Letter: Nursery scheme bound to fail

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The Independent Online
Sir: It has been interesting watching the Government trying to distract attention from the failings of its nursery voucher scheme ("Tories scorn Major's nursery revolution", 13 March). It heaps opprobrium on the local education authorities, accusing them of bribery and blackmail to encourage parents to use those vouchers in their schools.

This government put education into the market place. It is ironic that it now bemoans attempts by schools and local authorities to ensure that as many nursery vouchers as possible are used in schools rather than in the private and voluntary sectors.

The preferred option is for four-year-olds to be in properly resourced and staffed nursery schools and classes. Those admitted to reception classes will benefit from being in an educational environment and avoiding the instability which comes from having to change institutions at a later stage.

Schools which have been starved of resources did not create the market, which is now the only means of easing the under-funding inflicted on them by the Government.

DOUG McAVOY

General Secretary

National Union of Teachers

London WC1

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