Schools hit back at Labour’s plans to see them ‘abolished’

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The schools say they each contribute millions to the local economy and the party’s proposals would completely abolish the independent education sector.

During last month’s Labour Party Conference, a motion was carried to remove the charitable status from independent schools, add VAT to fees, and integrate them into the state sector if Labour wins the next general election.

In West Kent, there are around 20 independent preparatory schools in and around Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.

Mike Piercy, Headmaster of the all-boys preparatory New Beacon School in Sevenoaks, said: “While we remain politically neutral – especially where the boys are concerned – the Labour policy would, in effect, abolish the independent sector of education and take away from parents the right to choose a school for their children.”

He said the school, which admits day students and boarders aged between four and 13, contributed millions to both the local and international economies, adding nearly £9million to the UK’s GDP [gross national product] and £5.5million to the local authority’s GDP.

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