OXFORDSHIRE would be among the worst-hit areas if Labour saw through its plan to scrap private schools.

The party made the pledge last month to 'integrate' independent schools into the state sector, removing charitable status and redistributing assets.

A census by the Department for Education in January this year recorded 17,176 pupils attending 53 private schools in Oxfordshire.

This accounted for 15 per cent of pupils in the area, which was one of the highest proportions in England.

Some will travel from outside of Oxfordshire to attend their school.

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The Knowledge Academy has also now ranked counties with privately-educated children, excluding London, and Oxfordshire came in at number six.

With 120 schools and 46,583 students, the research said Surrey is the county most at risk.

Several Oxfordshire heads who spoke to the Oxford Mail last month, including that of Magdalen College School and St Edward's School, said scrapping the sector altogether was not the way to address inequalities in the education system.

The Independent Schools Council said a move to abolish private schools would 'attack the rights and freedoms of parents to make choices over the education of their children.'