Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Telegraph reports on Stamford Endowed scheme

The decision by Lincolnshire County Council to stop paying the private school fees for a few Stamford children was featured in today's Sunday Telegraph.

For those who may not subscribe to the Telegraph, here is the full unedited article:

The last remnant of the assisted places scheme, under which public money funded places at private schools, is to be scrapped because of complaints that it is elitist.
Lincolnshire County Council pays £1.9 million a year for 350 pupils to attend the boys' and girls' schools that make up the independent Stamford Endowed Schools, because there is no grammar school in the market town.

However, the Conservative-led council has finally bowed to pressure from state schools and some parents and will abandon the scheme from 2008.

The decision to stop funding 50 places a year for high-ability pupils comes days after it emerged that Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, offered help to a very able child in his constituency to attend an independent school because there were "no suitable state schools".

The Lincolnshire scholarships, running since 1975, are thought to be unique since the national assisted places scheme was abolished in 1997.

Quentin Davies, Stamford's Conservative MP, said the end of the scholarships "threatened disaster for future generations of the town's bright children".

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