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SCHOOLS MAY BE OFFERED NEW OPT OUT BAIT

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The government is considering new financial incentives for schools to opt out amid growing doubts that targets set ...
The government is considering new financial incentives for schools to opt out amid growing doubts that targets set for April can be reached, the Guardian reports (p3).

Officials at the Department for Education want to commission market research as to why the key Tory policy has not taken off, to see whether further steps need to be taken, says the paper. Mr Patten has already decided to limit extra cash for technology to opted out and religious schools as an inducement. He also plans for secret voting for governors before they authorise parental ballots.

John Patten last year predicted that 1,500 schools would have opted out by April 1994. The figures have now been cut to 1,150 ministerial approvals by that date. That figure may not be reached either unless there are hundred of parent ballots this term. The Guardian reports that figures released last night show a slowing down of in ballots - 80% fewer than last year.

Opted out schools still account for only 1% of all schools and less than one in six secondary schools.

Martin Rogers, of Local Schools Information, is reported as saying that all those schools wishing to opt out have already done so.
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