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.”

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