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VOUCHERS FAIL TO EXPAND MARKET

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Nursery vouchers have failed to create new pre-school places in the three London boroughs piloting the scheme. ...
Nursery vouchers have failed to create new pre-school places in the three London boroughs piloting the scheme.

Giving evidence to an education select committee inquiry into vouchers, education directors from Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth and Westminster said there was no hard evidence of an increase in provision. Kensington and Chelsea director Roger Wood said there was only 'anecdotal' evidence of some private and voluntary sector movement in his borough.

Mr Wood warned that the government's declared aim of expanding parental choice contained a potential anomaly because real choice would require a surplus of places.

Wandsworth director Paul Robinson was challenged by Labour MP Gerry Steinberg for suggesting voucher administration was 'relatively straightforward'. In his written submission, he had said there were bureaucratic problems.

He said issuing and collecting vouchers was straightforward but persuading parents to apply had added to schools' workloads.
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