Sunday, December 03, 2006

Education vouchers are go!

Er, no they aren't. But, as Timmy says, they fucking well should be. This Telegraph article gets (some of it) right.
Here was an open goal for the Tory opposition, but the response from Conservatives has been lame.

That is rather tame, isn't it? The Tory response has been fucking abysmal; as far as I can see, Spam's bunch of arseholes are for reducing choice in schools even further—well, in so much as they have any policy on it.
The effective opposition has come from one of Labour's half-banished outriders, Alan Milburn, who advocates a voucher scheme that would allow parents with a child at a failing state school to use government funds to buy their child a place in a private school. But why would vouchers help the poor? Aren't they criticised by egalitarians for reinforcing existing patterns of disadvantage? And haven't the Tories just ditched their own voucher scheme as proof of how compassionate they now are?

Yup. One of the few sensible policies that the Conservatives have come up with in the last decade, and they have ditched it. Because Spam is an absolute and total cunt.
Once more, Mr Cameron has picked precisely the wrong moment to turn his back on market reform. The evidence that parental choice backed by vouchers benefits the disadvantaged is now so overwhelming that many on the political Left have become converts.

Sorry, but can anyone tell me if they still support the Tories? They are total fuckwits.
Even Sweden, Polly Toynbee's the social-democrat's idea of heaven, has a voucher scheme.

Since 1992, parents in Sweden who are dissatisfied with the local state school have had a right to send their child to an independent school and to receive state funding, now equivalent to the average cost of a place in the state system. Independent schools are free to innovate but they can't charge top-up fees or select pupils by ability. Starting from close to zero, by 2006 there were nearly 800 independent schools providing for about 7 per cent of children aged 7-16, and 10 per cent of those aged 16-plus. Many were created especially to cater for children with learning difficulties.

Controversial at first in Sweden, vouchers now enjoy cross-party support. They are even supported by the unions. The president of the Swedish Teachers Union has said that its members were "a little suspicious at first" but were now satisfied. Moreover, a survey of heads of education in Swedish municipalities found that standards had improved across the board in localities subject to the most competition from independent schools.

Sweden is not alone in encouraging competition from independent schools. Parents in Holland and Denmark have a legal right to state funding if they prefer private education. In the Netherlands, about 70 per cent of pupils attend privately-run schools that are state funded. In Denmark, support from only 40 parents is needed to secure state funding for a private school, and about 14 per cent of pupils attend independent schools financed by a voucher worth 85 per cent of the per-pupil cost in the state sector.

So, remind me again why the Tories have turned their backs on the idea?

Is it because Barroso says "no"?

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