Sunday, 16 November 2008

Latest Glenalmond bullying to lead to "slight change" in tax status

Following the news that fellow pupils at the £24,000-a-year fees Glenalmond Public School physically and emotionally bullied a scholarship kid, it is likely that the tax status of "public", that is "private", schools will be changed slightly if the editor of The Jaggy Thistle has anything to do with it.

The latest incident comes a year or so after previous Glenalmond pupils filmed themselves taking part in a extremely hilarious "chav" hunt. The fact that these posh kids call "neds", "chavs", should really tell you all you need to know about their geographic origins, but let us press on.

At the moment private schools are treated as charities, which has significant tax advantages, based on the institutions being seen to provide community benefit - that is, outside the fee-paying school walls.

Most private schools discharge this obligation in part by offering scholarships to kids who might benefit but are too skint to pay the fees. All well, and indeed good, you'd think.

Ah, but wait.

These free places tend to go to academically bright kids - so the school gets a double dunt, partially satisfies the criteria for charitable status and gets a wee help with boosting the school's exam pass ranking.

Now, my modest proposal is this: that private schools should continue to enjoy charitable status provided they offer places to kids who have been excluded from "public" education - especially the pupils excluded on the grounds that they might not be too great academically but that when it comes to fighting they are securely found in the upper quartile of achievement.

This move would benefit the private sector in two ways.

First, the sector would continue to enjoy favourable tax treatment and those fee-paying pupils who self-evidently enjoy a bit of physical rough and tumble can have their heids professionally kicked in by an expert at no extra charge!

Good result all round I think...

Inside: One of the reasons I always liked this mob better than The Clash, you know that band made up of ex- public school boys:

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