What's wrong with the profit motive in education?

James Stanfield writes for Conservative Home

It is fair to suggest that many politicians are still cautious about combining the profit motive with children’s education.  The suggestion is that educating children should not be for profit, and that because education has always been separate from the forces of the free market, then that's how it should stay.  However, this anti-profit mentality in education raises more questions than it answers.

Firstly, would politicians still believe that educating children should not be for profit if schools run by for-profit companies could be shown to produce much better results at a lower cost – especially for the less-well-off? Or should these schools be permanently excluded irrespective of how they perform?  While many politicians might claim that no such evidence exists, we should also question why they don’t appear to be interested in finding out which type of school performs the best. Are they confident in their belief that all government schools will always outperform all schools run by for-profit companies, both now and at any time in the future?  Or is there some objection in principle to the profit motive, even if the education of children suffers as a result of excluding it?

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