Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Chains of for-profit branded schools are the future

In an article in the Calgary Herald (Canada), Peter Cowley (Fraser Institute) imagines what schools might look like in the future and suggests that the concept of chains of for-profit branded schools provides an exciting alternative to the existing government monopoly. Cowley therefore concludes that "If the government of Alberta wishes to provide the best possible education to all of its young citizens, it would do well to ensure that its education policies encourage the kind of productive competition that branded, for-profit, school chains will encourage".
I think there can be no doubt that at some point in the near future, chains of branded for-profit schools will slowly start to dominate education sectors around th world, with both national and international brand names emerging. Governments are therefore faced with a number of choices. First, they can completely ignore and refuse to accept that such developments are taking place. Second, they can acknowledge these developments and do nothing. Third, they can acknowledge these developments but do everything in their power to stop them. Fourth, they can acknowledge these developments and look for ways of positively encouraging them, with tax breaks and other incentives. What governments can do to positively encourage private investment in education is still a relatively untouched area of research and will need much more attention in the future.

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