VAT to independent school fees: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

I am requesting information regarding the Scottish Government's assessment of the potential impact of a Labour Government's policy to add VAT to independent school fees. Please find the attached request in full.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we do not some of the information you requested are explained below.

1. Impact on Public Education System:

It is not possible for the Scottish Government to fully evaluate the consequences of the proposed VAT policy by the Labour Party because full details have not been made available.

Local authorities have statutory responsibility for the provision of public education in Scotland. The funding distribution methodology of the local government grant accounts for increases in pupil numbers using the latest available pupil census figures, informing the calculation of funding allocations received by local authorities in the event of increased pupil numbers.

2. Economic Implications:

As this proposal has been outlined by the Labour Party, there have been no projected economic impacts of the addition of VAT to independent school fees because policy details are not available. VAT policy remains reserved and, as such, is the responsibility of the UK Government. VAT is administered and collected by HMRC, and not by the Scottish Government.

3. Collaboration and Consultation:

Scottish government officials liaise regularly with the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) and the Registrar of Independent Schools to ensure that Ministers are informed about any issues affecting the sector, including this issue. We will continue with this regular engagement going forward.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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