Page 11 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 11

VAT on fees idea ‘does not add up’
Old favourite hops back on the menu
The Labour party’s idea to introduce VAT on independent school fees and use the money to provide free school meals for all primary school children - widely condemned as economically unsound - drew a sharp response from the Independent Schools Council.
Julie Robinson, General Secretary, said: “The sums for this proposed policy do not add up and would be counter-productive. A third
of pupils at our schools are
on reduced fees and are from families where both parents work hard to pay the fees. If this measure was introduced smaller independent schools may close, driving more children back to be funded in the state system. Half
a million children are educated in independent schools, saving the state £3 billion.
“Independent schools are
fully aware of their social responsibility and offer free and reduced cost places to children from lower income homes. They also partner with state schools
to offer support with sciences and languages, A levels and university access, as well as sport and music. But independent schools educate 7% of pupils at 1,300 schools, many of which are small, and independent schools cannot be expected to solve the problems of 25,000 state schools. Independent schools generate £3.6 billion in tax and contribute £9.5 billion to the economy.”
A much loved lunch favourite
is back on the menu at Dame Bradbury’s School, Essex, after persuasive pupils set up a petition to bring back toad in the hole.
Chefs at Dame Bradbury’s, which is part of the Stephen Perse Foundation, thought they would swap toad in the hole for a new lunch choice - but hungry pupils had other ideas!
Year 5 and 6 pupils started the petition and by lunchtime had earned 50 signatures from around the school, urging head chef Jason Wright to bring it back.
They presented it to him in the
kitchens and Mr Wright returned the favourite to the menu - much to the glee of pupils.
Tracy Handford, Head of
Dame Bradbury’s School, said: “Encouraging pupils to share their views and have their say is very important and at Dame B’s we encourage pupils doing this in a respectful way. Mr Wright wanted to see how popular toad in the hole was before it was reinstated - and judging by the overwhelming response to the pupil petition, lots of them were looking forward to seeing it back on the menu!”
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