The blog Liberal Conspiracy has a review of a report by a think tank claiming to show no evidence that for-profit schools boost schools standards and that better routes to schools improvement are available.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has today published a report showing no evidence for the claim that for-profit schools boost standards of schools in England.
The report, ‘Not for Profit: the role of the private sector in England’s Schools‘ reviews the international evidence and concludes it does not support the claim that an expansion of for-profit providers will improve standards.
The report also argues that evidence from the OECD demonstrates “more competition-oriented systems tend to produce higher levels of school segregation between children from different backgrounds.”
With so many not-for-profit organisations willing to get involved in running schools in England, the IPPR says there are “no innovation grounds” for allowing for-profit schools.
In response to the IPPR report, Labour MP Karen Buck said that unlike the Tories, Labour does “not want organisations to make a profit from running our schools”.
She said any operating surplus should be invested back into educating children.
Labour supports innovation and reform in our schools system but this report confirms that profit-making schools are not necessary to achieve better results.
IPPR’s report is published in the wake of calls from three centre-right think tanks to allow state schools to be run by profit-making providers.
The argument for private sector funding in schools – supported by center-right think-tank Policy Exchange – say that with capital funding cuts of 60% by 2014/15 budgets will be “heavily restrained”.
The IPPR report suggests that the strongest drivers in school improvement are:
- High quality leadership and teacher,
- School autonomy in areas like curriculum and assessment in a framework of robust accountability
- Measures that systematically reduce class-based inequalities in attainment.