Dangers in voucher scheme
In circumstances where separate nursery provision is not possible, mainly in sparsely-populated rural areas, some primary schools are organising early admission into reception classes. While not ideal this may be the only possibility.
It now appears that it is permissible for local authorities accepting vouchers for such admissions to top slice the value of the voucher by more than 90 per cent. The school is thus likely to receive only Pounds 50 to Pounds 100 in these circumstances as a contribution to the marginal cost involved in accepting and educating the pupil.
As well as being contrary to the publicly stated intention of the voucher scheme this practice will set a dangerous precedent for the general funding of schools and colleges. They may well find in the future that some of their pupils who are above some magic number on roll or number in class are funded on a marginal cost basis.
JOHN JENNINGS Brougham Penrith Cumbria.