Urge the best councils to help the rest, say MPs

30th June 2000 at 01:00
SUCCESSFUL councils should be encouraged to help out failing counterparts, an influential cross-party committee of MPs said this week. Private-sector intervention could help raise standards, but it was not the only solution, according to the Commons education select committee.

The MPs' report, The role of private-sector organisations in public education, says: "We do not consider that private-sector organisations are inherently more skilled or are more likely to achieve high standards than public-sector organisations."

It says the best mix would take private-sector management expertise and public-sector education skills. But successful councils are unable to bid for contracts to run failing authorities because of the punitiv penalties attached to missing targets, MPs say.

They recommend allowing experienced LEA officers to help under-performing councils, backed by a "cadre" of top state education administrators.

The report came out as Benno Schmidt, the founder of the high-profile private US education firm Edison Schools, returned to the UK to press the case for privatisation.

The firm runs 80 schools with 38,000 students in the States and says is keen to consolidate after floating on the stock market. Mr Schmidt, a former president of Yale University, has told MPs in the past that he could reduce class sizes and give each pupil a laptop at no extra cost to the taxpayer. He regards schools as the last of the cottage industries.


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now