The head of one of Suffolk's top independent schools has warned that Labour's plan to put VAT on fees could hit the state sector.

Framlingham College principal Louise North warned that a jump in fees could force some parents to withdraw children from independent schools and put further pressure on the state sector.

She said schools like hers tried hard to keep down fees as much as possible - but it would not be possible to absorb a rise like this.

Labour has said it will not seek to end independent schools' charitable status - but it is looking at imposing 20% VAT and business rates.

Mrs North said: ‘Our position on fees has and always will be to as far as possible protect parents from increases.

"The high inflationary environment has resulted in a significant upward adjustment to fees in recent years.

"The parents and guardians of the children at Framlingham College are hardworking and have made a decision to put their children through a private education by, in many instances, sacrificing other lifestyle choices.

"A further fee increase, caused by a change in legislation that will result in VAT on fees, would deal another blow to parents, who may have to move their children out of private schools to state schools.

"State schools, already at capacity, will be further impacted.

"It is a common misperception that private schools are wealthy and will be able to absorb the impact of VAT on fees.

"At Framlingham College, we will pass on savings linked to VAT recoveries on non-salary expenditure to parents and will continue to seek other ways to dampen any affect that changes to legislation will have on fees.”

A Labour spokesman said: “Our policy remains. We will remove the unfair tax breaks that private schools benefit from, to fund desperately needed teachers and mental health counselling in every secondary school.

“This doesn’t require removing charitable status, however, driving high and rising standards for every child against the backdrop of a broken economy requires political choices. Labour isn’t afraid to make them.”