From education to employment

Labour to force a vote on ending private schools’ tax breaks to drive new teacher recruitment after new data shows leavers outstrip new recruits

Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Secretary of State for Education

Labour will today (Wednesday) force a binding vote in the House Commons on ending tax breaks enjoyed by private schools to recruit 6,500 more teachers to drive up standards in every school and make sure every pupil is ready for work and ready for life.

Labour will use an Opposition Day motion to create a new House of Commons Select Committee on the Fair Taxation of Schools and Education Standards to investigate reforming the tax benefits enjoyed by Private Schools and investing the proceeds on a new National Excellence Programme. 

Labour’s intervention comes as the party releases new analysis showing that the number of teachers leaving classrooms is outstripping the number of new recruits to the profession in the last year.

Labour’s analysis of the most recently available official figures from the Department for Education found that there were36,262 leavers in the teaching profession in 2020/21, compared with only34,394starters on Initial Teacher Training, leaving a shortfall of1,868.  

Labour’s recruitment policy is intended to stem a dangerous exodus of teachers by reducing unmanageable workloads and to correct worrying slides in the recruitment of new teachers to replace those leaving across England.

Further analysis by the party has found that the Conservative Government will fail to achieve its own target of ‘levelling up’ key educational standards until 2044, alongside a growing post-covid attainment gap between state and private schools.

Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Labour believes that excellence is for everyone: that is why we would end tax breaks for private schools and invest that money in 6,500 additional teachers, reducing workloads and driving up to standards in all our state schools through our National Excellence Programme.

“Labour recognises that after thirteen years of Conservative economic mismanagement, which culminated in the Conservatives crashing the economy last year, tough choices must be made to protect public finances – but the choice facing MPs today is easy. 

“Conservative MPs can either vote to deliver a brilliant state for education for every child or they vote against the interests of parents across this country who aspire for better for their children, especially those in the very regions their party pledged to ‘level up’.

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