Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Shutting the door

Having received both a private and state education, I have long been fascinated by the bile-laden crusade against independent schools that the Left has been leading for some decades now.

The latest chapter opened today:

Independent schools forced to be ‘more open’

Independent schools are to be made to open their doors to more children from poor homes under guidelines announced to stop them being run as “exclusive clubs”.

Schools failing to meet the regulations could have bank accounts frozen, trustees suspended, buildings seized or even be closed down under a range of sanctions.

The recommendations, which come in a landmark document [from the Charity Commission], are designed to ensure independent schools justify their charitable status by meeting a “public benefit” test.

Schools may be subjected to “random” spot checks and inspections to ensure they comply.

Meeting a “public benefit” test? Because educating the next generation isn’t enough? Because having a third of pupils already receiving assistance with fees isn’t enough? Because, therefore, more than two thirds of private school parents already pay twice for education?

If the Government were serious about helping the poor into a private education they wouldn’t have, in a typically misguided bout of envy and spite, abolished the assisted places scheme. Yet after eleven years of “education education education” and pouring money into the state system, haven’t they worked out that it’s not just about money? Or that helping those at the bottom is not about pulling down those nearer the top?

The irony is that some schools may choose to voluntarily relinquish their charitable status, freeing themselves from the attention of the Charity Commission stormtroopers inspectors. One of the first casualties of that, in filling the resultant financial hole, would be the bursaries, thus shutting the door on the very sort of pupils Labour are supposedly trying to help. Nice one, Gordon.

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