The Political Economy Review 2017

worsens the widening inequality gap caused by high fee prices already as more families become unable to afford private tuition for their children. Consequently, private schools become more elitist and the issues regarding them increase. Moreover, less people in private education means more in state education- the pressures already endured by the state system would rise. A removal of the charitable status revokes the necessity for private schools to act as non-profit organisations and in the public benefit. If the schools become more profit orientated facilities may no longer be shared in partnerships with state schools which could come with an enormous cost the welfare of state educated children. No requirement to act in favour of public benefit may also result in a lower number of bursaries offered by the schools, further disadvantaging children from low income families.

Mr Gove argued that five-star hotels would struggle to offer the state-of-the-art sports and entertainment facilities provided by independent schools

Conversely, it is argued that the added cost to the state system of education would be absorbed by the increase in tax revenue attained from private schools. It is possible profit maximising private schools will lead to an increase in annual contribution to GDP and an increase in the tax revenue. Increases in tax flow would alleviate some of the pressures experienced by state education if extra funds were directed in that area. By simply revoking the £522 million five-year tax relief given to public schools on business rates, the school meals of roughly 250,000 children a year would be paid for over five years. In its most basic form the answer is that public schools should retain their charity status, purely because they meet the guidelines necessary to qualify as charitable organisations therefore they should be considered as such. Admittedly, there is much more to the question than that, especially when the incentives, caveats and rewards for public schools are factored in. Moreover, public benefit is extremely hard to quantify and therefore the impact will differ person to person. I, personally, believe that a bit of carrot and stick must be enforced in regards to this predicament. Private schools create a public benefit, but the extent of that benefit must be emphasised more if their own rewards for creating such welfare are to be justified. There must be a strengthening in the partnerships between independent and state schools that extend further than sharing a sports field, whether it be through a larger quota for the number of bursary fees offered by public schools or through the requirement of private schools to send their staff to teach lessons in state schools. Such reforms reduce the gap between the rich and the poor by reducing the gap between private and state education. As a result, and through proper contribution to society, public schools can earn the benefits of their charitable status, and not just be given it.



‘Free Trade is a necessary evil’

Free trade is the open trade between countries without barriers or tariffs. Popularised by Adam Smith in his 1776 book Wealth of Nations, where he stated “If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them with some part of the produce of our own industry”, free trade focuses on the idea that all trade should be cost-less with limited or no taxation and with unregulated


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