Points Mean Prizes!

Hundreds of schools have driven up the amount they will be paid under the Government’s “pupil premium” initiative – designed to “reward” them for taking poorer children – by encouraging parents to apply for free school meals (FSM) for their children, even if they don’t eat them.

Seriously?

Yes, it really is that simple; it gives them more government funding:

Amid growing concerns over pressures on school budgets, headteachers and local councils have targeted the premium, allocated to those pupils eligible for FSM, as a key source of extra income. Teachers estimate the device is worth at least an extra £10m.

This is indeed the economics of the madhouse.

Equally mad, though, are those raising ideological objections to this:

…health campaigners complain that registering for FSM simply as a way to get more money undermines the message that free meals are a vital element of a child’s education.

Well, good. Clearly, it isn’t an entirely bad thing then, since any message so utterly bonkers deserves all the undermining we can throw at it….

2 comments for “Points Mean Prizes!

  1. July 18, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Difficult to disentangle compassion from madness, something addressed in the post at 11:00. Compassion for the truly disadvantaged is the hallmark of a civilized society – Russia, for example has zero compassion and old men and women die in the streets. There are no services whatever for the genuinely disadvantaged.

    Here, it’s gone way OTT the other way and that’s part of what we’re all blogging about. Is there no middle way, with compassion for the truly unfortunate but within limits? Should government not be doing everything to kickstart industry again and create jobs, slashing tax revenues and cutting out the quangos and other hangers-on?

  2. July 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I’m a great believer in universal, flat rate benefits.

    Either every kid gets a free school meal as a matter of course (it helps generate a sense of camaraderie – at least all the kids can complain about the same thing, same as school uniforms) or none of them do.

    Sod all this means testing, either schools allocate a few per cent of their budget to free dinners for all or they spend it on something else. Simples.

    That’s that problem solved. Next.

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