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According to the think-tank, the Social Market Foundation, oversubscribed schools should use a secret lottery to allocate places, ending middle class queue jumping. It argues that a ballot or a lottery is fairer than the current system in which parents buy expensive houses in the catchment areas of popular schools. The SMF report says: "The concern is that effective school choice has become the preserve of the middle classes, who can afford to buy into the catchment areas of the best schools. This can be quantified through the so-called 'house price premium', whereby being in the catchment area of a good school can add tens of thousands of pounds to the value of a property, which has the effect of crowding out the poor." The report also proposes radical changes to the role of local education authorities by giving schools freedom to expand according to demand from parents.

What do you think?

http://www.smf.co.uk/site/smf/

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Apparently we will cease to have a problem if the Tory Party comes into power John - their idea is to allow 'successful' schools to expand to accomodate all the demands for places. On the down side though, less successful, unpopular schools may well meet their demise and could close! How about that for joined up thinking!? :)

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What most people really want of course is for their local school and indeed hospital to provide a guaranteed level of service. This quite obviously cannot be established by creating an internal market for such essential services. In markets logically there will be winners and losers.

If I become ill the last thing I want is "choice" between competing hospitals. Rather I want to know that wherever this happens in the country quality care and service is on hand. Likewise, should I ever be foolish enough to become a parent it would be good to know that whatever area of the country I am in my children could receive a high quality comprehensive education.

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