Saturday, 6 November 2010

Green Party research reveals hidden millions spent subsidising public school pensions

A response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Green Party shows that millions of pounds of tax payers’ money is being spent subsidising the pensions of teachers at England’s most expensive public schools, including Eton, Harrow and Cheltenham.
An article published in today’s Guardian shows that eleven named institutions in the FOI response (including the schools attended by the Prime Minister, Chancellor, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Secretary) have 1,639 members of staff in the scheme. The Green Party has calculated that the top 100 schools are looking at over £40 million in subsidy per annum.
As Chair of London Green Part, I initiated the request, and the Guardian quotes me:
“It’s scandalous that taxpayers are unknowingly paying towards the pensions of teachers at schools like Eton and Harrow. It will come as a surprise to a lot of people that these elite, private sector employers have access to the government’s Teachers’ Pension Scheme to the tune of over £40 million.
“It’s unfair that these schools are exempted from the risks of stock market fluctuations while other similar sized organisations must suffer the consequences of a volatile market.”
The Green Party believes the money should be ploughed into more urgent areas within the education budget such as building new local schools in deprived areas and employing more teachers to reduce class sizes.

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