Andy Burnham: I would end private schools' charitable status

Posted On: 
30th June 2015

Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has said in principle he would support stopping public subsidy of private schools, and would end their charitable status. 

The Shadow Health Secretary told the Labour leadership hustings he "believed passionately in comprehensive education" and that "any public resource should go to state education".

The charitable status of independent schools gives them an estimated 80% reduction in tax rates which equates to an estimated £147m.

"A school system that educates all children of all backgrounds together…that’s what I believe in, that’s what I’m a product of, and that’s what I passionately believe in," Mr Burnham said. 

Mr Burnham also pledged, if he were to become prime minister, a guaranteed university place for young people apprenticeship at the end of their schooling career. 

"For decades, we have had a Parliament dominated by people who went to university, so consequently, education policy has been skewed for that route and we have actually discriminated against the kids who want a technical education. 

"The best way to raise standards in our schools, is to give children hope that there’s something waiting for them at the end of their school days.

"This party needs to build a truly comprehensive education policy for the 21st century which builds the skills that we need, and that is what I will do as leader of the Labour party."

Liz Kendall said she did not agree with this proposal, Yvette Cooper said she was unable to make the commitment to back it, however Jeremy Corbyn said he would.