Tory MP: profit makes schools poorer


5:12 pm - May 29th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Education secretary Michael Gove today let slip that he wanted schools to be run for-profit.

He told the Leveson inquiry that schools “could” be profit-making and he would deal with that issue “when we come to that bridge”, which may be very soon.

But he had earlier told the BBC’s Andrew Marr:

Nick (Clegg) and I are completely in agreement on this (banning for-profit free schools). It’s not an issue.

The Conservative election manifesto said that we don’t need to have profit at the moment, the Liberal Democrat manifesto said that we don’t need profit at the moment and we don’t.

Nick Clegg ruled out for-profit Free schools too.

But here’s another view on for-profit schools:

JON SOPEL: You’ve said you want to widen the choice to the widest possible extent to the different ways that schools can be provided. Why not say, we’ll have the profit motive. I thought the Conservative Party believed in the profit motive.

NICK GIBB: Yes, but it’s not necessary. The trouble with allowing companies to make a profit from providing schools is that it take money out of the education system, significant sums of money out. We want to make sure that all that money is retained within it and if it were necessary, fine but it’s not necessary…

JON SOPEL: Is it that you have a principled objective to profit in schools.

NICK GIBB: No of course not, schools are going to buy stationery, they’re going to buy desks and furniture from private companies, but we don’t think it’s necessary to have private companies adding a mark-up to teachers’ salaries which is the predominant expense within schools, in order to make the system work. We believe it will work without incurring that expense for the tax payer.

That was the Conservative MP Nick Gibb in 2008, then the shadow minister for education. He is now Minister of State for schools.

If Michael Gove pushes for-profit schools anyway, it would be the biggest u-turn of this Coalition government.

(via Mrs Blogs blogs)

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Politician lies about real intentions – well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs.

Point 1. Murdoch has an interest.

Point 2. Gove’s private emails.

Point 3. Surprised that New Labour didn’t do it.

This is the much heralded growth that the Tories promised us; allow the private sector free and easy access to taxpayer’s money.

No accountability, no FOI, etc., etc.

It’s a bit odd to see all the politicians here discussing for-profit schools as though they don’t exist at the moment. I think fee-charging schools have been around for a while, haven’t they?

3. Sevillista

Gove has achieve his objective of profit-making schools already without the hassle of being elected on this platform or any political debate about it.

There is no legal barrier to schools contracting out any of its ‘educational services’ to profit-making companies.

Academies – free to have representives of companies with a financial stake in contracting out ‘educational services’ on their boards and no regulation on their membership – can easily do this ignoring any conflicts of interest that may exist.

Over half of secondary schools are now academies. Clegg is completely naive – and wrong – if he really believe that schools are unable to be run for profit. It already happens.

The bar on schools explicitly making profits is rapidly becoming redundant.

Say what you want about Gove, but he certainly knows how to achieve his very radical objectives very quickly. Well done Labour and Blair for putting the facilitating legislation in place!

@alasdair

An interesting fact is that few private schools are profit-making. The vast majority are charities. Makes you wonder if there is something about the for-profit schools model that might not work – otherwise why is it not the predominant organisational form of private schools?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Tory MP: profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/3eM43gUX

  2. representingthemambo

    Liberal Conspiracy – Tory MP: profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/3eM43gUX

  3. Magapanthus Smith

    Liberal Conspiracy – Tory MP: profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/3eM43gUX

  4. Steve Brewster

    MP says profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV << Oh wait, that was a TORY education minister in 2008

  5. Penfold

    Tory MP said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/Kky657bS

  6. Fighty McGirldude

    MP says profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV << Oh wait, that was a TORY education minister in 2008

  7. Jonty H. Campbell

    As would a loss-run! MT @sunny_hundal "profit-run schools would take £ out of #education " http://t.co/jGtY7ULd <TORY edu minister in 08

  8. Pucci D

    Education is not meant to be FOR PROFIT.. RT @libcon: Tory MP said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/DQhBNyJN

  9. sunny hundal

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  10. Marcus Chown

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  11. Thomas Milman

    Tory MP: profit makes schools poorer | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/QwUhPMWv via @libcon

  12. Wordocalypse

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  13. Magicmingus

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  14. Qian Yu

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  15. McGinOxford

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  16. etonmess

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  17. Brian Tomkinson

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  18. Neil Bradley

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)

  19. Fighty McGirldude

    Conservative minister for schools earlier said profit-run schools would take money out of education http://t.co/V8hDBIMV (icymi)





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