Private schools and charitable status - Magnus in the Times

Posted on 06th May 2020

In a letter published by The Times, Magnus Bashaarat, Head of Bedales, challenges Robert Verkaik, co-founder of the Private School Policy Reform think tank, who describes private schools as “multimillion-pound corporations masquerading as charities” in an article in The Times (“Private schools warned over ‘collusion to fix fees’ by watchdog”, Apr 29).

Magnus explains that the European Union definition of what a small or medium-size enterprise amounts to is that it employs fewer than 250 people and has a turnover not exceeding £40 million. He says: “Mr Verkaik employs ‘multimillion’ to suggest excess, but as anyone who runs a business will know, it is difficult to employ more than ten people on decent salaries, pay their pensions and national insurance, and not be a ‘multimillion-pound’ business.”

He also points out that schools enjoying charitable status do not generate ‘profits’, but instead aim to create a surplus to reinvest in education. Last year, for example, 176,633 pupils across the sector received financial support.

Magnus' letter can be read via The Times website (although a subscription may be required).

Magnus Bashaarat | The Times | More on bursaries