David Dunn
Bdaily Business News

Yarm School estimated to contribute £9.7 million to the local economy

Stockton-on-Tees independent Yarm School has welcomed a report that estimates it contributes £9.7 million to the local economy every year.

The research, commissioned by the Independent Schools Council (ISC), and carried out by the Oxford Economics consultancy, is the first in-depth analysis of the sector’s value to the UK.

It reveals that Yarm School directly supports 247 local jobs and generates tax to the Exchequer of £2.3m; the school also saves the economy £11.7 million by educating pupils privately rather than via the state.

The 1,205 schools in the Independent Schools Council (ISC) alone, which educate 470,000 pupils, generate £9.5 billion, more than the city of Liverpool or the BBC, according to the report.

David Dunn, headmaster at Yarm School, said: “This report is very significant in spelling out in detail the economic impact of ISC schools. For every £1 that our schools contribute directly to the British economy, they generate 98p for the rest of the British economy through supply chain and wage consumption impacts.

“Our 800-seat multi-award winning Princess Alexandra Auditorium regularly plays host to performances, concerts and events that are for the enjoyment of the whole community.”

The report’s authors single out the Auditorium for particular praise in stating that: “The development was built by two local North East firms, using builders and tradesmen drawn from nearby Stockton, Darlington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, areas where unemployment is high.

“Over 100 builders and craftsmen worked on site for several years, with the added economic effect of also spending their money in the local town. The school is now in partnership with Strickland and Holt, a Yarm High Street shop, who act as the Auditorium’s ticket office in town, providing footfall into the shop and generating a buzz in the community.”

Mr Dunn added: “One of the criticisms of independent schools is that they shouldn’t have charitable status. This significant report shows the huge contribution that independent schools make to the Treasury. ISC schools are estimated to support £3.6 billion each year in tax payments to the Exchequer – the figure for the entire independent sector is £4.7 billion.

“These figures are likely to be underestimates, given that no estimate has been possible of the VAT independent schools pay but can’t reclaim.”

Oxford Economics’ findings are consistent with the “Charity Tax Map”, first published by the Charity Tax Group and the Nuffield Foundation in 2011, which set out in some detail the multiple different taxes that can affect charities.

The report contains very detailed estimates of the amount and types of tax supported by the operations of independent schools.

Income tax and NI contributions amounted to £2.1 billion, with more than half of this amount directly attributable to schools and their employees. Indirect taxes and corporation tax make up the balance.

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