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Against Supevalu's Kids in Action Voucher Scheme

category national | education | feature author Saturday January 24, 2009 21:47author by Mark C - Campaign for Commercial-Free Education Report this post to the editors

Supervalu Admit their Vouchers are Worthless

featured image
Supervalu? No, Worthless

This is an opinion piece about the Supevalu 'Kids in Action" voucher scheme that gives "free" sports equipment to schools; this equipment is anything but free, and Supervalu, in their Terms and Conditions, admit that the vouchers are worthless.

Supervalu has admitted that its vouchers for the Kids in Action programme are worthless.

The recently launched Supervalu 'Kids in Action' voucher scheme claims to provide schools with free sports equipment. This is a fallacy. Simple maths will explain: in order for a school to claim a 'free' gymnastics mat that retails at about €280, customers will have to spend €32,840 in Supervalu (i.e. 3,240 vouchers at €10 each); in order for a school to claim a 'free' basketball (that you could buy for around €10) customers will be asked to add €1,570 to Supervalu's bank account, and so on. (Source: 2009 Supervalu's 'Kids in Action' Catalogue, available at supervalukidsinaction.com)


What a scheme like this actually does is allow an under-funded education system to continue to be under-funded by allowing the government to continue to abdicate its responsibilities in this area. The line seems to be: if Supervalu are willing to provide sports equipment, why not let them? The same is true of other voucher schemes such as Tesco's 'Computers for Schools' scheme, which claims to give free IT equipment to schools. Could you imagine the uproar if Supervalu et al decided to run a 'Medical Equipment for Hospitals' voucher scheme? Or, 'Non-Lethal Weapons for the Gardaí' voucher scheme?

The only free thing that comes out of this scheme is free advertising for the supermarkets. Looking at the terms and conditions, however, of this scheme we can see something very telling: Condition 8: "The nominal cash value of each Supervalu Kids in Action voucher is €0.001". The subtext here being that the vouchers are worthless (especially when you look at Condition 19: "Vouchers are not redeemable for cash"). Indeed.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation has called on its 34,000 members to 'reject [these campaigns] by sending the vouchers back or by putting them in the recycle bin". Indeed, this is advice that every right thinking parent ought to consider (whilst also writing to Supervalu to let them know that we are not going to allow our education system to be co-opted by private enterprise).

If you'd like to do something about this contact someone who can effect change in this matter.

Related Link: http://www.commercialfreeeducation.com
author by ..trolleycase.publication date Mon Jan 26, 2009 14:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This subject would be ideal material for Joe Duffy.

author by Bob Coylepublication date Wed Jan 28, 2009 14:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The vouchers are NOMINALLY worthless. You can't exchange them for cash. Did you think you could?

If you shop at supervalu, supervalu will use their extra profits to buy stuff for schools. If you've ever been in a school you will be aware that parents bring in hundreds of thousands of vouchers from SuperValu and Tesco as well, and that computers, gym equipment and much more actually does get purchased. In fact, working class schools get more of it because the parents don't shop in Marks and Spencers/Donnybrook Fair and the like.

author by chewypublication date Fri Jan 30, 2009 22:39author email ptuite at airspeed dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The same mats in the UK are £171(€194 at todays rate). Makes the maths look even worse when you consider they get bulk buy discounts!

Related Link: http://www.continentalsports.co.uk/pe/index.html?http%3A//www.continentalsports.co.uk/pe/pe_products_mats.html
author by Mark C - CCFEpublication date Tue Feb 10, 2009 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've had a look at the catalogue and my figures are correct. If you go to page 42 of the catalogue for the Schools Catalogue you will see that an Alpine Gymnastics Bench needs 3,284V (ie 3,284 vouchers) and if you multiply this by €10 per voucher, the spend needed for such a bench is €32,840. I had likened that price to a Gym Mat for €280 euro, but it turns out I was being very generous to Supervalu: an Alpine Gymnastics Bench retails for £158.63.

Sources:
Alpine Bench: http://www.podium4sport.com/online-shop/cat/386/id/1330...ch-2m
Supervalu Catalogue: http://www.supervalukidsinaction.com/_Documents/School/...2.jpg

With this in mind, the introductory paragraph should read:

_____

The recently launched Supervalu 'Kids in Action' voucher scheme claims to provide schools with free sports equipment. This is a fallacy. Simple maths will explain: in order for a school to claim a 'free' gymnastics bench that retails for £160.00, customers will have to spend €32,840 in Supervalu ((i.e. 3,240 vouchers at €10 each) Source: Supervalu Kids in Action Schools Catalogue, pg. 42 and www.podium4sport.com); in order for a school to claim a 'free' basketball (that you could buy for around €10) customers will be asked to add €1,570 to Supervalu's bank account, and so on. (Source: 2009 Supervalu's 'Kids in Action' Catalogue, available at supervalukidsinaction.com)

_____

From Village Magazine: Friday 6th February, 2009
From Village Magazine: Friday 6th February, 2009

author by Mark C - CCFEpublication date Tue Feb 10, 2009 16:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks to the Wicklow Times for helping out again. They also took up our anti-Tesco cause last year.

Wicklow Times, Tuesday 3rd February, 2009
Wicklow Times, Tuesday 3rd February, 2009

Related Link: http://markconroy.net/category/personal-writing/teaching-and-education
 
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