On the other hand, there's an article in the Sheffield Star about the opening of the new Vox centre which would have you believe that A4e invented the idea of special provision for difficult school children. "A4e chairman Emma Harrison says the centres have been so successful that local councils have started paying for children to attend because it is cheaper than trying to control them at school, find them when they are truanting or seeking other solutions," she says. The "other solutions" could be the Pupil Referral Units which have been operating up and down the country under the control of local authorities for years. They are staffed by experienced, specialist teachers and overseen by management committees which comprise councillors, local head teachers and representatives of the community. They are funded by the local council, and many of them get very good results. Harrison says Vox have got attendance up to "in some cases" 85%. That's normal for the PRUs. So why would councils want to abandon PRUs and pay to put kids into A4e provision? Only because it could work out cheaper. That's how creeping privatisation works.