School vouchers: the new Tory approach

Share This

It would appear that my post on Tuesday about school vouchers was timely. The second in Direct Democracy’s series of Localist Papers is on precisely this topic.

I haven’t read the pamphlet yet, but my knee-jerk reaction is indeed negative. On first reading their proposals sounded like the Monty Python right for men to have babies. Allowing people to claim the cost of education from their local authority to spend however they choose, rather than a wholesale voucher system, does indeed sound like a simple exercise to subsidise public schools while offering everyone else almost nothing. New independent schools would struggle to get started under such a system.

The analogy to the right to buy scheme is unfortunate: while I don’t have a problem with the ‘right to buy’ the Tory scheme was actually a ‘right to subsidy’ and a ‘prohibition for local authorities to reinvest in housing stock,’ the socially regressive consequences of which we are now suffering from in terms of a dramatic plunge in social mobility and racial tensions caused by a lack of social housing. So much for localism.

I can’t help but think that if you’re going to introduce such a system you should introduce it wholesale. The piecemeal approach will simply cause more pain over a longer period of time. Nevertheless, I need to read the whole paper. Another one to add to the list.

2 thoughts on “School vouchers: the new Tory approach

  1. Well, at least in the Netherlands the school vouchers can only be used at schools. You can’t claim the voucher and use it to buy booze or new clothes, and leave your children without education.

    As I said when I answered your previous posting about school vouchers, I think that the Conservatives haven’t quite grasped the idea. Maybe this would be the opportunity for Lib Dems to introduce a better model for the school vouchers.

  2. True post, its rather scary when you look at whats happened to housing in this country after the early 80s, a sudden near total collapse of not just social house building but private housing form the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands which has never since recovered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *