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Victory for Schools as Irish Independent Scraps Voucher Scheme

category national | education | feature author Wednesday January 27, 2010 11:41author by Mark C - CCFE - Campaign for Commmercial-free Education Report this post to the editors

Independent Newspapers abandons its “Building for the Future” scheme just weeks after its high-profile launch

featured image
Not Building for the Irish Indpendent's
Future, anymore!

Irish primary schools celebrated a victory this week as Independent Newspapers abandoned their “Building for the Future” scheme just weeks after its high-profile launch.

It is the first time a major in-school marketing promotion has been scrapped and is an embarrassing climb down for Independent and their co-sponsors Bank of Ireland.

The launch of “Building for the Future”, which demanded a quota of 20 tokens per pupil from schools wishing to enter, was met with condemnation from across the teaching community.

The Campaign for Commercial Free Education urged schools to boycott the commercially-driven promotion and pointed out that a single stream school (8 classes X 27 children X 20 tokens X €1.80 per copy) must give Independent Newspapers €7,776 in sales plus thousands more in free advertising and promotion within the school.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation described the scheme as “a new low in trying to target school children for commercial gain” and promised a public protest if the companies involved did not scrap the promotion.

Fifty Six primary principals signed a statement rejecting “Building for the Future” and criticising the sponsors for “seeking to exploit schools, boost sales and make life uncomfortable for children whose parents do not buy the sponsors newspapers.”

In the face of such blanket criticism, Independent Newspapers have ceased to promote or publish tokens for the scheme. The scheme has been quietly consigned to the marketing dustbin while teachers celebrate an important victory.

Joseph Fogarty, chairman of the Campaign for Commercial Free Education, said “This is great news for schools whose teaching time will not now be wasted collecting quotas of tokens, pressurising children and pestering parents. We hope this is the beginning of the end for commercial voucher schemes and that Tesco, SuperValu and others will take note that children are not for sale in schools.”

Further information:
Joseph Fogarty, Chairperson,
Campaign for Commercial-Free Education 086 3220688

Niall Smyth, Vice Chairperson
Campaign for Commercial-Free Education 087 6988540

Related Link: http://www.commercialfreeeducation.com
author by .publication date Sat Jan 30, 2010 19:13Report this post to the editors

are for learning....not exploitation.

Well done to all those involved in achieving this victory. Brilliant!!

author by G Berkeleypublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 15:32Report this post to the editors

Very pleased to see that this tawdry scheme has been quietly consigned to the marketing dustbin.Let’s hope that this marks the begining of the end for all such cheap , publicity-seeking schemes .
I wrote to my TD to complain about the scheme last year using a brilliant, simple-to –use, free to use ,on-line tool designed to contact politicians by email . It’s called contact.ie. There is an indymedia exclusive interview with the site’s founder here:


author by observerpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:13Report this post to the editors

I commend the growing awareness about the intrusion of big business into schools. It recalls a recent news item where a TD prided himself in getting 4 multnational businesses in North Mayo to take up a supportive position in relation to 4 secondary schools in the area. As a former teacher I would feel quite offended that such is deemed necessary as it questions my professional ability to prepare my students for life. The TY does that with excellence already.
I would also question the going into schools looking for votes for talent contests where students are urged to put loyalty to area over judging the excellence of talent. Why not teach students how to judge excellence. Much greater contribution to the development of the critical faculties, the goal of all education.

author by PBPA - People Before Profit Alliancepublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 16:49author email info at peoplebeforeprofit dot ieReport this post to the editors

Check out New Documentary on Commercialism in Irish Schools:

Related Link: http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.ie/node/294
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