Labour voters support assisted places

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The Independent Online
More than half of the country's Labour voters still back the use of government money to support children from low-income families at independent schools, according to a poll. And a majority of parents would send their children to independent schools, if they could afford the fees.

The findings, in a survey by the Independent Schools Information Service (Isis), come despite the Government's abolition of the Assisted Places Scheme to fund smaller primary school classes - one of the key pledges on which it fought the general election.

David Woodhead, director of Isis, said: "There is no sense in trying to re-fight old battles. But it is important that the Government recognises that public support for the use of state funds to support low income families at independent schools remains very strong.

"It is equally strong amongst the people who voted it into power this May. Most people no longer bring any ideological baggage to this debate; they simply want to see good schools more widely available."

The survey, involving 1,871 parents in 167 constituencies, found that 59 per cent overall supported state funding of independent school places for poorer children.

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