Press Release

Labour must abandon VAT plans that would ‘punish Christian families’ and cripple low cost schools

10 June 2024         Issued by: Christian Concern

Labour’s plans to “remove tax breaks” on private education would punish Christian families according to a former headteacher with extensive experience in low-cost Christian schools.

Steve Beegoo, who leads Christian Concern’s Education Department and is CEO of the Christian Schools’ Trust, has warned that Labour’s plans to charge VAT would cripple many of these charitable initiatives and only increase the pressure on state schools.

Head of Education Steve Beegoo said:

“Low-cost Christian private schools often require much parent volunteering, highly sacrificial salary levels from the staff, and receive generous gifts from churches through low rental on buildings or direct grants. This keeps the costs affordable for ordinary parents. Taxing these families, who are not the privileged rich of expensive schools such as Eton, would be unjust and would punish low and middle income Christian families.”

“This policy would also be counter-productive. If the predicted number of parents are forced to send their children to their local state school, then the financial costs, year on year, to the state would steadily increase and put additional pressure on those state schools. Many of the SEND pupils who are educated so well in small low-cost Christian schools would have to be provided for in an already crumbling system, where so many are being failed.”

Christian Concern has supported the formation and growth of low-cost Christian education initiatives around the UK. Due to high demand, its Education Revolution conference held earlier this year had to be moved after selling out its initial capacity.

Steve Beegoo said:

“The research on the low cost Christian private schools, such as those in the Christian Schools Trust studied by Dr Sylvia Baker, demonstrates that a setting where Jesus is worshipped, where he remains the focus in all subject areas, supports young people with a fantastic preparation for life, making them model and sacrificial members of society. This is why we are supporting so many groups across the nation to begin new truly Christ-centred schools.”

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern commented:

“Labour must abandon these harmful and counterproductive plans before they are embedded in its manifesto.

“Many Christian parents scrimp and save to allow their children to receive an appropriate education in line with their beliefs, seeing the hostility to Christianity in state schools.

“We have seen countless examples of state-funded schools, even those run by the Church of England, championing gender ideology that is confusing, inappropriate and harmful. They have promoted views about sex and other religions that Christians cannot go along with.

“When Christian parents give sacrificially to send their children to a low cost school, they are already relieving pressure on places at state-funded schools.

“We must do all we can to make sure Christians are not punished for making this charitable sacrifice for the sake of their children.”

  • Share