Commenting on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s statements re running schools for profit, James Croft, Education Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:
“Nick Clegg is totally wrong when it comes to running schools for profit. Evidence from Sweden shows that for-profit schools invest to ensure high-quality outcomes and that their impact tends to be greatest on those from low socio-economic backgrounds.
“Rather than being socially divisive – as Clegg states – evidence shows that giving schools greater freedom over curriculum and teaching priorities stimulates innovation and that increased competition drives up standards across the board.
“This kind of reactionary thinking is precisely what has kept our state education system in the mire for decades. Nick Clegg would do better to look at the actual facts rather than indulging in populist anti-capitalist rhetoric.”
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Notes to editors
Schooling for Money: Swedish Education Reform and the Role of the Profit Motive by Gabriel H Sahlgren was published in Dec 2010. Looking at the effect of for-profit schools in Sweden, it found that competition that drove improvements in the Swedish system was only possible because of the high number of for-profit schools that were established.
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