Profit making in schools: an inevitable reality?

22 February 2012 23:52

Profit making in schools: an inevitable reality?


"And, to anyone who is worried that, by expanding the mix of providers in our education system, we are inching towards inserting the profit motive into our school system, again, let me reassure you: yes to greater diversity; yes to more choice for parents. But no to running schools for profit, not in our state-funded education sector." (Nick Clegg, September 2011)

Ever since the emergence of City Technology Colleges (CTC’s) in the early 1990’s, respective governments have held to the notion that allowing schools greater autonomy and the space to innovate provides an effective route out of persistent mediocrity or failure towards improved attainment and success. Reform has gone some considerable way in shifting education policy in a more market orientated direction. Yet, what many might regard as the primary agent of market based innovation – namely the for-profit private providers – continues to be very much kept out in the cold.

In an upcoming report, Policy Exchange seeks to challenge the grounds for opposition against for-profit provision playing a part in the running of our schools.

This event will discuss the issues at stake:

  • How might we more effectively harness the capacity of the private sector to address some of the key challenges facing our schools today?
  • Should we fear for profit involvement in our schools? To what extent is it already happening?
  • Is there a case for a 100% profit making companies running schools or might a more social enterprise model present a more practical alternative?

CHAIR: James Groves - Head of Education, Policy Exchange
Graham Stuart MP - Chair, Education Select Committee
Brian Lightman - General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders
Lisa Nandy MP - Member, Education Select Committee
Gabriel H. Sahlgren - Author, Schooling for Money: Swedish Education Reform and the Role of the Profit Motive

profit making in schools: an inevitable reality?