GIGGLESWICK School says it will not increase its fees should the Labour Party win this year's general election and form the next Government.

Labour has said it will remove the VAT exemption on the fees of independent schools such as Giggleswick if it comes to power.

But Giggleswick, one of the UK's oldest boarding schools, says it believes it is the first school in the north of England to announce its decision not to pass the cost onto families, and will only increase fees in line with inflation.

Currently, the annual fee for a full boarder in year nine is £40,485 a year - with VAT added, that would increase to £48,582.

Sam Hart, the school's headmaster, said: “Considering the potential changes in the political landscape, we recognise the importance of doing everything within our power to shield our parents and pupils from significant increases in fees.

“By deciding not to pass the VAT cost onto parents, we hope to provide reassurance and support during these uncertain times."

The school, which accepts children from two to 18 years old, says it is looking to make savings elsewhere.

Mr Hart added: “As a small rural school with limited resources, we face significant challenges in mitigating the impact of such policies. We are committed to not compromising the quality of our educational offering; however, it will mean restructuring programmes and staff, and unfortunately, reducing bursary support to cover the VAT bill.

"Without clarity and policy detail we face a void of uncertainty; planning early and robustly is our only option to ensure the future success of the School. “We want to make it clear that this isn't an easy decision, but we have little choice in the matter if we are to protect our parents, pupils and the school.”