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Right's top-up case

Parents should be able to pay "top-up" fees for children in state education, according to a right-wing think tank. Roderick Nye, author and acting director of the Social Market Foundation, said in the foundation's newsletter that parents who can afford it should be able to contribute to their children's education.

He argues that other public services can also be supplemented by discretionary fees. "It may be the only way we can guarantee a good quality welfare state for those who really need it," he said.

Earlier this year the foundation's chairman, Lord Skidelsky, the historian and former Government exam adviser, recommended that a voucher scheme should be introduced for state schools.

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