Vouchers for empty seats

17th May 1996 at 01:00
This year our nursery has filled with 104 happy and stimulated three and four-year-olds who entered at the age of three years and four months from September. Our four-year-olds all enter school in September, which is the case in many other schools.

If, as we understand it, there will be no funding for three-year-olds from April 1997 and all our voucher-bearing children enter reception in September 1997 as usual, who can we put into our high quality purpose-built nursery? Can it be true that our school will have to alter its perfectly satisfactory admissions policy to prevent our excellent nursery from being completely empty during the autumn term? Can this regressive and punitive step really be what the Government intended from the nursery voucher system? Why penalise the authorities who have already recognised the value of pre-school education and allocated resources to provide it? Why penalise the children? At the moment we can find no one able to tell the governing body whether the current funding for three-year-olds will or will not be withheld so we have no answers for our baffled parents.

Can anyone enlighten us and explain the logic of this apparently absurd situation?

ELIZABETH BOTWRIGHT

Parent governor

Wedderburn Infant School? Harrogate, North Yorks

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