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Good news from Labour

Two pieces of good news were reported in The TES on April 26.

First was the recognition by Labour's David Blunkett that the nursery voucher scheme "will have a devastating impact on provision" and "penalises those councils that have already invested in their under-fives services". That is why no local education authorities wanted to join the scheme in the first place and why those which are taking part in phase 1 are being given financial guarantees, which will not be made to any other LEAs if the Bill currently going through Parliament becomes law. So Labour will abolish the voucher scheme. We hope that this is a policy which will not change .

Second "if Labour wins an overall majority - in Trafford - it intends to consult on abolishing selection and creating comprehensives". Will this also be a national policy which is firm and secure? We hope so. Meanwhile the Tories are considering a return to selection.

For a Government that has based much of its education policy on "parental choice" this seems extraordinary.

Where are the parents demanding a return to secondary moderns and how does a policy of allowing schools to select parents marry up with giving parents the right to "express a preference"?

MELIAN MANSFIELD Campaign for State Education 57 Weston Park London N8

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