Bolton School head’s anger over threat to strip independent schools of tax breaks

Bolton News, 26/11/14, HMC member Philip Britton, headteacher of Bolton School has called on politicians to stop using education as a "political football" - after the Labour Party warned that private schools would be stripped of their tax breaks if they did not share their facilities and expertise. 

Philip Britton who leads Bolton School boys' division said his school works with state schools to "promote educational aspiration for all".

Shadow Education Secretary Tristan Hunt said that private schools would lose their tax breaks under a Labour Government unless they shared their expertise and facilities.

Mr Britton said: "I was disappointed to hear the discussion, with yet more political calls for independent schools to engage with local schools and promote educational aspiration for all.

"It is so frustrating that so few realise we are already doing all that they feel should be done, but it is not acknowledged and, indeed, appears to be ignored.

"If they really want more independent schools to follow our lead then it is time to recognise and celebrate those who are engaging, not to continue to parade out tired slogans from times gone by.

"They are calling for things such as sharing teacher expertise and facilities — all of this has happened in the last 10 days at Bolton School.

"Education is far too important to be a political football as we approach the election.

"That political debate is always too shallow and too short-term in its focus.

"It is high time that key educational decisions about curriculum, standards and assessment were decoupled from political timescales.

"In 1997 interest rates were given to the Bank of England and decoupled from political interference.

"The boldest move the new government could make is to do the same for education."

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