Currently private or public schools can avoid paying tax by showing that education is a 'charitable activity'.  To do so, they must show how their work benefits the wider community.  In many cases, it is clear that this community commitment is either superficial or miniscule.

So, to make these institutions benefit the wider community in a more objective way, remove the tax relief, and ringfence taxation on school fees etc into the state schools budget, or schools building budget that has just been slashed.

Why is this idea important?

Given our restrained national finances, this would have two benefits.  It would repeal a legislative quirk of the 19th century on the one hand that benefits private companies, and would be genuinely progressive on the other.  Both the state and private sector would benefit in the long run.

Fee-paying schools would be able to demonstrate their social function in terms of cold hard cash, the state sector would benefit from a new revenue stream.  If some private schools can't cut it, they would shut and their pupils would either move to better private schools or into the state sector.

We are all in this together – this would be a way for the education sector to show this.

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