Report: For-profit schools improve chances for poor

EDUCATION reforms by the coalition government must allow profit making schools, an influential thinktank said today.

Reforms in Sweden - which the UK’s plans are loosely based upon - only worked due to the contribution of for-profit schools, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

“This is especially the case in providing access to good schools for those from low socioeconomic backgrounds,” said the IEA’s Mark Littlewood.

A statistical analysis of the Swedish system found that the profit incentive boosted the number of new schools, driving up standards.

In Sweden 13 per cent of schools make a profit. Yet the UK government has received only 62 applications for independent new “free schools.”

“It is hardly surprising that we have seen such a low uptake when the profit motive has been excluded,” said Littlewood.