Labor is seeking to force a vote on ending tax credits for private schools | Private schools

Labor will try to force a binding vote on ending tax relief for private schools and will use the £1.7bn a year raised from it to encourage new teacher recruitment.

The motion tabled by Keir Starmer’s party for an opposition day debate on Wednesday is designed to boost a charitable status scheme that many private schools are keen to investigate, as the party tries to shift the political focus to education.

It comes as the party released new statistics highlighting the state of teaching staff, with a labor analysis of official figures from the Department for Education revealing that 36,262 teachers left the profession in 2020/21, compared to just 34,394 entering initial teacher training. , leaving a deficit of 1,868.

Labour’s motion seeks to create a new House of Commons select committee on fair taxation of schools and education standards to investigate reforming the tax relief enjoyed by private schools and investing the revenue in a new national excellence programme.

Bridget Phillipson MP, the shadow education secretary, says the party will invest the money raised from the tax relief into recruiting 6,500 extra teachers, “reducing workloads and raising standards in all our state schools through our national program of excellence”.

She added: “Labour recognizes that after 13 years of Conservative economic mismanagement, culminating in the Conservatives crashing the economy last year, hard choices must be made to protect the public finances – but the choice facing MPs today is an easy one.

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

Labor will hope the motion will force the government to force its MPs to delay an issue, rather than ignore the process. A Labor source previously said: “Tory MPs who vote against our motion are voting against higher standards in state schools for the majority of children in our country.

A government spokesman said teacher numbers “remain high”, with 24,000 more employed in state schools than in 2010, while bursaries and premium increases are helping to attract new entrants to subjects such as maths, science and computing.

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