Tonight’s London Evening Standard (no link) is reporting that the Shadow Chancellor is planning to send his two children to an £11,000 prep school; Norland Place[Hat-tip: Sky News blog.]

This will be controversial and contrasts with Mr Cameron’s hope to send his children to state schools.

But if it is politically difficult few Conservatives will quarrel with Mr Osborne putting his children’s future before any short-term electoral considerations.  If someone has wealth – and Mr Osborne is heir to a considerable fortune (the Osborne & Little wallpaper company) – it is much better to spend that money on your children than on personal luxuries.

PS Ben Brogan adds an interesting PS to this blog post of his.  Apparently the prep school story was a Telegraph exclusive.  The Telegraph contacted Mr Osborne’s office for a quote only to see the story appear a few hours later in the Standard – and in a relatively favourable way.  If true Mr Osborne may have succeeded in partially spiking The Telegraph’s story but he is playing a risky game.  The Tory-Telegraph relationship is going through another rocky patch and such tactics won’t help. 

7am, 2nd February: A spokesperson for George Osborne issued the following statement to The Telegraph: "George has always said that, like any parents, he and his wife would choose what they thought was the right school for their children. That’s what they’ve done, and George has never tried to lecture other parents on what they should do. Norland Place is near their home, and indeed was the school that George himself went to, and was very happy at."

Simon Chapman relates this issue to supply-side schools reform.