Schools pan Sainsbury’s scheme

A new education voucher scheme created by Sainsbury’s has been slammed as exploitative.

Some schools are boycotting the scheme claiming it is labour intensive and of no educational value.

The School Bags scheme was launched three weeks ago with the supermarket chain claiming it would contribute 7m to the school education system.

Customers re-using carrier bags are given a voucher which can be redeemed against educational products for primary and secondary schools. A computer costs 22,000 vouchers, while 120 vouchers secures 25 crayons.

“It looks nice, but if you go into it in detail there is not much there for the schools,” says William Anderson, spokesman for the 50-strong Schools Consortium. “Some of the schools believe it is a waste of time and nothing more than an ad campaign that uses education as an added factor rather than giving something extra to education. This scheme is exploiting the link with education.”

It is the first time Sainsbury’s has launched an educational voucher scheme.

“I don’t see how this scheme could be seen as exploitative,” says Sainsbury’s spokeswoman Clare Meredith. “It does not demand money from children or their parents, it encourages the recycling of bags and if it does as we say it could put 7m into education.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here