Monday, March 05, 2007

Improving education through competition

Minette Marrin of the Sunday Telegraph has the right idea on education. She thinks we should follow the Swedish idea. I have liked the Swedish system ever since I read this.

I have thought long and hard and I don’t believe the government can be trusted with a near monopoly on Education. Government after government have shown that they can’t be trusted with the educational needs of our children. Only competition can improve schools which has been proven in Sweden.

I like the Swedish system but I do think it needs a few changes. In their system parents are given vouchers towards the cost of education which is the price of what the government would spend on you. The schools cannot charge fees. I would allow the schools to charge fees as the more money invested in that child’s education the better they will do. Even a few hundred pounds extra per year would give them an advantage. If they couldn’t afford that fees that the schools MIGHT charge they can go to a state school which would be made to improve because they would lose out on pupils which would mean that they have to close down.

In their system the schools also can’t choose. It’s first come first serve. While this is ok it might stop the school from educating those it was originally intended to educate such as a girls school having to take in boys. It has been proven that the sexes learn differently and it would spoil both sexes education if a school wasn’t used for it’s original purpose. This would have a downside which would be that schools would probably only take the best and the brightest leaving the ones that are in badly need of a better education sidelined. This would mean that the government should choose the last 10% of pupils in that school from a pool of those already turned down and who can afford it if the school charges fees.

Independent schools have been proven to work wherever they have been started including Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand.

State schools would be changed to. Head teachers would be elected by the parents of the children every 2 years to make the schools more accountable. Those head teachers that are providing bad education would be sacked by the parents.

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