In whose interests?

29th June 2001 at 01:00
IT was good to see the Government's favourite think-tank agreeing with The TES this week. There may be a case for more business involvement in running schools - a case yet to be proven. But for-profit management services must not undermine the role of governors in ensuring the wider public interest in a school is being served. Nor should private-sector takeovers become a backdoor for selection or preferential funding.

As the Institute for Public Policy Research report on business partnerships in public services suggests (page 9), governing bodies must remain independent of private service providers. They must also retain control over crucial decisions such as the ethos of the school and the appointment of the headteacher, though that does not prevent contractors from making suggestions.

Governors must act in the best interests of pupils, not shareholders.

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