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Council denies plan to pay private school fees

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A Conservative council says it has no plans to help out-of-work parents pay private school fees

According to the Evening Standard, Bromley LBC was said to be looking into the possibility as part of its annual review of school places.

With private school fees averaging around £12,000 per year, the paper said the authority has asked lawyers to look at whether it could use state funding to offer subsidies of up to £4,700 per pupil.

But the leader of Bromley LBC, Stephen Carr, said: “I would like to make it perfectly clear that Bromley Council has no plans to introduce such a scheme, but quite rightly, as a result of a question put at a full council meeting at the end of June, officers felt duty bound to consider this, as is good practice.

“As I have already stated, there is no suggestion that this will be pursued.”

The newspaper had quoted Gillian Pearson, Bromley’s director of Children and Young People Services, as saying: “We are at the early exploration stage in considering this issue as part of our overall annual review of school places and school organisation.

“As with any proposal of this type, we will give full consideration to all the key factors which would include the educational case, the need in terms of place planning, the associated costs, the legal framework and other Local Authority practice.”

Education funding handed to councils is usually passed on to headteachers to spend in schools.

But cash retained for areas free school meals, providing places for children in private special needs schools, nurseries or for “exceptional circumstances” could have been earmarked by Bromley, the Standard reported.

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