THE London borough of Southwark is considering whether to use private contractors to run its school improvement programme. It would make Southwark, which received a damning report from the Office for Standards in Education last year, the fourth authority to turn to the private sector. Stephanie Elsy, chair of the education committee, said Southwark had not been able to recruit a head for its School Improvement Unit, set up following OFSTED criticisms of its school support. A number of key advisers' posts were also vacant. The decision will be taken next week.