Vouchers to go by next year

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
The decision to axe nursery vouchers with effect from August 1998 was made by Brian Wilson, the Education Minister, on the day council leaders met in Edinburgh demanding action. The Liberal Democrats and the SNP were quick to criticise Mr Wilson's failure to scrap the scheme immediately.

Mr Wilson said: "In the circumstances we have inherited we must issue vouchers to parents early next month, on a once only basis, so they can confirm places at centres meeting the quality standard set. No further vouchers will be issued."

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities acknowledged the problems of quickly unravelling vouchers, whose administration is contracted to Capita Management Services and which affects the private and voluntary as well as council sectors, a total of 600 centres.

This contrasts with the position in Wales where 90 per cent of four-year-olds have an education authority place compared with 56 per cent in Scotland, making the change less problematic.

Val MacIver, education chairman in Highland, one of four Scottish councils piloting vouchers, said: "If it is to be vouchers for another year, I could live with that."

Patricia McGinty of the Scottish Independent Nurseries Association said: "We now have a breathing space to get everybody round the table and plan ahead."

Comment, page 23

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now