John comments on proposal to abolish independent schools.

A number of local schools have asked their parents to write to me about the disastrous Labour policy to abolish independent schools. I have written to the Heads of these schools to let them know my views and I am happy to set them out here.

I totally agree that Labour’s endorsement of the abolition of independent schools is both misguided and reprehensible. I concur with the assessment that parents have made that we should endeavour to make under-performing schools better, rather than drag good schools down and I take the point regarding how much many of these independent schools contribute to our local communities. Further this goes completely against the progress that the current government has made to offer parental choice which includes not only independent schools but also Free Schools and Academies.

With regard to school funding, I have campaigned throughout my time as MP for this constituency for a National Funding Formula that is fair for all. I have made my concerns known on the unfairness of the current formula in Oxfordshire to the Secretary of State for Education on several occasions. I have asked questions of Minsters, arranged meetings for teachers and school governors with Ministers, and been part of the f40 schools funding group which campaigns for fairer funding in education. I recently presented Parliamentary Petitions on behalf of our communities in and around Henley and Woodcote to ask the Minister for clarification on key issues. 

In view of my concentration on all schools in the constituency, I am firmly against this Labour proposition and see it as an attempt on behalf of the Labour Party to pick a fight with what they see as an easy target. It is yet another reason why we must keep the Labour Party out of government.