If we cut out Whitehall and local bureaucracy, we could give front-line head teachers another £1350 per pupil to spend. And wouldn't we get a more responsive, more local, more parent-focused school system as a result? Thinker and journalist Stephen Pollard argues that in value for money terms, when you add in all the bureaucratic costs, state education is now actually more expensive than private education. Why? Because too much of the education budget is wasted on inappropriate spending by distant officials. The answer? Devolve the budget to front-line managers. And do the same in health and social services while you're at it!
While Labour and Conservative parties talk about the value of parental choice in education, other countries are actively encouraging it. "All state schools could become independant." say's the reports author, former Fabian society research chief Stephen Pollard. Examples are given where the public funding private provision model is successsfully being used. In America the charter schools, which have been set up by local parents recieve tax funding, are non selective and are exempt from much of the regulation on state schools. New Zealand has copied the charter school model replacing the old district bureaucracies with new boards of trustees for each school and abolished zoning. 82% of New Zealanders now claim to be satisfied with their children's education. 97% of low income families are satisfied. Equality and educational standards would both rise if the government stopped running schools and paid others to do it instead.