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THE Labour Party has voted to abolish private schools in a landmark move at its annual conference in Brighton.
Momentum’s national co-ordinator Laura Parker hailed the victory for the Abolish Eton campaign as 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,” she added.
The motion, which passed with a majority of delegates raising their hands in favour, was tabled by the Battersea constituency Labour Party (CLP).
It called on the next Labour manifesto to commit to “integrate all private schools into the state sector.”
This would mean that private schools would no longer be charities, and “all other public subsidies and tax privileges” would be scrapped.
During the debate, Tom Barringer from Tottenham CLP specifically suggested abolishing Eton College.
He criticised Eton alumni, including prime ministers who include Boris Johnson, and said abolishing elite schools would see more politicians like “Jeremy Corbyn getting into No 10, John McDonnell into No 11 and get Angela Rayner into the Department for Education.”
David Flack from Rayleigh and Wickford CLP also hit out at grammar schools, while Melanie Griffiths from the Socialist Education Association said academies were not transparent enough, as she called for multi-academy trusts to be broken up and put under the control of local authorities.
The delegates made the remarks as part of a dramatic day which saw Ms Rayner, shadow education sectary, pledge that Labour would scrap the “tax loopholes” that private schools benefit from in its first Budget.
She told the Labour Party conference that she will appoint the social mobility mommission with the task of “integrating private schools” into the state system and would use money raised from scrapping tax benefits to “improve lives of all children.”
She also pledged to scrap education regulator Ofsted and replace it will a new “peer review system,” saying: “Schools will no longer be reduced to a one-word grade or subjected to a system that hounds teachers from the classroom.”
Teachers’ union NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates commended the proposal to scrap Ofsted.
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