utter failure of the State to provide its citizens with a proper education fir for the nation to compete in a global economy and, at the same time, the bankruptcy of their own modish educational ideology.
So the plan now is to attack the basis of their charitable status, to force schools to take in more pupils who would otherwise not be able to afford the fees and to open their facilities to local people so that they can share, preferably without paying for it, what other people have paid for.
The arguments about it will rage on and on (Simon Heffer expostulates loudly here) but I should like to pose some questions?
Since the passing of the Education Act 1944, how much money has the State saved because many hundreds of thousands, nay millions of children have not been educated in State Schools but have had their education paid for in independent schools?
How many billions of pounds have the parents of children at Public School paid in tax since 1944 towards education which they have chosen not to use and which instead has gone to other children’s benefit?
What would it cost the State to provide places in State Schools for all those so entitled now in an independent school?
Do not such sums amount to a considerable public benefit far in excess of a few free places in the classrooms and Thursday afternoons in the swimming pool, relieving, as they have and do, the taxpayer of the need to pay them?
The fact of the matter is that wealthy parents have for donkey’s years been doing the State and the Taxpayer an enormous favour by relieving them of a considerable part of the burden of universal free education and continue to do so every year. For that reason alone the spite of Labour and its catspaws in the Charity Commission ought to be abated.
It will not be, precisely because this is part of the Class War which the Labour Party with its 19th. century mindset has to keep going as one means of inspiring its working class supporters and of continuing to poison the well of politics with the Zyklon B of envy.