Tories want to waste your money on taxis for grammar school pupils when it could be helping disabled children

The government says it will invest £5m a year to help the poorest pupils reach grammar schools [Image: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian].

The sheer, money-wasting stupidity of this idea should be enough to sink Theresa May’s plan to revive grammar schools – and would be, if your Conservative Government wasn’t so committed to its divisive ideology.

The fact that Philip Hammond is happy to put his name to such a silly waste of money should be enough to see him sacked as Chancellor, too.

This Writer wonders whether the Tories are hoping the general public will be happy to have their money wasted in this way because the people losing out are disabled and disadvantaged pupils – and people have already been indoctrinated into believing the disabled are an underclass who should be forced into destitution rather than helped.

It is another example of the Tory sickness that has spread across the UK since 2010.

New grammar school pupils could be ferried up to 15 miles by taxi to their schools, at a cost of up to £5,000 per pupil every year, despite cuts to last year’s general school transport budget for disabled and disadvantaged pupils.

The government has said it would invest £5m a year to fund transport for the poorest pupils to reach grammar schools so costs were not a barrier to a selective education for pupils who received free school meals or whose parents claimed maximum working tax credits.

About 1,000-1,500 pupils are estimated to require the funding, meaning that the cost per pupil could be as high as £5,000 if taxis were used. The government is expected to spend £20m on the transport over the parliament.

“We recognise that for many parents the cost of travel can be a barrier to exercising that choice,” the chancellor, Philip Hammond, said in his budget speech.

“Pupils typically travel three times as far to attend selective schools, so we will extend free school transport to include all children on free school meals who attend a selective school because we are resolved that talent alone should determine the opportunities a child enjoys.”

The high costs have been criticised by Labour because the grant that supports local councils to provide transport to all schools for disadvantaged and disabled pupils, normally by more cost-efficient buses, has been cut by £7m a year from 2016-17.

Source: Government under fire for ‘cash for cabs’ school transport plan | Education | The Guardian

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3 thoughts on “Tories want to waste your money on taxis for grammar school pupils when it could be helping disabled children

  1. Barry Davies

    They used to do this in the past, except they used coaches, I had to go on a free coach to a comprehensive school in Chippenham, strangely the two Grammar schools I went to I had no travel paid for.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes indeed. Coaches are far, far cheaper to operate as they take anything up to 56(? if I recall correctly) pupils, whereas a taxi takes just one.

  2. NMac

    Not quite sure how Barry Davies equates coaches (50+passengers) to taxis (maximum 3 passengers). It seems his grammar school education was wasted.

Comments are closed.