Accountability and Competition in Education

How Competition can Affect School Performance

Learn more about how schools competition with each other affects their performance by reading Peter Gale Headteacher blog post below.

It was only recently that competition is being embedded in discussions on schools. In the UK, schools have been traditionally seen as a system that needs to be managed. This means that debates for policies mainly focused on pupil selection, teaching techniques, pupils, and so on. However, along with healthcare and some other public services, provide competition and client choice are now becoming crucial parts of the policy making process.

People who are proposing radical school reforms that are market-based argue that there is a need for them even despite the considerable rise in the number of pupils that opted to leave schools that have five good GCSEs. This is because schooling in the UK does not seem to be showing improvements relative to other countries have been faring. Also, this is because outcome improvements tend to be accompanied by even large increases in the spending for education. This can then result in small productivity falls across the entire sector.

It is quite straightforward to get an understanding of school competition present in a market that is wholly private. Parents will choose a school based on quality and price. Schools are going to be incentivised so they are able to prop themselves up and make themselves more appealing to parents in order for them to not only survive but to also make a profit.

In contrast, schools that are funded by the government operate differently. Administrators are the ones tasked to assign pupils to Pacific schools. Schools tend to have little incentives and usually utilise resources in the most efficient manner possible since they are not allowed to retain surpasses from their budget. However, competition elements can be possibly added to this environment. This is usually through the separations of provision and funding.

Peter Gale Headteacher

Here, parents will choose the schools and the schools then get to receive the necessary funding for every single pupil that they will manage to attract. This is all to achieve the idea where popular schools are going to grow while the unpopular ones are likely going to close. This mimics the effect of any true competition.

Every single school organisation, whether market-like or bureaucratic, always have incentives built in. These incentives can be implicit or explicit. They determine how the governors, head teachers, and teachers are going to interact with pupils and parents. Whatever school characteristics that parents will choose to value can have a critical effect in determining how the institutions are going to respond to choice systems.

Among the things that parents want from a school include high ranking in surveys, proximity to their residence, good exam results, as well as behaviour of pupils. In addition, this information can be available through channels that are both informal and formal. This includes performance tables, Ofsted reports, social networks, prospectuses and school visits.

It is also important to remember that while parents want quality, the design for the accountability measures of the school will be critical in the interpretation of quality. Learn more about the educational system by reading about Peter Gale Headteacher online. You can also connect with Peter Gale Headteacher on LinkedIn here.



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