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Partnerships are not all about profit

The headline "Zones may fail for lack of profit" fails to take account of the way in which the public and private sector are working together in education action zones.

Such headlines only serve to demonise the private sector and to discourage the real opportunity for radical change in the education system that education action zones represent.

In Newham we are committed to working in partnership with the private and other sectors. Our prime purpose in doing this is to raise achievement. Private-sector partners share our aspiration and can really see the value of investing in local young people. Our private-sector partners are clear that our zone is not about profit.

Our partnership produces a win-win situation for all of us and we are clear that privileged access to our developments and work may have longer-term benefits for some business partners.

The management consultancy firm, Arthur Andersen, is one of our partners and has played a useful part in helping to develop the plans for our zone.

Through its knowledge and skills in management techniques, it was able to help us to develop our overall vision for the zone. We are also aware that Arthur Andersen is working separately to develop its own business base in the public sector.

Neil Wilson Chair of Newham EAZ Action Forum London E15

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