U.K. Labour Party Adopts Policy to Take Over Private Schools

Alex Morales

(Bloomberg) -- The main U.K. opposition Labour Party adopted a policy to scrap private schools such as Eton -- the alma mater of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the second-in-line to the throne, Prince William.

Delegates at Labour’s annual conference passed a resolution on Sunday to include “a commitment to integrate all private schools into the state sector” in the party’s next general election manifesto.

“This is a huge step forward in dismantling the privilege of a tiny, Eton-educated elite who are running our country into the ground,” said Laura Parker, national coordinator of Momentum, a grassroots movement set up to support Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “Every child deserves a world-class education, not only those who are able pay for it.”

The new policy shows how Labour under Corbyn is seeking to make political capital by attacking the rich. Stoking a class war plays to the party’s base in a country which is still very much defined by its class system.

A Labour government would take measures including scrapping the charitable status enjoyed by private schools, meaning they would lose their tax breaks, according to the resolution.

The motion also advocated ensuring that only 7% of students admitted by universities come from private schools -- in line with the national proportion of pupils attending them -- and redistributing their investments, endowments and properties “democratically and fairly across the country’s educational institutions.”

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