Former DfE official warns that abolishing independent schools could tie up government in the same way as Brexit
10th October 2019
Abolishing private schools could become education's Brexit, tying up policy-making for years, according to a former senior Department for Education civil servant.
Natalie Perera, now executive director at the Education Policy Institute, warned that it would take focus away from dealing with important education issues such as closing the disadvantage gap and tackling teacher shortages.
Ms Perera, who was formerly the head of school funding reform at the Department for Education, said: “There are so many important things in education. There is the disadvantaged gap, there is poor access to good schools, there is a teacher shortage.
"We have lost three years of good public policymaking because of Brexit.
“I don’t want private schools to be the new Brexit where we lose three years or however long untangling all of the intricacies that come about with closing them down.”
The Labour Party passed a motion calling on the next party’s general election manifesto to commit to “integrate all private schools into the state sector”.
A private education for two children now tops £900,000 — a 50% leap in 15 years
The cost of sending two children to private school from the age of four, including boarding school from the age of 13, has jumped to more than £900,000.
A new report highlights the eye-watering cost of a private education, which is more than 50% higher than for those who started school just 15 years ago.
Middle-class parents, from accountants to company managers, head teachers to small-business entrepreneurs, have been priced out of the sector — or forced to cripple themselves financially to pay the bill.
Some were privately educated themselves but cannot afford to do the same for their children as fees have rocketed since they were at school.
The soaring costs are revealed in a report commissioned by the investment manager Killik & Co.
See also: School Fees and Your Budget