You can read 19 more articles this month
MINISTERS have quietly abandoned plans to spend millions of pounds on taxis for grammar school pupils following pressure from Labour.
The government has made a U-turn on the £20 million scheme for children receiving free school meals to be driven up to 30 miles every day to attend the nearest selective school.
But the cash earmarked for cabs has been returned to the Treasury rather than invested in schools, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner pointed out today.
The scheme, set to cost more than £5m a year and up to £5,000 a year per pupil, was first announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the 2017 Budget.
Ms Rayner argued that the funds should be used to reverse Tory cuts to school transport for disadvantaged children. In 2015-16, £6m was taken off the school transport budget.
The reduction led to disabled teenagers losing the right to help with travel to sixth form or college, pupils being forced to change schools and families having to pay hundreds of pounds extra for transport.
The Local Government Ombudsman revealed at the time that it had received a 63 per cent increase in serious complaints relating to school transport.
In one case, a teenager with severe autism lost his transport allowance and was told that he should go to school by walking a mile through an unlit area with no footpath, boarding a train and then changing to a bus.
Ms Rayner said: “It tells you everything you need to know about the Tories’ real priorities.
“It is clearer than ever that only a Labour government will invest in all of our children and guarantee schools the resources they need.”
Lamiat Sabin is the Morning Star’s Parliamentary Reporter.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.