In the latest radical policy move to come from Labour’s annual conference, the party has agreed to include the policy of abolishing private schools in its next manifesto.
The motion put forward by the Labour Against Private Schools campaign and backed by Momentum commits Labour to integrating private schools into the state sector.
This would involve stripping private schools of charitable status and tax privileges, and ensuring that universities admit only a number of private school students that is proportional to their prevalence in the wider population (7%).
The policy proposal was prioritised by delegates for debate and passed with overwhelming support on the conference floor this afternoon. It was also endorsed by top leadership figure John McDonnell and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.
In her speech to conference, Rayner promised to close tax loopholes and instruct a new commission to “work on making the whole education system fairer through the integration of private schools”.
Commenting on the victory, Momentum national coordinator Laura Parker said: “This is a huge step forward in dismantling the privilege of a tiny, Eton-educated elite who are running our country into the ground. Every child deserves a world class education, not only those who are able pay for it, and I’ll be proud to campaign on this manifesto pledge at the next election.”
Holly Rigby, a spokesperson for Abolish Eton, said: “We are delighted that Labour has committed to integrating all private schools into the state sector and that it will feature in the next manifesto. This huge leap forward is a testament to the hard work of grassroots Labour members and the ambition and determination of Angela Rayner and John McDonnell. They have worked with and listened to members every step of the way, writing this policy hand in hand with the movement.
“This is what a democratic Labour Party look like. We will dismantle systems of privilege and inequality and build a society that works for the millions and not the millionaires.”