NAHT has added its weight to the argument against profit-making schools.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “I’ve nothing against private enterprise at all but there is plenty of public enterprise already in the education sector, without introducing the moral ambiguity of profit. In a time of massive change in education, we demonstrably don’t need profits to unleash innovation.
“With the best will in the world, the profit motive distorts decisions that should be made without reference to self-interest. Some children are more expensive to educate and care for than others, in ways that cannot be captured by indicators of deprivation. Parents need to know that decisions are made solely on the basis of children’s welfare. Imagine the conversation with the parent of an excluded child in a profit making school: "Did you exclude my child to protect other children or to boost your bonus?" Even performance related contracts create similar dilemmas – what do you do with the child arriving in year five who is likely to drop you down the league table? Currently, professional values offer some protection against these risks.”
Mr Hobby was commenting on a speech by Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg, in which he warned that: “…piecemeal reform and profit making is not the way to raise education standards in England”, and added: “There are real risks attached to the profit making experiment. It risks attracting people to our education system simply who wish to make a quick buck. It risks the abuse of public resources at a time when it is even more important that we ensure that every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely."
Link to Stephen Twigg’s speech
Page Published: 01/06/2012