This is a big proposal. From BBC:
Labour party members have voted to commit the party to integrate private schools into the state sector.
The motion calls for funds and properties held by private schools to be “redistributed democratically and fairly” to other schools.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said it would help build “a more cohesive and equal society”.
But Boris Johnson called it a “pointless attack” on education, based on a “long-buried socialist ideology”.
The vote by members signals a desire for the policy to be included in the next Labour Party general election manifesto.
Speaking at the party’s conference in Brighton, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said “tax loopholes” that benefit private schools would be scrapped by a Labour government in its first Budget.
That includes the withdrawal of charitable status, other public subsidies and tax privileges.
She said the money saved would “improve the lives of all children”.
Universities would also have to admit the same proportion of private school students as in the wider population.
Ms Rayner said she would task the Social Mobility Commission – which the party would rename the Social Justice Commission – with “integrating private schools”.
Mr McDonnell said every part of the policy would be carried out on a “consultation basis”, and that he could not see the use of “draconian measures” to enforce it.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It will enable us to not only provide every child with the best opportunities in life, but also to build a more cohesive and equal society in which we live together much more productively.”
Proposing the motion at the party’s conference, Ryan Quick said the education system must offer fair opportunities for all and not reward a privileged few based on their parents’ wealth.
The “old boys’ network” originating in private schools was holding the country back, he argued, and the media was failing to challenge the “false consensus” on the issue.
He called for the “wonderful resources” that private schools had at their disposal – including historic endowments originally intended to help the poor – to be made available to all.
Will this proposal go through?
The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, representing a group of independent schools, has already promised that Labour’s plans would be “tested in the courts for years to come”.
Private schools and their charitable trusts would challenge why they were being singled out for such confiscations.
Why not other forms of non-state education – whether it’s nurseries, private tutors, professional training, universities or driving schools for that matter?
Apart from property rights, there would be questions about human rights.
How can you stop a parent choosing to pay someone to teach their child?
Imposing a 7% cap on private school pupil entry to universities would put a serious squeeze on the appeal of independent schools.
But it would also mean taking a crowbar to the principle of university autonomy.
So perhaps the least dramatic part of the plan – cutting charitable status and tax benefits – would be the most likely to go ahead.
There are other practical considerations. How would the state sector absorb another almost 600,000 pupils?
Assuming that these private schools don’t get eliminated, but do lose tax exempt status, they will need new sources of cash to offset their new costs.
My guess is this would only increase the desire of British schools to lend their names to new private schools in China.
But that, in turn, may dilute the status/brand value.