LONDON, March 11 (UPI) -- The British schools secretary revealed Tuesday that secondary schools have been charging parents to obtain a spot at a school of their choosing.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls said the payments, which began about 12 months ago, "disproportionately" took place at voluntary aided and foundation schools that have control over their own admissions, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
Balls said some schools were charging parents hundreds of dollars to secure positions at the schools of their choice for their children.
The secretary said he is moving to curb the abuse of the system.
"For any school that is imposing financial obligations on the parents I want to be clear that this practice must stop immediately," he said in The Guardian article. "Parents must not be required to pay any contribution to the school as a condition of admission whatever they may have agreed to do when making their application."
"Any school that has asked parents to make a financial contribution as a condition of admission must make clear to those parents now that such a payment is not mandatory," Balls said.