Education plc: Understanding Private Sector Participation in Public Sector Education

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Education plc: Understanding Private Sector Participation in Public Sector Education

Education plc The pri vatisation of educa tion is contr oversial b ut is it ine vitable? How widespr ead is it? What do

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Education plc

The pri vatisation of educa tion is contr oversial b ut is it ine vitable? How widespr ead is it? What does it mean f or educa tional pr actice? In Education plc , Stephen Ball pr ovides a compr ehensive, anal ytical and empirical account of the pri vatisation of educa tion. He questions the kind of futur e we want f or educa tion and w hat role pri vatisation and the pri vate sector ma y have in tha t futur e. Using policy sociolo gy to describe and criticall y anal yse changes in policy , policy technolo gies and policy r egimes, he looks a t the ethical and democr atic impacts of these changes and r aises the following questions: € € € € € €

Is ther e a legitimacy f or pri vatisation based on the con vergence of inter ests between business and the ‘thir d way’ state? Is the e xtent and v alue of pri vate participa tion in pub lic education misunderstood? Ho w is the selling of pri vate compan y services linked to the r emodelling of schools? Why have the technical and political issues of pri vatisation been consider ed but ethical issues almost totall y neglected? What is ha ppening her e, beyond mer e technical changes in the f or m of pub lic service delivery? Is educa tion policy being spok en by new voices?

Dr awing upon e xtensive documentary r esearch and intervie ws with senior e xecutives from the leading ‘educa tion services industry’ companies , the author challenges pr econceptions a bout pri vatisation. He concludes tha t blank et defence of the pub lic sector as it w as, over and a gainst the inr oads of pri vatisation, is untena ble and tha t ther e is no going back to a past in w hich the pub lic sector as a w hole worked well and worked fair ly in the inter ests of all learners , because ther e was no such past. This book br eaks ne w ground and b uilds on Stephen Ball’s pr evious work on educa tion policy . It should a ppeal to those r esearching and stud ying in the “ elds of social policy, policy anal ysis, sociolo gy of educa tion, educa tion r esearch and social economics . Stephen J . Ball is Kar l Mannheim Pr ofessor of Sociolo gy of Educa tion a t the Institute of Educa tion, Uni versity of London, UK.

Education plc Understanding pri vate sector participa tion in pub lic sector educa tion

Stephen J. Ball

First published 2007 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2007 Stephen J. Ball

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2007. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to” All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Every effort has been made to ensure that the advice and information in this book is true and accurate at the time of going to press. However, neither the publisher nor the authors can accept any legal responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions that may be made. In the case of drug administration, any medical procedure or the use of technical equipment mentioned within this book, you are strongly advised to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN 0–203–96420–9 Master e-book ISBN ISBN10: 0–415–39940–8 (hbk) ISBN10: 0–415–39941–6 (pbk) ISBN10: 0–203–96420–9 (ebk) ISBN13: 978–0–415–39940–1 (hbk) ISBN13: 978–0–415–39941–8 (pbk) ISBN13: 978–0–203–96420–0 (ebk)

The point is “to mak e the a gony of decision-making so intense tha t you can only escape by thinking”. (Fred F riendl y)


List of illustrations Acknowledgements List of abbreviations 1

A ‘policy sociolo gy’ introduction to pri vatisation(s): tools, meanings and positions

ix xi xii



Privatisation(s) in conte xts



Scale and scope: educa tion is big b usiness



Economics and actors: the social r elations of the ESI



New governance , new comm unities, new philanthr opy



Selling impr ovement/selling policy/selling localities: an econom y of inno vation



Policy contr oversies: failur es, ethics and e xperiments



Not jumping to conclusions


Appendix: research interviews Notes References Index

192 193 198 209


Figures 3.1 4.1 5.1 5.2 6.1 7.1

The educa tion services industry – a model A contin uum of mar ketisation Netw ork 1 Netw ork 2 Capita in Blackb urn Academies as a ‘policy condensa te’

43 103 128 130 153 172

Tables 4.1 4.2 4.3 6.1

Key actors in the ESI Other actors – e xamples Pub lic-to-pri vate sector mo ves Levels of discourse

90 91 92 139

Boxes 1.1 1.2 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10

Privileging the pri vate The intervie ws Conserv ative privatisations Transfor mation as a b usiness opportunity Discourse of pri vatisation Retail services PFIs: e xamples Building schools f or the futur e Privatised pr ogrammes Islington pri vatised Educa tion of o ffenders Teacher suppl y Tribal Gr oup Private acquisitions and consolida tion Sovereign Ca pital

4 11 20 26 30 40 44 48 50 52 56 57 58 60 61



3.11 3.12 3.13 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 5.1 5.2 6.1 6.2 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4

Contr act sales Guy Hands Partnerships and lead or ganisa tions Values in pr actice Glossing di fferences Social justice Private sector la bour mar kets School firms’ forte ‘is lob bying for work’ A framework example Pushing back the boundaries McKinsey: J esuits of ca pitalism Peter Lampl Edison Design Unity Academ y PFI pr ofits Jarvis and PFIs Bexley Business Academ y Capital City Academ y

62 73 81 96 98 100 101 104 106 109 125 127 143 155 161 163 176 178


I want to thank the ESR C for their support in funding the fello wship which allowed me to undertak e this work. I also w ant to ackno wledge the encour agement I r eceived to start this pr oject which came fr om talking with Tony Knight o ver coffee in Car lton, tr avelling on tr ains to confer ences with Car ol Vincent, hearing Da ve Gillborn speak and ha ving him listen to m y preoccupa tions, and de bating ethics in Balham with Alan Crib b in the Italian. Angie Oria needs special mention f or her man y hours of sear ching on the internet and other help , as does Lise Obi, w ho did all sorts of pr actical things in support of m y fellowship work. Car ol Vincent, Mar k Olssen, J ane Lethbridge , Hugh Lauder , Alejandr a Car dini, Stephen Crump , Bob Lingar d, Janet Ne wman, Da ve Gillborn, Brian Da vies, Dennis Sar gent, J ohn Simpson, Ruth Lupton, Ev a Gamarnik ov, Michael P eters, Phil Woods and Meg Ma guire, especially Meg Ma guire, read and made v ery useful comments on various dr afts of cha pters. David Hall of Pub lic Services Interna tional R esearch Unit, J ulie Hallam (Unison), Da vid Budge ( TES), Chris Ab bott, Michael A pple, Hea ther Meakin and Norbert P achler, Da vid McGahey , Der ek Foreman and Leisha Fullick all helped out with inf or mation and e xplana tion f or which I am gr ateful, and I thank P eter Gear f or help with financial da ta. The participants in the ZES confer ence Bremen, EPR U pri vatisation seminar and ESR C seminar series on pri vatisation deserv e a mention. I am v ery grateful to all m y respondents for their time , frankness and friendliness . Most of all I thank T rinidad Ball f or putting up with me , and f or her inspir ation and belief , and I dedica te the book to Betty Ball.



Audit Commission Associa tion of Charter ed Certi fied Accountants Alterna tive Investment Mar ket Absolute R eturn f or Kids Accounting Standar ds Boar d Adam Smith Institute Academies and Specialist Schools T rust Academies Sponsors T rust British Educa tional Comm unica tions and T echnolo gy Agency Building Schools f or the Futur e Commission on Ar chitectur e and the Built En vironment Confeder ation of British Industry Compulsory Competiti ve Tendering Cambridge Educa tion Associa tes Centr e for Ex cellence in Leadership Chief Educa tion O fficer Centr e for British T eachers Charter ed Institute of Pub lic Finance and Accountancy City Learning Centr es Compr ehensive Perfor mance Assessment Contin uing Pr ofessional De velopment Criminal R ecords Bur eau corpor ate social r esponsibility City Technolo gy College design, b uild, finance and oper ate Department f or Emplo yment, T ransport and the R egions Department f or Educa tion and Skills Educa tion Action Zone Excellence in Cities educa tion services industry First Di vision Associa tion further educa tion Further Educa tion Funding Council



facilities mana gement Gener al Agr eement on T rade and T ari ffs Global Educa tion Mana gement Systems Hyder Business Services House of Commons Educa tion and Skills Select Committee higher educa tion Higher Educa tion Funding Council f or England Impr ovement and De velopment Agency Indi vidual Learning Accounts Inner London Educa tion A uthority Institute of Educa tion Institute f or Pub lic Policy Research inter active whiteboar d Keynsian Na tional W elfare State local authority local educa tion authority Local Educa tion P artnership Local Mana gement of Schools Learning and Skills De velopment Agency Learning Skills Netw ork Local Str ategic Partnership Major Contr actors Gr oup Ministry of Defence Na tional Ad visory Council f or Educa tion and T raining T argets Na tional Associa tion of Go vernors and Mana gers Na tional Associa tion of Headteachers Na tional A udit O ffice Na tional College f or School Leadership non-departmental pub lic bodies Na tional F ounda tion f or Teaching Enterprise non-go vernmental or ganisa tions New Local Go vernment Netw ork Na tional Union of T eachers Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Organiza tion f or Economic and Cultur al De velopment Office for Standar ds in Educa tion Pub lic Accounts Committee Private Finance Initia tive Partnerships f or Schools Pupil le vel ann ual school census Pub lic Private Partnerships Pub lic Private Partnership F orum Partnerships UK PricewaterhouseCoopers Quality Assur ance Associa tes




Quali fications and Curriculum A uthority Quality Impr ovement Agency Regional Grids f or Learning Royal Society for the encour agement of Arts , Man ufactur es and Commer ce Special Educa tional Needs Social Ex clusion Unit Secondary Headteachers’ Associa tion Students in F ree Enterprise Social Mar ket Founda tion Special Purpose V ehicle Strategic Regeneration Budget Strategic Service Partnership Schumpeterian W orkfar e State Training and De velopment Agency f or Schools Times Educational Supplement Teachers’ P ension Scheme Teacher T raining A uthority Transfer of Undertakings (Pr otection of Emplo yment) Uni versity of Cambridge Local Examina tions Syndica te Uni versity for Industry United Learning T rust Vosper Thorney croft Educa tion and Skills


A ‘policy sociology’ introduction to privatisation(s) Tools, meanings and positions

This book b uilds upon and e xtends m y long-standing inter est in the contempor ary history of educa tion policy . It uses the method of ‘policy sociology’ (Ozga 1987; Ball 1994) to describe and criticall y anal yse changes in policy, policy technolo gies and policy r egimes in the UK, 1 and some of the ethical and democr atic impacts of these changes , although the purpose her e is to understand r ather than rush to judgement. As in m y previous work theor etically and conceptuall y the book is pr agmatic and eclectic. As such my examina tion of pri vatisation(s) in volves the use of a v ariety of anal ytic tools to understand, interpr et and begin to e xplain the phenomenon. 2 These tools ar e of thr ee sorts and ar e employed self-consciousl y and tenta tively to pr ovide a methodolo gical framework which is both ontolo gically flexible and epistemolo gically plur alist (Sibeon 2004) and a set of anal ytic concepts which ar e potent and mallea ble. They ar e respectively discursi ve,3 structur al and interpr etive and they ena ble me to e xplor e the comple x inter actions of social r elations, economics and discourses without assuming the necessary dominance of an y of these.

Discourse Discourses ar e fallible but in fluential particular ly in pr oviding possibilities of political thought and thus policy ‘b ut the e xtent to w hich they pr oduce w hat they name is a ma tter f or empirical r esearch’ (Sayer 2005: 76). They ar e also rooted within ma terial conte xts and netw orks of social inter action. Thr ough narr atives of plausibility , including the shar ed personal narr atives ‘of significant classes , str ata, social ca tegories or gr oups tha t have been a ffected b y the development of the post-w ar economic and political or der’ (Jessop 2002: 93), policies accum ulate credibility and legitimacy . These narr atives offer langua ge and pr actices in ter ms of which the pub lic sector is being r efor med. They ar e fundamental to the pr oduction of an ob viousness, a common sense , a ‘banality’ (Rosamond 2002) and often an ine vitability of r efor m, of a particular sort. “Ther e is no alterna tive to r efor m. No one should be allo wed to v eto progress . . .” (Rod Aldridge of Ca pita 4 and Chair man of the CBI Pub lic Services Str ategy Boar d). They constitute w hat Angela Ea gle calls a ‘default

2 Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions model for an y refor m’ (2003: 13) and a kind of r efor m readiness, or a ‘systema ticity’ (Mills 1997: 17) 5 and a ‘solidity and nor mality w hich is di fficult to think outside of . . .’ (p. 54). Voices on the ‘outside’ of nor mal find it di fficult to be hear d. The discourses of r efor m have distincti ve generative effects but these effects ar e not deter mina te nor simpl y predicta ble and neither do they work independentl y from other e xtra-discursi ve mechanisms . They pr ovide authorita tive readings of pr evailing economic and political conditions and problems (see below on globalisa tion) and media te and r ender as ‘sensib le’ the ‘appr opria te’ solutions . The pr evailing discourse of educa tion and pub lic sector r efor m gener ates, as discourses do , subject positions , social r elations and opportunities within policy. Ne w kinds of actors , social inter actions and institutions ar e produced (see Cha pters 4 and 5). Speci fically, the meaning, f orce and e ffect of this discourse ar e framed b y an o ver-bearing, economic and political conte xt of interna tional competiti veness. “The purpose of our social model should be to enhance our a bility to compete , to help our people cope with globalisa tion” (Prime Minister T ony Blair’s speech to EU P ar liament, 26 J une 2005). The key ideas of these r efor m narr atives are ‘scaffolded’ b y and ‘sedimented into institutions and oper ative networks’ (Robertson 2006: 12) – they cir culate and gain cr edibility and impetus thr ough such netw orks. ‘Those discourses which ar e commented upon b y others ar e the discourses w e consider to ha ve validity and w orth’ (Mills 1997: 67). These ar e new ways of talking a bout (“personalised learning”, “intelligent accounta bility”, “leadership ca pacity building”, “oper ational imper ative”, “acti vity str eams”) and r ealising educa tion pr ocesses and r elationships . They ar e spok en and authorised b y a variety of types of (ne w) actors speaking fr om a v ariety of (ne w and ne wly) relevant sites and positions w hich ma p out possib le uses of sta tements within the discourse . These sta tements ar e made up out of fr agments – slo gans, recipes, incanta tions and self-e vidences (see Cha pters 2 and 6). The r ecitations and rhetorics in volved her e are part of the pr ocess of b uilding support f or sta te projects and esta blishing hegemonic visions . As F airclough (2000: 157) puts it, ‘much of the action of go vernment is langua ge’. These sta tements ar e painstakingl y reiterated b ut also constantl y elabor ated and in flected (r etrofitted) and this does not necessaril y help to pr oduce a clear and coher ent vision of the futur e to which they point. W hat can count as part of the discourse is limited b ut is also di verse; the sta tements and fr agments do not mak e a coher ent joined-up w hole. They do not ha ve their e ffects by virtue of their inher ent lo gic. Discourses often maintain their cr edibility thr ough their r epetition, substanti ve simplicity (see the discussion of J essop la ter in this cha pter) and rhetorical sophistica tion, f or example in this case w hat Fairclough (2000: 10) calls ‘the denial of e xpecta tions’ which is centr al to the langua ge of Ne w Labour . As indica ted alr eady, the na tur alness of these discourses of r efor m arises in good part fr om what has been e xcluded fr om them and b y them and r ender ed unsa yable. Exclusion is indeed one of the most important aspects of discursi ve

Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions


production. Nonetheless , discourses e xist over and a gainst these e xclusions, they ar e always ‘in dialo gue and in con flict with other positions’ (Mills 1997: 14) and accor dingly the discourse of r efor m str ategically appr opria tes from other sour ces in relation to its contr ary objecti ves – trust, cr eativity and social capital ar e perha ps examples.6 This is achie ved in part b y bringing to gether ‘impossib le alterna tives’ (Fairclough 2000) (see Cha pter 7). This can v ery effectively under mine the possibilities of speaking ‘otherwise’ or in opposition to r efor m discourses . Despite their bricola ge for m, the discourses of contempor ary r efor m have an a gonistic dependency , even if this often r ests upon a set of ‘false dilemmas’, tha t is they r est heavily for their legitima tion on a particular ‘discourse of derision’ (K enway 1990), one which pa tholo gises the welfare tradition of pub lic sector pr ovision, which gener ates in turn what Torr ance (2004: 3) calls a ‘discourse of distrust’. As w e shall see later ther e is a confusing interpla y of trust/distrust inside the discourse and mechanics of pub lic sector r efor m. A gr eat deal of rhetorical e ffort and discursi ve work ar e expended on ensuring tha t the pub lic sector is portr ayed as ine ffective, unr esponsi ve, slopp y, risk-averse and inno vation-r esistant (e xcept when it is not). Such portr ayals also w ork to e xclude or de value particular v oices, which thence ha ve difficulty in inserting themselv es into a discourse b y virtue of the w ay in which they ar e spok en of b y it (see Box 1.1). 7 But ther e is a contr ary b ut concomitant cele bration of pub lic sector ‘her oes’ of refor m and of new kinds of pub lic sector ‘excellence’. These ar e part of a ne w pub lic sector, set over and a gainst the old. The discourse of ‘the pri vate’, and ‘the mar ket’, is examined in the ne xt chapter.

The competition state The second set of tools on w hich I dr aw are from J essop’s (1997, 1998a, 1998b, 2001, 2002, 2004) particular combina tion of economic geo graphy and political sociolo gy and his anal yses of the ca pitalist sta te and sta te interv ention, speci fically the co-e volution of the economic and political aspects of what he calls the K eynsian Na tional W elfare State (KNWS) and its ‘potential replacement’ b y what he calls the Schumpeterian W orkfar e State (SWS) or ‘competition sta te’ (a ter m also used b y Cern y 1990: 220–31).8 The competition sta te ‘aims to secur e economic gr owth within its bor ders and/or to secur e competiti ve advanta ges for ca pitals based in its bor ders’ (Jessop 2002: 96) b y promoting the economic and e xtra-economic conditions necessary f or competiti ve success. In this account the conditions ad dressed ar e those pr oduced within the educa tion system. This is not an ar gument based on an y kind of simple economic deter minism b ut r ather an account of ‘structur al coupling’, a mutual conditioning and accommoda tion betw een accum ulation and r egulation: ‘emer ging modes of r egulation themselv es play a key role in constituting the e ventual objects of r egulation’ (Jessop 2002: 134). In e ffect, Jessop’s argument is tha t the changes tha t have tak en place o ver the last 25 y ears in the


Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions Box 1.1 Privileging the pri vate Allyson P ollack describes a meeting with Gor don Br own at which she questioned important aspects of PFI policy and notes tha t ‘his response was simpl y to declar e repeatedly tha t the pub lic sector is bad a t management, and tha t onl y the pri vate sector is e fficient and can mana ge services well’ (Pollack 2004: 3). The er a of sta te-onl y funding is o ver . . . we must r emember tha t no pub lic service model has e ver delivered high quality services f or every child. (DfES sour ce quoted b y J. Sutcli ffe, TES, 13 April 2001, p. 20) Toda y David Cr ossley, headhunted b y 3Es from a pri vate international school in Brunei to be the ne w principal of King’s College , ranges thr ough his ne wly refurbished b uildings, talking enthusiasticall y about a ne w ethos and inno vative ways of teaching. W hy does he think bringing in a pri vate compan y was necessary a t King’s College? Educa tion has su ffered from a conserv atism and command and contr ol structur e which has sti fled inno vation, he argues, but “it doesn’t ha ve to be pri vate, tha t’s a red herring. It’s the quality of ideas and some money to implement them.” (Felicity Lawrence, Educa tionGuar .uk, 24 J uly 2001) Mr Neil McIntosh of CfBT Educa tion Services told us tha t it was not possib le to de fine specific qualities w hich pri vate companies can bring to educa tion, b ut tha t the “v ariety and competition” w hich private companies did bring helped to counter the tendency of monopol y providers to “a trophy over time”. (House of Commons Select Committee on Educa tion and Emplo yment, Se venth R eport, 2000, par a. 14)

regime of ca pital accum ulation ha ve made the KNWS incr easingly redundant and indeed obstructi ve, under mining of the conditions of accum ulation. The r elationships betw een the emer ging accum ulation r egime (post-F ordism) and the institutional ensemb le of the mode of r egulation became incr easingly incoher ent. The KNWS became subject to mounting crises , in and of itself, tha t is both structur ally and subjecti vely, which could no longer be mana ged or deferr ed. This w as not as a r esult of some kind of disembed ded economic logic, but r ather a conjunction of crises , financial, economic, social and political – inflation, taxa tion costs , ungo verna bility, unemplo yment, demo graphic change, inequality , rigidity, changing na tional identities , family insta bility, movements of ca pital, ecolo gical pr oblems, etc., etc. – occurring a t various

Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions


‘moments’ acr oss the system. The f or m of the sta te/econom y relationship , the settlement as it is sometimes ter med or the ‘spa tio-tempor al fix’ as Jessop calls it, became untena ble and a hindr ance to interna tional competiti veness. It pr oduced a condition Cern y (1990: 221) calls the ‘overloaded sta te’ – trying ineffectively to mana ge a ‘lumbering’ command econom y creating ‘rigidities which pr evented pri vate capital fr om pla ying its pr oper r ole in its o wn spher e’ (p. 221). The KNWS has as a r esult become steadil y de-legitima ted and subject to systema tic but not total dismantling and is in the pr ocess of being replaced or in part o ver-laid b y the SWS, the lo gic and w orkings of w hich constitute a ne w ‘social fix’. The new SWS, the ne w settlement, did not come into e xistence once and f or all a t some particular point in time , nor is it a stable or compr ehensive settlement. Initial optimistic r efor mism was replaced by radical tr ansfor mation w hich is itself al ways limited b y the political r each of regulation. 9 The extent to w hich crises ar e solved or solutions a ttempted within the fr amework of an e xisting r egime varies betw een na tions. Ther efore much of the gener ality of w hat is said her e has a degr ee of specific relevance to England b ut a gener al relevance to man y other na tional settings . England holds a particular position as a political la bor atory of political tr ansfor mation, first under Tha tcher and then under Blair , which exports policy solutions acr oss the globe (see Cha pter 3). The for m of the SWS has not de veloped in a mechanical fashion b ut r ather has crystallised out of the r esponses to and mana gement of crisis tendencies and the pr omotion of ‘economic and e xtra-economic conditions deemed appr opria te to the emer ging post-F ordist accum ulation r egime’ (Jessop 2002: 95) and its ne w ‘techno-economic par adigms’ the inf or mational, or digital or kno wledge, econom y (see Cha pter 7). One of the aspects of the SWS , which is very relevant to the mor e specific anal ysis to come , is a shift fr om the sta te as a decommodifying agent to the ‘r e-emergence of the sta te as a commodifying agent’ (Cerny 1990: 230), tha t is a r e-positioning of the sta te as commissioner and monitor of pub lic services, and br oker of social and economic inno vations, rather than deli verer or e ven owner and funder . The ne w institutional architectur e of the SWS is still emer ging from ‘fumb lings’ and ‘muddling thr ough’ and is changing b y trial and err or, media ted b y ‘discursive struggles over the na tur e and signi ficance of the crisis’ (J essop 2002: 92) and the inadequacies of neo-liber alism as an initial r esponse (see Cha pter 2). It is within parts of this ne w ‘competition sta te’ and its r e-scaling and r e-articula tion tha t this r esearch is set and the ‘fumb lings’ and qualities of trial and err or involved in ‘refor m’ of sta te educa tion will become a ppar ent ‘up close’. Indeed, educa tion is itself no w in almost per manent ‘crisis’ as it has tak en centr e stage in the comple x relations betw een the sta te and the ‘ima gined econom y’ – a kno wledge econom y, an econom y much simpler than the r eal one. I aim to tak e educa tion policy as an anal ytical case of sta te re-articula tion and r e-scaling which might purposefull y be explor ed using J essop’s account of the char acteristics of the SWS . Indeed he also o ffers a brief account of educa tion policy (J essop 2002: 162–8) and the discursi ve resolution of ‘the


Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions

crisis in educa tion . . . thr ough a gr owing hegemon y of accounts tha t cast educa tional r efor m in ter ms of economic imper atives’ (p. 163) within w hich ‘learning is the k ey to pr osperity’ (DfEE 1998). Ho wever, I intend to deplo y, elabor ate and adjust his fr amework, where necessary, specifically in relation to the pri vatisation of educa tion as one particular r esponse to crisis . This will not, hopefull y, be a simplistic pr ocess of just fitting the case into the fr amework but r ather its use as a sour ce of enriching insights: an interpla y of explor ation and modi fication betw een da ta and concepts . In J essop’s anal ysis the b uilding of the ‘competition sta te’ is a ‘political response to the challenges and opportunities’ which arise fr om the decomposition of F ordism and the ‘economic and e xtra economic’ (2002: 124) tendencies of ‘globalisa tions’. 10 He sees globalisa tion(s) not as ‘being a unitary causal mechanism’ b ut r ather ‘as the comple x emergent pr oduct of man y different forces oper ating on man y scales’ (2002: 114). Globalisa tion is a heter ogeneous pr ocess. It has economic, cultur al and political dimensions and is made up of err atic but incr easingly speedy flows of capital, goods , services, labour and ideas (including policy ideas – Ball 1998) w hich all contrib ute to an incr easing synchr onicity of demands , the w eakening of tr aditional structur es of meaning, and incr easing b ut varying degr ees of difficulty for na tion sta tes in the mana gement of their economies . The ter m is used and the pr ocesses it r efers to tak e place both in a tr ansiti ve sense, something w hich is made to ha ppen, and in an intr ansiti ve sense as something tha t ha ppens (Lewin 1997). It is not just ‘an “out ther e” phenomenon. It r efers not onl y to the emer gence of lar ge scale world systems, but to tr ansfor mations in the v ery textur e of everyday life’ (Giddens 1996: 367–8). Ho wever, ‘to a lar ge extent, globaliza tion r epresents the triumph of the econom y over politics and cultur e’ (Kellner 2000: 307). F or Western de veloped economies , globalisa tion is a thr eat to tr aditional f or ms of pr oduction and accum ulation and the opportunity f or ne w for ms. While in some w ays less nuanced, Leys (2001: 2) presents a case v ery similar to J essop, tha t pr ofound change in the structur e and r ole of the sta te ‘flows from a ne w political d ynamic r esulting fr om economic globalisa tion. It is not tha t the sta te has become impotent, b ut tha t it is constr ained to use its po wer to ad vance the pr ocess of commodi fication’ and ‘from no w on society w ould be incr easingly shaped in w ays tha t served the needs of ca pital accum ulation’ (p. 80). To quote T ony Blair a gain: “Of course we need a social Eur ope. But it m ust be a social Eur ope tha t works” (speech to the EU P ar liament, 25 J une 2005). The political r esponses to all of this in volve new for ms of sta te relations, new institutions and le vels of acti vity, new actors and a gents of policy intervention, ne w policy narr atives and the de velopment of ne w for ms of go vernance. To reiterate, this is not a single , conscious , explicit pr oject, b ut is a set of tr ends which involve searches, discoveries, borr owing, and ‘struggles to mobilise support behind alterna tive accum ulation str ategies’ (Jessop 2002: 124), which ar e critically media ted thr ough ne w discourses and w hich ar e also speci fic and pa th-dependent within particular political, cultur al and

Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions


accum ulation histories . Within Ne w Labour this in volves a mo ve away from Fabian planning modes of policy to the deplo yment of pr ojects, initia tives and r esour ces tar geting and policy e xperiments fr om a v ariety of sour ces. These constitute a ‘tendential emer gence’ (Jessop 2002: 124) on di fferent scales – local, city, regional, na tional – of ne w for ms of entr epreneurialism which ar e intended to pr omote structur al or systemic competiti veness (see Cha pters 6 and 7). Competition sta tes typicall y have a ‘self-image as being proacti ve in pr omoting the competiti veness of their economic spaces’ (J essop 2002: 124), always though in r elation to an econom y, the subject of policy , tha t they can contr ol or in fluence r ather than tha t they cannot. Indeed, ‘National competiti veness has incr easingly become a centr al pr eoccupa tion of governance str ategies thr oughout the w orld’ (Watson and Ha y 2003: 299). ‘So what is the a genda tha t we are carrying thr ough?. . . It is to b uild on the platfor m of economic sta bility, the modern kno wledge econom y with the skills, dynamism, technolo gical and scienti fic progress a country lik e Britain needs’ (text of a speech b y Tony Blair to the La bour P arty’s centenary conference in Blackpool, 10 F ebruary 2006). Jessop (2002: 132) r epresents the r eplacement of the KNWS b y the SWS as taking place thr ough the articula tion of a series of discursi ve-strategic shifts ‘into ne w accum ulation str ategies, state pr ojects and hegemonic pr ojects’ which r eorienta te and r estructur e the sta te and pr oduce ‘ne w regulatory regimes’. These shifts ar e media ted b y discursi ve struggles o ver the meaning and causes of the crisis of the KNWS and its solutions , in particular the re-narr ation of the pub lic sector in ter ms of economism, competition, perfor mance and indi vidua tion. F ollowing Gr amsci, J essop sees a ‘key role’ for intellectuals in this r e-narr ation ‘to consolida te an unsta ble equilibrium of compr omise among di fferent social f orces around a gi ven economic, political and social or der’ (2002: 6). The centr epiece of Jessop’s account then is the emer gence of the Schumpeterian competition sta te, the centr al concern of w hich is ‘with inno vation, competiti veness and entr epreneurship tied to long w aves of growth and mor e recent pr essures on perpetual inno vation’ (2002: 132) and the de velopment of inno vation systems locall y, nationall y and r egionall y (see Cha pter 6). One crucial aspect of this gener alised orienta tion is the commodifying or collecti vising of kno wledge with its a ttendant contr adictions – an assertion of intellectual pr operty rights on the one hand and the f ostering of pr oducti vity, comm unica tion and connecti vity on the other . Another is the de velopment of ‘meta-ca pacities’ which ar e intended to support the interna tional economic competiti veness of the na tional econom y (see Cha pter 7) and a r esulting expansion of the sta te’s ‘field of interv ention’ combined with a f ocused allocation of r esour ces to inno vation nodes and ‘leading edges’. In Gid dens’s (1998: 99) ter ms, ‘Government has an essential r ole to pla y in investing in the human r esour ces and infr astructur e needed to de velop an entr epreneurial cultur e.’ The emphasis of the sta te on structur al and systemic competiti veness leads, among other things , to a r edefinition of boundaries betw een the


Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions

economic and the ‘e xtra-economic’. The pr ocesses of the r edefinition of boundaries ar e a major concern in the anal ysis which follows. Within all this, important distinctions betw een sta te and mar ket, pub lic and pri vate, government and b usiness, left and right ar e atten uated. The following account b y Amey plc of their in volvement in sponsorship of an Academ y school is a par adigm e xample of boundary cr ossing and the tying to gether of inno vation, inclusion and r egeneration in r elation to the requir ements of the w orkplace – the discourse of the SWS in action: City Academy sponsorship In Mid dlesbr ough, Amey sponsors Unity City Academ y. This is a major opportunity f or the compan y to contrib ute dir ectly to the impr ovement and opportunities of the childr en in an ar ea with a history of under achievement. The ne w state-of-the-art facility will be opened shortl y and represents a r adical departur e from the con ventional school model. W ith a specialism of ICT , the Academ y will use new teaching methods and appr oaches to equip the childr en with the skills they need f or the w orkplace of the 21st century . I will return to look a t the Academies policy in Cha pters 6 and 7. In r elation to w elfare, restructuring in volves the use of social policy to ‘enhance the flexibility of la bour mar kets and to cr eate flexible, enterprising workers suited to a globalising, kno wledge-based econom y’ (Jessop 2002: 168) together with a r eduction in the social w age. The achie vement and enactment of the SWS also r equir es a shift fr om go vernment to go vernance , a move from hier archy to the gr eater signi ficance of netw orks and ‘selforganisa tion’ or autonom y and r esponsibility as alterna tives to the failur es of both social planning and fr ee mar kets. Incr easingly individual learners and workers ar e requir ed to become ‘self-or ganising’ (Colley et al. 2003). This involves the sta te in what Jessop (2002: 240) calls ‘meta-go vernance’, tha t is ‘the or ganiza tion and conditions f or go vernance in its br oadest sense’ (p . 240) or the ‘r earticula tion and collibr ating [of] different modes of go vernance’ (2002: 242) founded on ‘the judicious mixing of mar ket, hier archy and networks to achie ve the best possib le outcomes’ (p . 242) (see Cha pter 5). Meta governance also in volves: ‘the reflexive redesign of mar kets’ – metaexchange (see Cha pter 4); ‘the r eflexive redesign of or ganiza tions . . . and the mana gement of or ganiza tional ecolo gies’ (p. 241) – metaor ganisa tion (see Cha pter 6); and ‘pr oviding opportunities f or spontaneous socia bility’ and ‘fostering trust’ (p . 241), the conditions of self-or ganisa tion – metaheter archy (see Cha pter 6). The purpose of the sta te in these r espects is to r e-shape ‘cognitive expecta tions’ and ‘try to modify the self-understanding of identities, str ategic capacities and inter ests of indi vidual and collecti ve actors’ (p. 242) (see Ball 2000 and Ball 2003 f or examples). Also in volved her e is the cr eation of ‘linka ge devices, sponsoring ne w organiza tions [and] identifying appr opria te lead or ganiza tions’ (p. 242). Ho wever, the emphasis on

Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions 9 self-organisa tion is accompanied b y a systema tic prioritising of some outcomes o ver others – entr epreneurism and enterprise ar e key examples her e. Embed ded in all this is the pr ocess of ‘desta talisa tion’ – ‘the redrawing of the pub lic–private divide, re-alloca ting tasks , and r earticula ting the r elationship betw een or ganiza tions and tasks acr oss this di vide’ (Jessop 2002: 199). Clear ly this r e-drawing, r e-alloca tion and r e-articula tion ar e very evident in recent educa tion policy gener ally and the pr ocesses of pri vatisation of educa tion particular ly. They in volve various f or ms of ‘partnership’ (see Cha pters 4 and 5) in the mana gement of economic and social r elations. All of this ‘could also be part of a mor e comple x power struggle to pr otect k ey decisions fr om popular-democr atic contr ol’ (Jessop 2002: 199–200), tha t is the r eplacement of democr atic pr ocesses with technical or mar ket solutions , like Trusts and Partnership Boar ds, Academ y schools, Founda tion Hospitals , tha t is ‘at the heart of ne w localism lies a m uch mor e retrogressive agenda of pri vatization’ (Centr e for Pub lic Services 2003: 10) – the pri vatisation of decision-making. At the same time an incr eased emphasis on r egionalism and localism and ne w for ms of local partnership is part of the ‘r e-scaling’ of the sta te and its ‘denationalisa tion’ (both a r egional e xtension and a local de volution) and the regeneration of local economies thr ough the cr eation of ‘entr epreneurial localities’ (see Cha pter 6 w here I will consider thr ee such localities: Sand well, Blackb urn and Darw en, and Mid dlesbr ough). T echnicisation and subsidiarity work to gether. A set of di verse and m ulti-faceted shifts ar e involved her e, not simpl y a mo ve away from b ureaucr acy but also fr om democr acy and a ‘common equity’ (Leys 2001: 71). While it r emains some what implicit, J essop’s account of sta te change also suggests a periodisa tion within the pr ocess of tr ansition fr om the KNWS to the SWS . Tha t is what I will call, for simplicity , a neo-liber al sta ge and a Thir d Way stage, the for mer a ppr oximating to Tha tcherism and the la tter to Blairism. Ho wever, these need to be understood in ter ms of both their continuities and their di fferences. In the f or mer the emphasis w as on fr eeing the mar ket and shrinking the sta te and a narr ow definition of the social. Briefly at least during the 1980s and ear ly 1990s, ther e was a flourishing of ‘wild neoliber al triumphalist fantasies’ (J essop 2002: 169) with their almost exclusive ‘emphasis on cost-containment’ and the use of pri vatisation and ‘market pr oxies’ to refor m the pub lic sector and the r eduction of ci vil society to the competing inter ests of consumer-citiz ens. In contr ast, the post-neo-liber al, Thir d Way state retains k ey aspects of the ca pacity to manage and r emedia te the social fr agmenta tion and loss of trust pr oduced b y neo-liber al workfar e policies based on ‘a gr eater concern to r ecalibr ate existing institutions to deal with pr oblems rather than to belie ve tha t the mar ket can solv e them’ (2002: 171) to gether with the use of ‘acti vation policies’ (p. 155) and the deplo yment of perf or mance measur es and ne w for ms of management to encour age constant inno vation. (I shall r eturn to the contin uities and di fferences betw een Tha tcherism and Blairism in Cha pter 2). Ho wever, despite this mix-and-ma tch a ppr oach to go vernance , the combina tion of the

10 Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions ‘invisible hand’ with the ‘in visible handshak e’ (Jessop 2002: 243), ‘ther e is no Ar chimedean point fr om which go vernance or collibr ation can be guar anteed to succeed’, as J essop puts it (2002: 242). The comple x tangle of initia tives and str ategies and subsidiarities of post-neo-liber al policy-making is particular ly significant in educa tion policy within the gener al orienta tion to competiti veness on the one hand and de velopment of netw orks and partnerships on the other and the r ole of ‘experimenta tion’ in both. Consequentl y an account tha t relies solely on an anal ysis of pri vatisation in ter ms of neo-liber alism is bound to be flawed. I shall ar gue tha t Thir d Way policies unsta bly and sometimes incoher ently tie to gether the subor dina tion of education to the demands of structur al competiti veness and the r e-articula tion of sta te educa tion thr ough the pr oduction of ‘plausib le’ new policy narr atives (e.g. choice, diversity, personalisa tion – a mid dle-class ontolo gy of welfare (see Ball 2003) – and enterprise , technolo gy and inno vation), with, nonetheless, a r esidual set of concerns with social inequalities or r ather the underachievement and under-participa tion of some of the w orking class and some ethnic minorities in educa tion – a social pr oblem render ed economic. This is articula ted in ter ms of indi vidual r esponsibilities , and indi vidual self-organisa tion (thr ough schemes lik e Conne xions, the ill-fa ted Indi vidual Learning Accounts (ILAs), and notions lik e ‘life-long learning’). All of this involves a significant r e-working of the f or m of the w elfare state and changes to the r ole it pla ys in social r eproduction, and is a mo ve away from collecti ve consumption. As I shall go on to outline (in Cha pter 3) the de velopment of the educa tion services industry (ESI) itself , as with other ne w pub lic sector mar kets, is also mar ked by phases or sta ges of development. What I will try to do in the r emainder of this book is to e xamine the ways in which the gener al discourses (kno wledge and pr actices) and ma terial changes of the competition sta te dri ve, articula te or ar e resonant with concomitant changes , appr oaches, assumptions , logics and methods of a ppr opria teness in the r efor m of educa tion, in dir ect and indir ect ways. Tha t is the dissemina tion thr ough the educa tion system of a cultur e of competiti veness and its a ttendant social identities , not simpl y or even primaril y competiti veness in the r elations betw een institutions b ut in the orienta tion of institutions toward the lo gic of economic imper atives, of ‘inter dependence’ and ‘m utual learning’ (J essop 2002: 197) link ed with the notion of ‘colla bor ative advantage’. This gener ality and duality of competiti veness explains to some e xtent the di fferent imper atives within educa tion policy f or educa tional institutions to compete and collabor ate, to e xploit financiall y their intellectual pr operty and develop collecti ve intelligence, to seek mar ket ad vanta ge and attempt to ensur e greater social inclusi vity. These things do not necessaril y sit to gether comforta bly or coher ently but they ar e all part of the pub lic sector r efor m policy ensemb le. While the for mer, schools as b usinesses, ar e perha ps evidence of the dir ect imposition of the neo-liber al mar ket fantasy on to schools, FE and HE, the la tter, collabor ation, the dissemina tion of good practice and inno vation, to gether with an a genda of social inclusion, ar e

Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions


indica tions of the structur al requir ements of na tional competiti veness and the acti vities of the competition sta te within the global kno wledge econom y – Educa tion plc. All of these issues will be r eturned to and e xplor ed mor e fully and in a mor e grounded fashion in la ter cha pters. Thus , the anal ysis which follows focuses as m uch on the ne w for ms of ‘sta te educa tion’ as it does on the inr oads of the pri vate sector into sta te educa tion. Indeed I will suggest tha t they ar e parts of the same pr oject of competiti veness. The title Education plc refers to both the pri vatisation of educa tion and the tying of educa tion to the r equir ements of interna tional competiti veness and the competition sta te.

Private actors The thir d positioning in this account and its conceptual r esour ces are inter actional. I deplo y the words and utilise the perspecti ves of a r ange of actors within the ESI w hom I intervie wed (21 in all; see the A ppendix and Bo x 1.2). I tak e their accounts v ery seriousl y but situa te these within the discursi ve and structur al frameworks adumbr ated a bove. These accounts pr ovide important insights into the ne w subject positions w hich ar e made a vailable within ‘entrepreneurial go vernance’ (Hall 2003). These actors r epresent subjecti vities which fit within the comple xity of ne w for ms of go vernance and these are blurr ed and elude simple ca tegorisa tions. Ther e are strong common elements acr oss the intervie ws in ter ms of moti ves, purposes and v alues which are meaningful and po werful within the conte xt of desta talisa tion and the re-articula ting of ‘the r elationship betw een or ganiza tions and tasks’ (J essop 2002: 199) across the pub lic–private divide. These actors embod y a new kind of self-understanding and a ne w set of str ategic capacities and inter ests. They

Box 1.2 The intervie ws The intervie ws were tape-recorded and the tr anscripts w ere sent back for comment, editing or ela bor ation. Onl y thr ee people took up this opportunity . I explained w hat I was trying to do a t the beginning of the intervie ws and assur ed the intervie wees tha t I would not a ttrib ute anything tha t seemed to me to be ‘sensiti ve’; consequentl y you will see tha t a few extr acts quoted ar e simply attrib uted to ‘a r espondent’. I sent draft cha pters to five of the intervie wees and r eceived some helpful comments and corr ections back. I also dr ew on a lar ge number of secondary sour ces and with help conducted thousands of internet sear ches and e xplor ed hundr eds of websites. I ha ve tried thr oughout not to r ely too hea vily on an y particular of these sour ces. The pub lishers ask ed me to r emove thr ee pieces of ‘data’ from the text for legal r easons. None w ere of great substanti ve importance .


Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions

move within and in r elation to go vernment and go vernance and b lend pri vate inter ests and pub lic service in a variety of w ays. They ar e constantl y engaged in netw orking and negotia tion. They ar e the flesh and bones of ne w discourses and structur es, its subjects and dissemina tors and r elays. Their insights w ere also of gr eat str ategic importance to m y understanding of pri vatisation(s) and its comple xities and con undrums . Their accounts of the work of the ESI and of their companies also pla y an important r ole in m y mapping of pri vatisation(s) and the r elationships betw een ESI companies and the sta te. Partl y by virtue of the na tur e of my questioning the intervie ws with these actors ‘inside’ pri vatisation w ere also in part narr atives of personal histories , of journeys and boundary cr ossings, accounts of themselv es as well as of the ESI (see Ball 1994). The pri vate sector is her e constituted b y relationships and encounters and personalities . They w ere keen, as we all are, to gi ve a mor ally adequa te account of themselv es and a ffirm ‘preferred identities’ (Con very 1999). I was ask ed to do this f or m yself in a couple of intervie ws and did not find it easy. The intervie ws were astonishingl y open and fr ank b ut still of course partial. At times w e hedged ar ound things which could not be said or described. Most of m y respondents kne w each other – the ESI is a close-knit comm unity – and w ere aware of me and m y research. 11 This ena bled me to cr oss-reference betw een intervie ws. It also meant tha t the intervie wing was cum ulative. Infor mation and insights fr om one intervie w could be r ehearsed, pr obed or check ed out in the ne xt. The intervie w process was also a comple x learning pr ocess, the accum ulation of backgr ound kno wledge across a wide r ange of technical ar eas, but I w as also trying to gr asp something of the cultur e of this small part of the pri vate sector. The sta tus of this da ta r aises inter esting questions . As noted alr eady, ther e were commer cial sensiti vities involved which meant some things w ere not said or said in con fidence. Ther e was also a r ange of sensiti ve political or ethical issues w hich were discussed in the intervie ws. The r espondents w ere to some e xtent r epresenting their compan y and the pri vate sector in the intervie w as well as themselv es. These consider ations ha ve to be tak en seriously but all intervie wing involves some aspects of these ‘sensiti vities’ and ‘presenta tions’. Collecti vely these actors within the pri vate sector ar e part of w hat Whitfield (2001: 10–13) calls the emer ging ‘corpor ate welfare comple x’ but man y other companies not r epresented in the intervie ws mak e up the totality of this comple x. Whit field identi fies thr ee main elements to this comple x. The first part is based on r elationships betw een pub lic (client) agencies and a r elatively small number of pri vate contr actors . Both clients and contr actors shar e a similar ideolo gical position and a set of v ested inter ests which dicta te tha t the sta te will outsour ce an incr easing r ange of services and functions . This goes beyond dir ect service delivery per se to include the huge ar my of consultants tha t ad vise on the best model of service deli very, ways of outsour cing, and ar m’s length perf or mance mana gement systems . The second part is based on an o wner-oper ator infr astructur e largely supported b y the

Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions


rapid and contin ued extension of PFI contr acts in w hich the financial institutions, contr actors and facilities mana gement companies tak e contr ol and ownership of w hat ar e ostensib ly pub lic buildings and facilities , paid f or with pub lic money. It is important to note tha t the impact of this goes far bey ond the narr ow technical and financial scope of the contr act to ha ve implications for emplo yment, local economic de velopment and pub lic space. The thir d part is based ar ound r egulatory and financial concessions to b usiness. Pub lic money is used to gi ve tax br eaks, subsidies and local and r egional gr ants and to r emove obstacles to entice b usinesses to loca te in particular ar eas (Whit field 2001; Centr e for Pub lic Services 2003: 5).

Privatisation(s) Let me try to delinea te no w my use of the ter m ‘privatisation’ because it is at the centr e of my concerns and will be used as a shorthand thr oughout the book. I sa y a shorthand because a v ariety of pr ocesses is actuall y involved here. It is mor e appr opria te perha ps to think a bout ‘pri vatisations’. Ther e is a wide variety of types and f or ms of pri vatisation in volving di fferent financial arr angements and di fferent r elationships betw een funders , service pr oviders and clients (see Cha pter 3). Clear ly, pri vatisation in gener al ter ms also has a long history . It has been the nor mal way of going a bout things in ter ms of things lik e textbook pr oduction and sales (see A pple 1986), testing pr ogrammes, equipment and b uilding for man y years. Privatisation is old b ut also very new. ‘The sta te has al ways bought and sold pr operty , pur chased services and encour aged enterprise b ut the scale of pri vatization in the past two decades has been unpar alleled’, a ‘relentless rolling pr ocess’ (Whit field 2001: 75). Contempor ary pri vatisation is part of a m uch br oader and mor e fundamental r e-design of the pub lic sector, as outlined a bove. This in volves private and not-f or-pr ofit companies and v oluntary and comm unity or ganisa tions and NGOs and par asta tal or ganisa tions in income-gener ating acti vities inside the pub lic sector. Ther e is also a r elatively new kind of ‘philanthr opic privatisation’, to w hich I shall r eturn in Cha pter 5. The ne wer for ms of pri vatisation mean tha t the distinction betw een ‘har d’ and ‘soft’ services, books and educa tional media, etc., on the one hand, and ‘those services w hich r equir e human inter action’ (Bo yles 2000: 118), on the other , is now thor oughl y breached – the pri vate sector oper ates acr oss this di vide. Ther e are no service areas which ar e exempt fr om pri vate sector participa tion, although ther e are some where it appears , as yet, onl y infrequentl y. The sta te is incr easingly re-positioned as the guar antor , not necessaril y the pr ovider (W hite 1998: 3) nor the financer , of opportunity goods lik e educa tion. This is not a ‘fr ee mar ket’ in an y simple sense; neither is it simpl y imposed b y the sta te. Ho wever, as I shall demonstr ate later the sta te is very much a mar ket-mak er or broker in r elation to the ESI. As for a ca tegorisa tion of types , I want to suggest a set of ca tegories tha t ar e practical and flexible rather than a bsolutel y precise and full y compr ehensive


Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions

(presented in Cha pter 3) b ut which tak es account of both first-or der pri vatisation – in ter ms of o wnership , organisa tion f or ms, financial r elations, etc. – and second-or der pri vatisation – in ter ms of the implica tions f or social r elations, social space , family responsibilities , citizenship and democr acy, and w hich also incorpor ates the pri vatisation of go vernance or w hat Mahon y et al. (2004) refer to as ‘pri vatising policy’. In educa tion ther e is a further , specific dimension to pri vatisation or mor e precisely commer cialisation (Molnar 2005) or what is called in the US ‘cola-risa tion’ – ‘where income is deri ved from vending machines , displa ys of sponsors lo gos and ad vent of TV ad vertisements streamed a t students via Channel One tele vision’ (Fitz and Beers 2002: 140) (see Educa tion P olicy Studies La bor atory, Arizona Sta te Uni versity). This is what Boyles (2000) describes as ‘schools as sites f or consumer ma terialism’. In this country the F ood Commission, and others , have raised concerns o ver the Cadb ury’s chocola te and W alker’s crisps pr omotions w hich tar get school children thr ough schemes to collect tok ens to wards school equipment. The major super mar kets also r egular ly run such schemes . The NUT estima tes tha t br ands are now spending £300 million a y ear tar geting classr oom consumers . In ad dition commer cial companies ar e also incr easingly involved in the pr oduction of for mal or inf or mal curriculum ma terials and educa tional r esour ces, sometimes unackno wledged, 12 and Buckingham and Scanlon (2005: 42) note tha t ‘Parents ar e being placed under incr easing pr essure to “in vest” in their children’s education b y providing ad ditional r esour ces at home’. T ogether with the growth in the use of pri vate tutors (Ir eson 2004) and other enrichment acti vities for childr en (Vincent and Ball 2006) and the incr easing importance being given to home-based e-learning, this points to y et another f or m of pri vatisation, the pri vatisation of learning itself; ‘the o verall value of the educa tional resour ces mar ket (including print and digital media) in the UK is ar ound £350 million per y ear’ (Buckingham and Scanlon 2005: 42). It seems clear tha t the child and childhood ar e now thor oughl y satur ated b y mar ket relations and, within this sa tur ation, the meaning of childhood and w hat it means to be w ell educa ted ar e subject to signi ficant change . As K enway and Bullen (2001: 3) argue, ‘we are entering another sta ge in the construction of the y oung as the demar cations betw een educa tion, entertainment and ad vertising colla pse’. The typolo gy also dr aws attention to the global conte xt of educa tional pri vatisation, w hich is undoubtedl y of incr easing importance . But w hile I will address some aspects of the interna tional dimensions of educa tional pri vatisation I will not deal speci fically with the impact of GA TS (see Rik owski 2001, 2003, and on the r ole of the pri vate sector in Eur opean Comm unity policymaking see Ha tcher and Hirtt 1999 and R obertson 2006). I also mak e use of the distinction betw een what Ha tcher (2000) calls e xogenous and endo genous privatisation. W here the for mer involves private companies entering educa tion to tak e over dir ectly responsibilities , services or pr ogrammes, the la tter r efers to changes in the beha viour of pub lic sector or ganisa tions themselv es, where they act as though they w ere businesses, both in r elation to clients and w orkers, and in dealings with other pub lic sector or ganisa tions.

Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions


The existing liter atur e on social and educa tional pri vatisation in England is extensive but is also narr owly focused, fr agmentary and primaril y discursi ve and tends to under-estima te and homo genise the impact and spr ead of pri vatisation in English educa tion. Gr een’s (2005) account is the most compr ehensive, and F arns worth (2004: 1) in vestigates ‘business views and in fluence on social policy outcomes’ including educa tion. Much of the other w ork rests on rather lazy binaries w hich contr ast a particular v ersion of ‘the pri vate’ with a particular , often r osy, version of ‘the pub lic’, which Gr een avoids. I want to move beyond a simple juxta position of pub lic/private to e xplor e the b lurrings and elisions betw een them and to anal ytically audit in a criticall y constructi ve fashion the di fferent pri vatisations curr ently under w ay, as well as to r e-insert and r e-assess the r ole of the sta te in r elation to pri vatisation. I shall consider the possibility tha t pri vatisation can ha ve par ado xical effects, good and bad together, and tha t the small particulars of pri vatisation might contrib ute to larger-scale social and political changes .

Research and ethics Political ar gument and policy-making ha ve out-run r esearch in this field. K ey components of the d ynamics of pub lic sector pri vatisation ar e still relatively poor ly understood, some mar ket sectors ar e drama tically under-r esearched and man y of the concr ete first- and second-or der effects of the mar ket remain almost totall y unexamined. In part these lacunae e xist because of the di visions within the field of academic pr actice. Sociolo gists, policy anal ysts, economists and philosophers ask their questions separ ately and di fferently and r esearchers tend to pursue their specialisms within particular sectors of the educa tion system (HE, FE, school, pr e-school and life-long learning). (I do not esca pe from this; because of the limita tions of space this account is heavily focused on schools .) Most discussion of educa tion mar kets still remains a t the le vel of ‘abstr action’; little is written a bout the actual b uyers and sellers , for ms of labour , constr aints and r egulations in li ved, ‘concr ete’ mar kets. Mar kets, of an y kind, ar e comple x phenomena b ut ‘all mar ket processes ar e amena ble to sociolo gical anal ysis’ and ‘such anal ysis reveals centr al, not peripher al, featur es of these pr ocesses’ (Gr ano vetter 1985: 505). They ar e multi-faceted, untid y, often unpr edicta ble and both cr eative and destructi ve. Any compr ehensive attempt to r eview and anal yse the pri vatisation of educa tion needs to ad dress: competition, suppl y and demand, pr oducer and consumer beha viour, commer cialisation and commodi fication, values and ethics and distrib utional outcomes . The account w hich follows ranges acr oss these concepts with gr eater or lesser detail and pr ecision although the last is onl y addressed in passing. The challenge of finding an ethical position fr om which to speak a bout privatisation is di fficult in a pr actical sense , especially when m y own institution has a n umber of colla bor ations and other r elationships with the pri vate sector (the HSBC Chair of Educa tional Leadership , work with CEA, T eachers’ TV,


Privatisation(s): tools, meanings, positions

Goldman Sachs , Teach First) 13 and gener ates ‘profit’ from o verseas acti vities and full-fee students fr om which I indir ectly benefit. This illustr ates again the need to mo ve beyond a simple pub lic/private binary . Thus , within the anal ysis tha t follows I attempt to a void rhetorical condemna tion and a void the taking up of simple positions , a false neutr ality and a rush to closur e. As well as dr awing on a n umber of theor etical r esour ces the book is also written and pr esented using di fferent genr es and techniques . It includes descripti ve mapping, commentary , critique and anal ysis. Ther e is some ethno graphic-style use of and interr ogation of intervie w data. Ther e are some case studies of companies , policies and e vents. Ther e is theor etical interpr etation and the de velopment of some concepts w hich will hopefull y have some lasting v alue in the anal ysis of pri vatisation phenomena. W hile the book is about the her e and no w of pri vatisation (or the ther e and then b y the time this is r ead) it is intended to pr ovide a set of possibilities f or understanding and anal ysis of educa tion policy w hich, as w as the case with Politics and Policymaking in Education (1990), have a tr ansposa ble relevance acr oss topics and settings . Most importantl y the book is intended to suggest w ays of thinking about and tools f or anal ysing the pri vatisation phenomenon; it opens up lines of enquiry , ma ps out issues tha t need further w ork and points to omissions in and pr oblems with the curr ent understanding of and de bate about pub lic sector r efor m. Thr ough the anal ysis presented ther e is a series of r ecurring substanti ve themes and concepts . Blurring or boundary r edefinition is one , the m ultidimensional br eakdo wn or incr eased por osity of the pub lic–private divide; flexibilisation is another , the br eakdo wn of welfare state categories, particularly for ms and ca tegories of la bour , as a pr oject of ‘modernisa tion’; what Ken Jones (2003) calls ‘r e-agenting’ is a thir d, the insertion of ne w players into the field of educa tion policy and educa tion service deli very; new for ms of governance ar e another , the r ole of the pri vate sector as a means of tr ansfor mation and discipline; and the sta te and its changing f or m and methods are constantl y returned to . The anal ysis and the substanti ve account of pri vatisation(s) b uild r ecursively chapter b y chapter as these themes ar e tackled in different ways. As will become a ppar ent ther e is a pr oblem of langua ge in this account, tha t is a pr oblem of kno wing ho w to describe or r efer to ne w for ms, structur es, roles and r elationships in the gener al field of pri vatisation. I will be pr ecise when and as far as I am a ble but some slippa ge in the use of ter ms is inevitable.


Privatisation(s) in contexts

In this cha pter I outline an anal ytic history of pri vatisation and intr oduce the primary policy technolo gies of pub lic sector r efor m. I intend to situa te educa tion policy within a br oader fr amework of pub lic sector r efor m. Following from the pr evious cha pter, the changing r ole of the sta te, from the KNWS to an SWS , is a centr al featur e of the account, alongside and in r elation to ne w political narr atives. Mor e specifically, I shall seek to demonstr ate tha t recent educa tion policy mo ves have established a fr amework of possibility and legitimacy for pri vatisation and I will look a t some of the elements of a ‘discourse of pri vatisation’ which r e-articula tes pub lic services as commodities tha t can be bought and sold b ut which also facilita tes the modernisa tion of the educa tion system and its r e-articula tion in ter ms of the r equir ements of interna tional competiti veness.

A brief and crude history of privatisation(s) The pri vatisation of educa tion in England is r elatively new but it has a history – a history w hich unf olds thr ough a pr ocess of pub lic sector r efor m and refor mation of the sta te beginning in the 1970s . It has become embed ded in policy and the possibilities cr eated b y policy o ver a period of 30 y ears and I will tr ace its beginnings back, a t least symbolicall y, to the intellectual and political in fluence of K eith Joseph. Lik e Jessop (2002), K avana gh (1987) sees ‘political acti vists who ha ve “political le verage” and ar e willing to push their ideas’ (p. 114) as ha ving a r ole in ‘changing the clima te’ or ‘in de veloping alterna tive economic str ategies, state pr ojects and hegemonic visions’, as Jessop (2002: 6) puts it. J oseph w as the ‘first Conserv ative front-bench figure to o ffer a sustained and br oad-r anging challenge to the dir ection of post-w ar British economic mana gement’ (K avana gh 1987: 115). Young (1990: 83) describes him as ‘a pa th finder’. In a series of speeches in 1974–5, and thr ough the work of the Centr e for P olicy Studies (dir ected b y Joseph’s friend Alfr ed Sher man), J oseph ar gued the case f or a social mar ket econom y and f or monetarism and claimed tha t, in 1984, f or the first time he had become a con vert to Conserv ativism. He outlined an economic and social policy position tha t became kno wn as Ne w Right or mor e broadl y neo-liber alism (Joseph 1975).


Privatisation(s) in contexts

This r ested on a r ejection of e xtensive state regulation, high taxa tion, high levels of pub lic spending, borr owing and subsidies , and the r ole of unions as monopol y suppliers of la bour , and ar gued gener ally tha t the pub lic sector was a dr ain on the w ealth-cr eating pri vate sector . What was needed w as ‘mor e mar ket, less sta te’ – deregulation, liber alisation and pri vatisation. He w anted the Conserv ative Party to a bandon w hat he called ‘the mid dle ground’ and find ‘the common gr ound’ ‘where the r eal lives and aspir ations of most people w ere in pr actice acted out’ (Y oung 1990: 103). His case w as tha t the Keynesian Na tional W elfare State (KNWS) with its r eliance on ‘imper ative coor dina tion’ (Jessop 2002: 234) had failed and ‘tha t economic “r ealities” must be faced’ (Gr een 1987: 218). In a speech in J une 1974 he said: “W e are now mor e socialist in man y ways than an y other de veloped country outside the Comm unist b loc” (quoted in Y oung 1990: 84). During this period J oseph also began to in fluence the political ideas of Mar garet Tha tcher and this ‘supplied the base f or the decisi ve leap’ (Young 1990: 88) in her car eer – leadership of the Conserv ative Party. Joseph’s ‘conversion’ and his impact on Tha tcher w ere to bring a bout w hat was in effect a r eversal in post-w ar economic policy with its concerns with lo w unemplo yment, w elfare state funding and economic interv ention. Mar garet Tha tcher enca psula ted this r eversal in her first P arty Confer ence speech as leader : “Let me gi ve you m y vision: a man’s right to w ork as he will, to spend w hat he earns , to o wn pr operty , to have the sta te as serv ant and not as master : these ar e the British inheritance .” This signals a k ey facet of w hat Gid dens (1998) calls ‘the neo-liber al outlook’, tha t is its ‘anta gonism to the w elfare state’ which is ‘seen as the sour ce of all evils’ (p. 13). And w hat is the alterna tive? ‘The answer is mar ket-led economic gr owth’ (p. 13). As Gr een (1987: 218) put it, ‘after a long a bsence from the political a genda, mar kets ar e back’. During Tha tcher’s ter ms as prime minister the landsca pe of economic and political understandings of welfare changed irr evocably; a new discourse w as esta blished which expressed the r elationships betw een the sta te, the econom y and the pub lic sector in new (or very old) w ays. The boundaries betw een them w ere discursi vely reconstituted. In particular this r econstitution destr oyed the speci ficity of understandings w hich had articula ted the r ole, purpose and conduct of the pub lic sector. This meant tha t some pub lic services could simpl y be sold o ff (water, gas, electricity, telephones , etc.). Their special sta tus as pub lic services no longer a pplied. Other services r emained in the pub lic sector b ut were ‘re-thought’ in ter ms of their conditions of oper ation, inter-r elationships and modes of planning and financing, and made subject to competition and choice, for example. In other w ords, the Ne w Right or neo-liber al discourse tr avelled across the pub lic sector (see Ball 1990), ena bling the insertion of ‘market pr oxies into w hat remains of pub lic provision financed b y the sta te’ (Jessop 2002: 162). The mar ket for m and the lo gic, modes and visions of the private compan y, as a model, w ere to be the primary v ehicle for the internal refor m of the pub lic services. ‘Within tw o decades the omnipr esence of business and b usiness cultur e had become as commonplace and a ppar ently

Privatisation(s) in contexts


inevitable as the r ain’ (Leys 2001: 55). By changing the r elationships betw een providers and betw een users and pr oviders and tying b udgets m uch mor e closely to pa tterns of choice within these ne w relationships , pub lic sector providers were requir ed to act lik e businesses and in a b usiness-like way – endo genous pri vatisation. Let me o ffer one pertinent e xample of the mo vement of discourse . In 1981 Joseph became Secr etary of Sta te for Educa tion and in an intervie w I conducted with him in 1989 I ask ed him w hat his major contrib ution had been in this post. After a gr eat deal of a gonising he claimed tha t what he had achie ved was to change the w ay in which schools ar e thought a bout and think a bout themselv es: “I think the na tional a gencies tend to be pr oducer lob bies, like nationalised industries . One of the main virtues of pri vatisation is to intr oduce the idea of bankruptcy , the potential of bankruptcy” (quoted in Ball 1990: 63). During the 1980s and 1990s a fr amework of r efor m based upon the model of the pri vate sector w as set in place w hich led to ‘a gr adual dismantling of the welfare state thr ough cuts and pri vatization, der egulation and a ne w emphasis on indi vidual choice and consumption’ (Kir kpa trick and Martinez-Lucio 1995: 23) or, as Taylor-Goob y and La wson (1993: 2) put it, ‘Spending constraint and pri vatization ha ve been the centr al themes in policy de bate thr oughout the past 15 y ears.’ Having said tha t, in educa tion the changes intr oduced under the Conserv atives between 1979 and 1997 w ere primaril y endo genous. The inr oads of b usiness into sta te educa tion w ere limited b ut still important – Compulsory Competiti ve Tendering, City T echnolo gy Colleges and the Na tional Nursery V oucher Scheme , for example (see Bo x 2.1). The first two were tak en up and de veloped further b y New Labour . The Conserv ative moves produced an infr astructur e of possibilities within w hich b usiness could establish a pr esence within sta te educa tion services , and other policies lik e the Local Mana gement of Schools (LMS) both positioned schools as ‘b uyers’ of services and began to displace the infr astructur e of LEA services . In both discursi ve and some v ery pr actical w ays the pub lic sector monopoly of services pr ovision was br oken and some k ey functions w ere ‘privatised’. The pri vate sector w as made a legitima te participant in ne w areas of pub lic service delivery. Changes in educa tion and social policy since 1988 can be understood as a ‘ratchet e ffect’ of changing pr actical and discursi ve possibilities (see Ball 1990). This has contin ued to be the case under Ne w Labour , a step-b y-step process of br eaking up esta blished modes of oper ation and tak en-for-gr anted practices, intr oducing ne w ‘freedoms’, ne w players and ne w kinds of r elationships. Sometimes these ar e modest, sometimes bold. “If an ything w e have not pushed fast enough and har d enough” (T ony Blair, Labour Confer ence 2005). Each mo ve mak es the ne xt thinka ble, feasible and accepta ble. The pr ocess of ‘modernisa tion’ or tr ansfor mation in volved her e is both cr eative and destructi ve, a pr ocess of a ttrition and r e-invention. W hit field ar gues tha t, ‘although the tr ansfor mation pr ocess may sometimes a ppear to be disjointed or uncoor dina ted’ (2001: 69), it has an internal lo gic, a set of discernib le, if not


Privatisation(s) in contexts Box 2.1 Conserv ative privatisations CCT Compulsory Competiti ve Tendering

Broke the LA monopol y of service provision b y requiring councils to contr act services to the lo west bid der and tr ansferr ed workers to pri vate providers (Ho ggett 1994). R eplaced under La bour b y ‘Best Value’, which shifted fr om an ad versarial to a partnerships r elationship betw een councils and the pri vate sector and from cost r eduction to quality (Kir kpa trick 1999).

CTCs City Technolo gy Colleges

Encour aged businesses and b usiness people to ‘sponsor’ and run sta te schools with a v ocational orienta tion. Provided part of the model f or Academies .

LMS Local Mana gement of Schools

Gave schools contr ol of their b udgets with a fr eedom to mak e spending decisions.

Parental choice

Encour aged schools to compete f or recruitment and emplo y promotional techniques (see Ge wirtz et al. 1995).

Ofsted Office for Standar ds in Educa tion

Inspections of schools and colleges contr acted to pri vate companies .

NNVS Na tional Nursery V oucher Scheme

A short-li ved scheme intended to allo w par ents to ‘spend’ their v oucher in state or pri vate nurseries – a bolished by New Labour .

School Vouchers

A small pilot scheme initia ted b y Keith Joseph b ut deemed a failur e by the civil service.

necessarily planned, facets . The destructi ve facets of tr ansfor mation in volve destabilisation, disinvestment and commodification. I will say something a bout each in turn. Destabilisation is driven by an ‘unr elenting criticism of pub lic services, often b y generalising indi vidual failur es’ (Whit field 2001: 69) and this pr oduces the ‘discourse of derision’ w hich deplo ys exaggeration and ‘ludicr ous images, ridicule, and ster eotypi fication . . . a carica tur e has been de veloped and pr esented to the pub lic as an accur ate depiction of the r eal’ (Kenway 1990: 201). The deplo yment of derision is a w ay of creating rhetorical spaces within w hich to articula te refor m, e.g. Alastair Campbell’s criticisms of ‘bo g standar d’ compr ehensive schools ( http://ar chive.thisiswiltshir 14/225660.html ).

Privatisation(s) in contexts


Over and a gainst this is the construction and dissemina tion of the ne w hegemonic discourse , a romantic discourse of perfection w hich r epresents the private and mar kets for ms as ma gical solutions to the ‘pr oblems’ of the pub lic sector (Str onach 1993). This ne w hegemonic discourse is r omantic in the sense tha t it excludes mar kets failur es and nega tive externalities . Ho wever, in some important w ays the initial Ne w Right v ersion of this in the UK, with its clarity, its anta gonisms and its simple binarisa tion of economic and social policies, also ensur ed the ine vitability of its failur e. It w as do gmatic and conserv ative (Brown and Lauder 2001: 135), r elying exclusively on the mar ket fantasy to solv e all social and economic pr oblems. It w as out of this do gmatism tha t the possibility of ‘something di fferent’, of Ne w Labour , of Blairism, of a post-neo-liber alism, was esta blished. Ne wman puts it tha t the Thir d Way signalled ‘something di fferent fr om the hier archical go vernance of social democr acy and mar ket-based go vernance of the 1980s and 1990s’ (2005: 719) but goes on to sa y tha t ‘the something di fferent is har d to pin do wn’ (p. 719). The con ventional academic wisdom on the educa tional policy of the La bour Party since they w on the UK gener al election in 1997 is nea tly summed up in a comment b y Michael No vak in a pamphlet f or the Institute of Economic Affairs, a Ne w Right pr essure group: ‘the triumph of T ony Blair ma y in one sense be r egarded as the triumph of Mar garet Tha tcher’ (Power and Whitty 1999: 545). Gid dens (1998: 25) also notes tha t critics of the Thir d Way, or a t least Blair’s v ersion of it, see it ‘as w ar med-o ver neoliber alism’. Nonetheless , ther e are both signi ficant contin uities and decisi ve ruptur es between Tha tcherism and Blairism, betw een ‘open’ and ‘structur al’ competition, betw een neo-liber alism and the Thir d Way. While neo-liber alism r ests on a fair ly unr eflexive belief in mar kets and the pri vate sector as the engine of national economic competiti veness, a ‘free-mar ket fundamentalism’ (Ea gle 2003) which r egards sta te invention as almost al ways counter-pr oducti ve, the Thir d Way rests on a mor e reflexive adoption of a ‘ flexible repertoir e’ of state roles and r esponses. My point is tha t neo-liber alism and the Thir d Way are the same and di fferent. They ar e different kinds of policy mix es. The Thir d Way draws ‘selectively on fr agments and components of the old’ (Ne wman 2001: 46) but it is no vel and distincti ve (Hall 2003: 11). It w ould not be possib le without neo-liber alism b ut it di ffers in important w ays in ter ms of the r ole of the sta te and its r elationships with the pub lic and pri vate sectors , among other things . Paterson (2003) suggests thr ee key elements to the Thir d Way repertoir e: a version of pr ogressive liberalism, with an inclina tion to ward individualism, and a concomitant suspicion of the sta te; developmentalism, the explicit pr omotion of competiti veness by the sta te and a concomitant interventionism; and Ne w Social Democr acy, with elements of mor al authoritarianism (made up of r eciprocity, responsibility , strong values and comm unity – Dri ver and Martell 2003), ne w localism and a ‘contin uing insistence on the inadequacies of unr egulated ca pitalism’ (P aterson 2003: 166), b ut this element, P aterson suggests , is mor e evident in W ales and Scotland. The outlines of a new for m of r egulation, a contr olled decontr ol, is discernib le here and fr om


Privatisation(s) in contexts

this ideolo gical mix comes a combina tion of policies and le vers of change which no pr evious go vernment has a ttempted (with the e xception perha ps of tha t of R amsa y MacDonald). In particular it de velops a ‘r ange of networks, partnerships and other models of economic and political go vernance’ (Jessop 2002: 243) within w hich the sta te is ‘a prime sour ce and media tor of collecti ve intelligence’ (p. 243). The Thir d Way does not look back to a pre-welfare mar ket heyday; it is about mo ving on; it is centr ed on the pr oject of modernisa tion, the a ppeal of w hich ‘as a political f or mula for a ne w settlement . . . is obvious’ (Brown and Lauder 2001: 179). It ‘cannot simpl y be portr ayed as Tha tcherism Mar k II; it is a m uch mor e comple x political phenomenon’ (Atkinson and Sa vage 2001: 15). ‘Modern go vernment has a strategic role not to r eplace the mar ket but to ensur e tha t the mar ket works proper ly’ (Labour Party Manifesto 1992: 11). As noted in Cha pter 1, this does not mean tha t the sta te is less acti ve or less intrusi ve – but it acts differently. ‘In this conte xt, par ado xically, the total amount of sta te interv ention will tend to incr ease, for the sta te will be enmeshed in the pr omotion, support and maintenance of an e ver-widening r ange of social and economic acti vities’ (Cerny 1990: 230). Jessop (2002: 244) ar gues tha t the destructi ve impact of the Conserv atives’ ‘neo-liber al hostilities’ ‘deprived the centr al sta te in the short ter m of an adequa te range of modes of coor dination’. Saltman and V on Otter (1992: 8) o ffer exactly this anal ysis of the Conserv atives’ National Health Service r efor ms: ‘The liabilities tha t accompan y neo-classical economic lo gic strongly suggest tha t it is una ble to pr ovide an a ppr opria te replacement par adigm upon w hich to or der health policy decision-making within pub licly oper ated systems .’ The limits of the mar ket mechanism had to be ‘r e-learned’, and other f or ms of coor dina tion to supplement, complement or compensa te for the inadequacies of the mar ket had to be r e-invented albeit ‘disguised behind changed names , inno vative discourses , policy churning and institutional turno ver’ (Jessop 2002: 244–5). The Thir d Way, I suggest, in the f or m of the competition sta te, embodies tha t re-invention, although the Thir d Way also contains its o wn insta bilities and failur es. The second str ategy identi fied in W hitfield’s account of the destructi ve effects of pub lic sector r efor m is disinvestment, but this needs some clari fication (and could perha ps be thought of as re-investment). Under the Conserv ative governments of the 1980s and 1990s ther e clearly was a series of withering pub lic spending cuts . Ho wever, under Ne w Labour such cuts ha ve not been a priority; it is ne w for ms of financial contr ol and financial alloca tion tha t ar e of importance , in two senses. First is a f or m of r edistrib ution of funding within the pub lic sector r elated to indica tors of perf or mance or competiti ve success and an incr easing use of tar geted funding and systems of pr ogramme bidding to achie ve institutional r e-focusing and r e-design. You can’t run on y our or dinary b udget, e veryone kno ws tha t, so you ha ve to get in volved in various initia tives and ca ter for tha t, the initia tive’s

Privatisation(s) in contexts


priorities , and bend y our curriculum and y our priorities in or der to get hold of tha t bit of money . (Deputy Headteacher , Mer chants’ School) Second is a r edistrib ution of funds a way from dir ect funding of pub lic sector organisa tions and local authorities to contr act funding of pri vate, voluntary and quasi-pub lic organisa tions f or the deli very of pub lic services and a concomitant pr ocess of making sta te agencies into fr ee-standing, self- financing organisa tions. Educa tion Action Zones (EAZs), an initia tive launched in 1998 (see Ge wirtz 1999), offer an e xample of a short-li ved policy e xperiment w hich br ought together a n umber of the ne w for ms of funding and of local social r elations which typify the Thir d Way aspects of the competition sta te. First, ther e is the use of contr acting as a means of r esour ce alloca tion, b y which local partnerships, including b usiness partners , had to tender f or Zone sta tus. Applicants had to demonstr ate their willingness to incorpor ate the goals and structur es laid do wn by government into their Zone plans . The documenta tion f or bid ders was very explicit about w hat was expected. Once a ppr oved, Zones w ere expected to bid f or funding f or other go vernment initia tives – specialist schools, work-related learning, famil y literacy schemes and ear ly-years excellence centr es – and to ‘b uild on na tional initia tives such as liter acy and numer acy hours’ (DfEE 1997: 8), and part of the assessment of bids w as to be based on their ‘v alue for money’. The guidance notes f or Zone a pplicants also made clear the need f or bid ders to ‘Identify r elevant perf or mance indica tors , where possib le directly attached to tar gets for impr ovement’ (DfEE 1998: 3). In ad dition, Zones w ere encour aged to put f orward pr oposals f or inno vative sta ff contr acts and the flexible use of sta ff. Zones w hich chose to dis-a pply the Teachers’ P ay and Conditions Or der could, f or example, mak e weekend and school holida y working a contr actual ob ligation. EAZs ar e one example of what I ter m a policy condensate (see also Cha pter 7), an ensemb le of focused policy ideas w hich work to tie educa tion to ‘the kno wledge-based accum ulation str ategy’ (Jessop 2002: 167) of the Ne w Labour competition state. Several elements r ecur in la ter policy e xamples (see Cha pter 5) – partnerships , including cr oss-sector w orking and institutional colla bor ations, a local r ather than institutional f ocus, pri vate or v oluntary sector participa tion, der egulation, tar get setting and inno vation. In particular r elation to educa tion, although the pr ecept was applied elsewhere, EAZs ar e also an example of ‘standar ds not structur es’. The EAZs contr acts were fixed-ter m and did not bring into being ne w per manent structur es and r elationships . Rather the EAZs pr ovided a test-bed f or str ategies and ideas w hich would be developed further in la ter policies . They also serv ed to push back the limits of refor m, to mak e ideas for mor e refor m plausib le and ther efore possib le. Again key boundaries within the pub lic sector and betw een the pub lic and pri vate sectors w ere breached and r e-worked. I will r eturn to these in la ter cha pters.


Privatisation(s) in contexts

Commodification is the thir d key facet of the destructi veness/creativity of refor m – in making tr ansfor mation possib le by re-working for ms of service, social r elations and pub lic processes into f or ms tha t ar e measur able and thus contr acta ble or mar ketable, and in cr eating spaces f or pri vatisation within the pub lic sector (of both har d and soft services). I shall r eturn to this point a number of times . Commodi fication is both then cause and e ffect in r elation to privatisation. The r eplacement of social r elations with e xchange r elations is an e ffect of ‘pri vatisation’ b ut is also a pr e-condition and has in volved packaging services in ways tha t ‘prioritise the inter ests of contr actors’ (W hit field 2001: 73); they ar e ‘reconfigured’. ‘What mak es something, or some service , a commodity is tha t it is pr oduced f or sale, which means pr oducing it in such a way as to mak e it saleable’ (Leys 2001: 87). This is done in part to encour age the de velopment of ne w mar kets and a ttr act pri vate pr oviders; where none existed. W hole ne w for ms of commer cial acti vity have emerged – like teacher suppl y agencies, ‘improvement’ pr oducts , etc. (see Cha pter 6). Cern y (1990: 230) argues tha t: what we are seeing in the w orld toda y . . . is . . . the r e-emergence of the state as a commodifying a gent . . . A ne w state capitalism will come to the fore. The di viding line betw een pub lic and pri vate, in this conte xt, is being eroded. As I shall ar gue, part of the w ork of perf or mativity is the technical and discursi ve re-imagining of educa tion as a commodity . At a pr actical le vel of or ganisa tional r e-design ther e are thr ee distinct b ut related facets to the destructi ve ‘creativity’ of the tr ansfor mation or r efor m process. Thr ee different policy technolo gies were brought to bear upon and within the pub lic sector – mar kets, (new) mana gerialism (or Ne w Pub lic Mana gement) and perf or mativity. Working to gether they ha ve brought a bout the ‘modernisa tion’ of the ‘or ganisa tion ecolo gy’ (Jessop 2002) of schools – and each has also contrib uted in particular w ays to the pr ocesses of pri vatisation. Each technolo gy is a for m of discipline and r egulation, and to gether they constitute a ne w regime of pub lic sector r egulation. I ha ve written a bout these elsewhere and will r ehearse them onl y briefly here (see for example Ball 1998, 2001, 2002). Markets The mar ket, thr ough the medium of v arious f or ms of choice and competition, as with the other technolo gies, is polymorphic; it is or ganised and applied in di fferent ways in different parts of the pub lic sector, beginning with CCT, which opened a w hole r ange of har d services up f or pr ofit and o ffered pub lic sector a gencies the possibility of choice of supplier , thr ough to par ental choice of school and per ca pita funding and thus competition betw een schools for ‘valued’ students and families (Ball 1994), to systems of competi-

Privatisation(s) in contexts


tive bidding for tar geted funds . Once the model of bid ding is esta blished it becomes both technicall y and cultur ally feasible to extend the r ange of those who might be a ble to bid bey ond esta blished pub lic sector pr oviders. The intima te imbrica tion of mana gerialism, mar kets and the incr easing presence of the pri vate sector in pub lic service provision is well illustr ated b y the example of social car e. The cr eation of social car e mar kets came a little later on the Conserv atives’ agenda of pub lic sector r efor ms. They w ere initiated b y the 1990 NHS and Comm unity Car e Act and implemented betw een 1991 and 1993 based on the principles of needs-led and user-centr ed services and they w ere intended to deli ver ‘choice, cost-e ffectiveness and inno vation’ but what was different her e was tha t the r efor ms also in volved the pr omotion of the inter ests of pri vate car e service providers. Local authority social service departments w ere to assume the r esponsibility f or making and mana ging local social car e mar kets as pur chasers of services fr om independent pr oviders and withdr aw from or massi vely reduce their service pr ovision r ole. This is a pr ecursor of curr ent de velopments in educa tional service . Indeed some of the pri vate pr oviders of social car e services would la ter de velop an inter est in the educa tion services mar ket. (New) managerialism New mana gerialism is the lo gical concomitant of the mar ket and lo gical antidote to the ‘failings’ of pub lic sector b ureaucr acy and cultur e. ‘The new mana gerialism emphasiz ed inno vation, cr eativity and empo werment’ (Clar ke 2004: 117). The ne w mana gers ar e policy entr epreneurs, ‘motivated, r esour ceful, and a ble to shift the fr ame of r eference beyond the esta blished nor ms and procedur es’ (Exworth y and Half ord 1999: 6). The ne w mana ger is the competition sta te writ small, although in both rhetoric and pr actice ne w mana gerialism is a r agbag of models , values and purposes – as is the competition state. At heart mana gerialism ‘is a nor mative system concerning w hat counts as valua ble kno wledge, who kno ws it, and w ho is empo wered to act in w hat ways as a consequence’ (Clar ke et al. 2000: 9). In a pplica tion to the pub lic sector this in volves a decisive reconstitution of po wer relations. In line with the periodisa tion of r efor m suggested a bove several writers ha ve made the point tha t in ter ms of the f or m of mana gerialism in pla y ‘there is an important di fference betw een the Ne w Right model and Ne w Labour’s moderniza tion str ategy’ (Thrupp and W illmott 2003: 31). W hile the Ne w Right model was outcomes-based, ‘Ne w Labour’s v ersion is m uch mor e interv entionist, and consider ably mor e mana gerialist. Outcomes r emain the f ocus b ut they are now constituted as tar gets and benchmar ks rather than comparisons with other institutions’ (F ergusson 2000: 208). F ergusson goes on to char acterise this change as a shift fr om nor m referencing to criterion r eferencing. The spr ead of (ne w) mana gerialism thr ough the pub lic sector began in the civil service, in the ear ly 1980s, with the Financial Mana gement Initia tive (1982). This was quickl y followed by the cr eation of tr ading accounts and


Privatisation(s) in contexts

new executive responsibilities in local go vernment and the changes br ought out in the NHS b y the implementa tion of the Gri ffiths R eport (1983). In educa tion the incursions of mana gement began some what later via the intr oduction of Local Mana gement of Schools (Educa tion R efor m Act 1988). A report commissioned b y the then DES fr om accountants and mana gement consultants Coopers & L ybrand (1988) described the implementa tion of LMS in schools as r equiring ‘a ne w cultur e and philosoph y of school or ganization’ (p. 2). The pri vate sector w as crucial in setting or inf or ming the refor m agenda fr om the outset, bringing its commer cial wisdom to bear , and the model of using consultants to ad vise on, dr aft, implement or e valua te key aspects of the r efor m agenda w as esta blished ear ly. Incr easingly policy was articula ted in the langua ge and methods of b usiness. LMS w as also the first move in a series of shifts a way from local democr atic contr ol of educa tion budgets to wards a combina tion of centr al and indir ect ‘devolved’ financial contr ols. In an intervie w at the time a senior ci vil servant e xplained to me tha t “the Bill, it seems to me , is about r educing the po wer of local authorities , tha t’s what the Bill is a bout” (quoted in Ball 1990: 69). Again though, mana gement is not simpl y a means to e ffect change in the pub lic sector ; it is an opportunity f or b usiness for the pri vate sector (see Box 2.2). Mana gement has mo ved over the past 20 y ears fr om being an imper ative in the pub lic sector to being a commodity , for which the pub lic sector is an incr easingly important customer (see Cha pter 6 on ‘selling impr ovement’). Gener ally, while the 1980s began with a policy emphasis on financial restraint, b y the end of the decade the emphasis had shifted to a m uch br oader concern with the r e-design of the or ganisa tion and mana gement of pub lic sector institutions or , as Schick (1990: 26) e xplains, the objecti ve of such interv entions , and ther e were similar de velopments in other English-speaking

Box 2.2 Transfor mation as a b usiness opportunity Kable business transformation services in the UK public sector 2005 (Price: £1,950 + VAT) The mar ket for b usiness tr ansfor mation services is set to gr ow substantiall y over the ne xt four y ears as the go vernment embar ks on a series of initia tives described b y anal ysts as “the most signi ficant restructuring of pub lic services for a gener ation”. E fficiency dri ve creates new opportunities . Gr eater pub lic sector e fficiency is creating business tr ansfor mation opportunities associa ted with pr ocess impr ovement modernisa tion of pr ocur ement. Mar ket in pub lic sector b usiness tr ansfor mation services is set to gr ow to £2.3bn b y 2007 as government initia tives drive demand. (http://www )

Privatisation(s) in contexts


and north Eur opean countries , was to f oster ‘a mana gerial environment which is a ttenti ve to perf or mance w hen funds ar e par celled out’ or in other words to tie r esour ces to r esults and to turn spenders into mana gers. The mana ger is a subject and means of pub lic sector change , a cultur al reengineer w ho thr ough vision and leadership r e-works the or ganisa tional ecology of their institution. This in volves an ongoing a ttrition, made up of incremental lar ger and smaller changes w hich ar e man y and dispar ate. As the OECD put it in ter ms which ar e echoed in the Thir d Way: ‘A “selective radical” str ategy for implementing r efor m ma y be the pr eferred solution . . . refor m is a journey r ather than a destina tion’ (1995: 9). Performativity The final k ey component in the triumvir ate of r efor m is perfor mativity, which ties the e ffort of mana gement to the inf or mation systems of the mar ket and customer choice-making and/or to the tar get and benchmar k requir ements of the sta te. Indeed the contr action ‘perf or mance mana gement’ denotes a particular f or m and d ynamic of mana gerialism. Accor ding to Husbands (2001: 10) perfor mance mana gement w orks on and thr ough schools in tw o ways: in a limited w ay ‘to the e xtent to w hich [it] focuses school leadership on the cor e tasks of enhancing pupil pr ogress against measur able criteria; b ut expansi ve in the e xtent to w hich the langua ge and assumptions of perf or mance mana gement describe a cultur al refocusing of schooling’, tha t is ‘schools become incr easingly subject to “bottom line” judgements of their standar ds or outputs’ (Fitz and Beers 2002: 144). P erfor mance mana gement does not simply change the w ays in which schools w ork; it changes the w ay we think about schools and learning and it changes ho w teachers think a bout their work and their r elationships with pupils . Perfor mativity is a cultur e and a mode of r egulation. The perf or mances of individual subjects or or ganisa tions serv e as measur es of pr oducti vity or output, or displa ys of ‘quality’, or ‘moments’ of pr omotion or inspection. They stand f or, encapsula te or r epresent the w orth, quality or v alue of an indi vidual or or ganisa tion within a field of judgement. P erfor mativity is about driving out poor perf or mance, inefficiencies and r edundancies – it is a bout focus. It is insa tiable. It is achie ved thr ough the construction and pub lication of infor mation and the dri ve to name , differentia te and classify . Perfor mativity is intima tely intertwined with the seducti ve possibilities of a particular kind of economic (r ather than mor al) ‘autonom y’, what Ed wards (2000: 154) calls ‘coercive autonom y’, for both institutions and in some cases indi viduals – lik e headteachers . Perfor mativity works to ‘tie things to gether’ and r e-mak e them. It facilita tes the monitoring r ole of the sta te: ‘steering-a t-a-distance’, ‘governing without go vernment’, ‘the politics of clarity’ (Gir oux 1992). It allo ws the state to insert itself deepl y into the cultur e, pr actices and subjecti vities of pub lic sector or ganisa tions and their w orkers, without a ppearing to do so . It changes tha t which it ‘indica tes’; it changes meaning; it deli vers re-design and


Privatisation(s) in contexts

ensur es ‘alignment’. It objecti fies and commodi fies pub lic sector work; the kno wledge work of educa tional institutions is r ender ed into ‘outputs’, ‘levels of perf or mance’ and ‘f or ms of quality’, tha t is this pr ocess of objecti fication contrib utes mor e generally to the possibility of thinking a bout social services like educa tion as forms of production, as ‘just lik e’ services of other kinds and other kinds of pr oduction. The ‘soft’ services lik e teaching w hich r equir e ‘human inter action’ ar e re-made to be just lik e the ‘har d’ services (book suppl y, tr ansport, ca tering, instructional media). They ar e standar dised, calcula ted, quali fied and compar ed. Mor e generally perfor mativity works to edge pub lic sector or ganisa tions into a con vergence with the pri vate sector. Thr ough the combina tion of these policy technolo gies a new relationship of the sta te to the pub lic sector is pr oduced and a t the same time service provision is made ‘contesta ble and competiti ve’ and ‘corpor atization and privatization ar e important policy options in this conte xt’ (OECD 1995: 9). The r efor m pr ocess and the changing r ole of the social democr atic sta te is then part of a br oader tr ansfor mation in political ar chitectur e. The shift fr om responsibility f or deli very to r esponsibility f or commissioning, contr acting and measur ement and audit opens up the possibility of tw o further policy moves. First, it becomes possib le for the sta te to consider a v ariety of potential service deliverers – pub lic, voluntary and pri vate. This intr oduces contestability, competition betw een potential deli verers on the basis of ‘best service’ and/or v alue for money and in volves the use of commer cial models of tendering and contr acting. Second, it becomes possib le to consider alterna tive models of funding and the participa tion of pri vate funders in the de velopment of the pub lic sector infr astructur e. One v ersion of this , in the UK, is what is called the Pri vate Finance Initia tive (or Pub lic Private Partnerships). These arr angements in volve private sector pr oviders in the b uilding and mana gement of schools , hospitals , uni versity plant, etc. on a lease-back and mana gement contr act basis . In most of these cases pub lic sector dir ect labour is replaced b y the contr actor , and some commenta tors fear tha t at some point such contr act la bour ma y extend bey ond ca tering, cleaning, maintenance , security, etc. (har d services) to the cor e tasks of teaching, r esearch, etc. (soft services). In fact this mo ve is already under w ay – not onl y thr ough contr acts to run schools , but in the design and mana gement of Academies , thr ough advice, consultancy and CPD and the pr ovision of teaching and learning software by whiteboar d companies . Within social policy r esearch ther e is a series of hotl y contested de bates around these issues and the a ppr opria te ways of theorising changes in the welfare state. Ho wever, ther e is also a lot of common gr ound (Cochr ane et al. 2001). Several key points within these de bates ar e helpful in making sense of educa tion policy . First, as Esping-Andersen (1996) points out and as noted already, in the UK as else where in Eur ope these ar e ‘welfare states in tr ansition’, tha t is mo ving and changing fr om where they were to some where else; the changes ar e not ended. Second, the ongoing changes ar e not a bsolute , the

Privatisation(s) in contexts


replacement of one w elfare regime by another ; rather ther e is a new ‘welfare mix’ or ‘welfare plur alism’ (Rao 1996) or ‘mix ed economies of w elfare’ (Johnson 1999). Further mor e, not onl y are these changes partial, in volving ‘residual a ttachments’ (Clar ke 2004: 154), but they ar e neither in one dir ection nor one-dimensional – ‘complete design of go vernance structur es is impossib le’ (OECD 1995: 9). Clar ke does go on to sa y tha t the sta tus of these residuals and the degr ee of attachment to them ar e questiona ble. All this means tha t, as Clar ke et al. (2001: 104–5) put it, ‘it is har d to pr oduce a satisfactory synoptic o verview of these changes because they ar e uneven, contr adictory and contested. Ther e is no single tr end of dir ection of change’. The composite and sometimes incoher ent na tur e of change is a char acteristic of the SWS . Ho wever, ther e are problems with these social policy accounts; they ar e almost e xclusively focused on the sta te at a na tional le vel and on citiz enship and tend to neglect the r elationships of w elfare to the econom y, either as functionall y related to competiti veness or as a f ocus for pr ofit, tha t is the subor dina tion of ‘social policy to the demands of la bour mar ket flexibility and/or emplo yability and the per ceived imper atives of structur al or systemic competiti veness’ (Jessop 2001: 298). Pri vatisation or w hat is called ‘corpor ate welfare’ is generally given little a ttention in these accounts and, w hen it is, the focus is on the ‘famialisa tion’ of w elfare, or the r ewriting of ‘the relationship betw een sta te and citiz en, while refor ming the sta te’ (Clar ke 2004: 67). We do need to think a bout and theorise w elfare changes in r elation to changes in the sta te and citiz enship and tha t is centr al to m y anal ysis, but also, and perha ps especially in the case of educa tion and tr aining, w e need to explor e their r elations to the econom y – in at least thr ee senses: • • •

the economics of educa tion – funding and cost (e .g. PFIs); educa tion and the econom y – labour and kno wledge, competiti veness; the econom y and educa tion – commodi fication and pr ofit.

The technolo gies of pub lic sector r efor m work in comple x ways to bring about pr actical, cultur al and discursi ve changes. They combine to r e-work organisa tional ecolo gies and the ecolo gy of the sta te. They change the w ays in which we think a bout the pub lic sector and its r elationships and pr actices. In particular they ha ve the effect of making the pub lic sector amena ble to privatisation(s) – endo genous and e xogenous. They constitute a political imaginary mor e subtle and elusi ve than tha t of the Ne w Right. I w ant to move on no w to look a t some of the w ays in which this ima ginary is dissemina ted within educa tion policy , tha t is the w ays in which Thir d Way educa tion policy cele brates the virtues of di versity, entr epreneurship and pri vatisation and links educa tion in dir ect and indir ect ways to globalisa tion and interna tional competiti veness. One of T ony Blair’s declar ed aims is to “mak e this country a t ease with globalisa tion” (27 September 2005).


Privatisation(s) in contexts

Discourse of privatisation The discourse of pri vatisation and of ‘the pri vate’ is ubiquitous in educa tion policy sta tements . It is perv asive, polymorphic and insidious . Within this discourse , educa tion is r e-articula ted as a r esour ce for the econom y, tha t is as pr oducti ve, as income-gener ating and as a commodity (see Bo x 2.3 for examples).

Box 2.3 Discourse of pri vatisation Inflation pressures threaten university viability Official figures from the Higher Educa tion Sta tistics Agency, released yesterday, showed income to all British uni versities rose by £1.2bn in 2002–3 to £16.6bn, with an oper ating surplus tha t had grown to £241m. (Financial Times, 27 April 2005) Public pleasure over private regret In an intervie w with the Financial Times, schools minister Stephen Timms put f orward the idea tha t indi vidual school departments might be handed o ver to pri vate mana gement. (TES, 21 September 2001) From Delhi to Dudley It is one of Britain’s unsung success stories: the phenomenal growth in the n umber of fee-pa ying overseas students . . . Derb y has 400 o verseas students of w hom 50 ar e on full-time fee-pa ying courses. It is also tar geting China, T aiwan, Hong K ong and J apan for r ecruitment . . . Positioning for Success, a British Council consulta tive paper, wants £5m pumped into a dri ve to ensur e Britain stays a world leader in educa ting foreign students . (TES, FE F ocus, 13 August, 2004) Entrepreneurial spirit The ne w educa tion Bill gi ves schools po wers to cr eate companies and run post o ffices. (TES Weekly Newsletter, 24 No vember 2001) Higher education spin-offs push Britain up entrepreneurial league Spin-o ff companies cr eated fr om higher-educa tion institutions have risen sharpl y in number , challenging the vie w tha t British universities ar e less entr epreneurial than North American ones . (Financial Times, 7 December 2001)

Privatisation(s) in contexts


Pioneer of school–business links: Kings Hurst established a blueprint for the education innovations the government hopes to encourage The school has online video links with its partner schools in the Kings Hurst F ederation – all run b y 3Es. Students b uild websites and ar e in regular touch with partner schools in the US . One r oom in the school is ‘The Academ y’, a software design studio financed by 3Es surplus . It is a gr owing business with 100 schools b uying Kings Hurst’s GNV Q science course online a t £3000 a time . . . “We’ve got b usiness and industry in our b loodstr eams” sa ys Mrs Br agg [Headteacher]. (Financial Times, 16 July 2001) Lester Da vies looks back on his y ear-long secondment to the Bass brewery as one of the best pr ofessional de velopment e xperiences he has ever had. So w hen he hear d of a pr ogramme tha t turns the secondment pr ocess on its head and sends people fr om b usiness into schools , he decided to gi ve it a try . . . Heads , Teachers and Industry (HTI) ma tched the school with Izzy Ali-McLachlan fr om the Technolo gy Inno vation Centr e at the Uni versity of Centr al England. Mr Ali-McLachlan has a backgr ound in pr oduct design. (School Leader , TES, 20 Ma y 2005, p. 27) These examples of media co verage of educa tional issues serv e as illustr ations of the dissemina tion of the discourse of pri vatisation (or perha ps mor e accur ately in some cases competition). K ey ter ms within the discourse recur – ‘entrepreneurism’, ‘partnerships’, ‘companies’, ‘innovation’, ‘business’, ‘private’ – and the ‘kno wledge econom y’ is very much in e vidence. These words represent ne w ways of thinking a bout educa tion, ne w ways of acting and r elating for educa tion w orkers. Schools and uni versities ‘exploit’ their kno wledge, selling to gener ate ‘surpluses’. Success is measur ed in ter ms of income , ‘spin-o ffs’ and turno ver – as well as creativity, dissemina tion and technolo gy tr ansfer. This constitutes a po werful meta-narr ative, ‘a web of inter locution’ (Somers 1994: 614) w hich ‘joins up’ a di versity of acti vities, inter actions and or ganisa tions. Nonetheless , the contr adictions noted pr eviously between ‘commodi fied and collecti vised’ kno wledge ar e appar ent also , although in these e xamples it is the commodi fied for m which is most in evidence. Ther e is a ‘judicious’ mix of netw orks and mar kets, competition and colla bor ation. W hat is being outlined her e is key elements of w hat Osborne and Gae bler (1992) describe and ad vocate as ‘entr epreneurial go vernance’ with its enterprise , responsi veness and de volved responsibility to agencies separ ately accounta ble from go vernment f or their b udgets and their perfor mance in r elation to tar gets or contr act r equir ements. This is ‘the reimagination of pr eviously distinct domains of e xistence as for ms of the economic’ (du Ga y 2000).


Privatisation(s) in contexts

The boundaries betw een what is sta te and w hat is pri vate ar e blurr ed. Schools and uni versities and b usiness ar e literally ‘joined up’ in joint enterprises, and schools ar e ‘joined up’ in netw orks and feder ations, via video links and IT C. Social r elations, organisa tional f or ms (companies), modes of oper ation, and cultur e and langua ge in the pub lic sector ha ve all changed, and it is change tha t mak es these items ne wsworth y. This is part of the r e-design of schools, colleges and uni versities, organisa tional and discursi ve, which shifts both structur e and purpose . We see glimpses of the global econom y (UK and US entr epreneurism compar ed), the mar ket in educa tional services (overseas student r ecruitment) and the pr oduction of ne w kinds of learners and w orkers; all of this uses ‘collecti ve consumption to pr omote tr ansition to a globalizing, kno wledge-based econom y’ (Jessop 2002: 162). Educa tion is no longer ‘extr a-economic’: We can alr eady see how important educa tion and skills ar e for indi vidual and collecti ve prosperity . . . On a global scale , half the incr ease in the ann ual gr owth of pr oducti vity comes fr om ne w ideas and w ays of doing things. The fastest-gr owing cities in America and Eur ope ar e those with the highest pr oportion of kno wledge workers. (Tony Blair, ‘Kno wledge 2000’, Confer ence on the Kno wledge Dri ven Econom y) In its dir ectness and single-mindedness this discourse is incr easingly familiar and inesca pable. Pub lic sector institutions ar e being ‘re-thought’ as pr ofit opportunities . Underpinning this is an e ffective policy tr ope which celebrates the ‘superiority’ of pri vate sector mana gement, in ‘partnership’ with the sta te, over and a gainst the conserv ative, bureaucr atic and unr esponsi ve modality of pub lic sector mana gement, although the pub lic sector is not without its o wn pock ets of ‘excellence’ and not all e xperiments in pri vatisation succeed. The weakness of our pub lic services has not been their ina bility to achie ve excellence, but the fact tha t it is too thinl y spread, with opportunities and high quality pr ovision too often r estricted to a minority . . . Sur e, ther e are risks. It won’t al ways work. But taking risks is part of change leading to impr ovement. (Prime Minister’s speech on pub lic service refor m, 16 October 2001, available online: http://www .number10.go Page1632.asp from www.dir ) Finall y, her e I want to e xamine Ne w Labour policy talk a little mor e and point up some of the components of the political discourse of pri vatisation and the v ariety of w ays in which they ar e intima tely tied to competiti veness on the one hand and the r ole of the pri vate sector in the r e-design or tr ansfor mation of the pub lic sector on the other . This will highlight a n umber of themes and ter ms which r ecur thr ough the book, and the use of some of these

Privatisation(s) in contexts


ter ms and the ‘w ork’ they do will be ad dressed mor e fully in later cha pters. This is an initial f oray into a pr ogramma tic discourse tha t ‘highlights the contr ast betw een ter ms tha t represent a ster eotyped and demoniz ed past and those o ffering a visionary and idealiz ed futur e’ (Clarke and Ne wman 1997: 49). I ha ve chosen to gi ve special attention to the w ords of Tony Blair b ut ther e are innumer able other sites f or and sour ces of the discourse in W hite Papers, government w ebsites, other political utter ances, etc. Within the comple x and e xpansi ve rhetoric of Ne w Labour the ter ms I want to dr awn attention to ar e: ‘transfor mation’, ‘modernisa tion’, ‘innovation’, ‘risk’, ‘dynamism’, ‘creativity’ and ‘competiti veness’ (for the r elationship of these to technolo gy see Cha pter 6); other ter ms like ‘partnerships’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘collabor ation’ ar e given attention in other cha pters. These ar e ter ms, except ‘competition’ perha ps, which ha ve no necessary e xclusivity to the private sector b ut ar e often deplo yed as though they did, f or example ‘the celebration of “cr eativity” as an essential element of b usiness’ (Jones 2003: 164). They ar e tak en to be qualities of and to e xemplify entr epreneurism and enterprise , key signifiers tha t also r ecur. They often a ppear in te xts as colloca tions – co-occurr ences; tha t is they ar e linked to gether as an ensemb le and ar e chronotopicall y related to a sense of the pace , movement and constant change tha t ar e tak en to de fine globalisa tion, the globalised econom y and w orld cities. They set the inadequacies , particular ly the slo wness and unr esponsi veness and risk a version of the pub lic sector prior to r efor m, over and a gainst the ‘idealised’ alterna tive.1 The shift fr om the f or mer to the la tter is tak en to be necessary and ine vitable and r elated to economic r ather than social pr essures and needs , the ur gent demands of globalisa tion. ‘Complaining a bout globalization is as pointless as trying to turn back the tide . Asian competition can’t be shut out; it can onl y be bea ten. And no w, by every relative measure of a modern econom y, Eur ope is la gging’ (Tony Blair, Newsweek, http:// wsweek/). This is the ‘necessarian logic of Ne w Labour’s political econom y’ (Watson and Ha y 2003). The pub lic sector m ust be r e-made to r espond to the e xigence (Edwards and Nicoll 2001), tha t is to globalisa tion, and to pla y its part in the economics of competition. Indi vidual and institutional actors and their dispositions and responses ar e tied to the fa te of the na tion within the global econom y. The purpose of the r efor ms is to cr eate a modern educa tion system and a modern NHS w here, within le vels of investment a t last coming up to the average of our competitors , real po wer is put in the hands of those w ho use the service , the pa tient and the par ent, where the changes becoming self-sustaining, the system open, di verse, flexible, able to adjust and ada pt to the changing w orld. (Prime Minister T ony Blair r eflects on ‘pi votal moment’ for educa tion, 10 Do wning Str eet, 24 October 2005) Ther e is an easil y graspa ble narr ative here, an ‘insistent singularity’ (du Ga y


Privatisation(s) in contexts

2000: 78) which links the intimacies of educa tional pr actices to the global econom y. As F airclough (2000: 158) e xplains, ‘the work of politics or go vernment is partl y done in the ma terial of te xts – it gets into the te xtur e of texts’. Ur gency, inevitability and r adical change ar e part of this te xtur e, creating a policy ontolo gy within w hich pub lic sector actors ar e made ne w kinds of subjects . The lack of clarity and coher ence in these sta tements , how the elements ar e joined up , is unimportant and is o vercome b y reiteration, and within the te xts ther e is a constant pla y of key binaries , some of w hich ar e collapsed while at the same time others ar e ramified and r eified often in fantastical w ays as what F airclough (p . 10) calls ‘impossib le alterna tives’. “Enterprise and fairness . Tha t is our goal” (T ony Blair, ‘Kno wledge 2000’, Confer ence on the Kno wledge Dri ven Econom y, http://mb doric/econom y.html ). The rhetoric her e writes a history of the pub lic sector tha t is epideictic, an alloca tion of pr aise and b lame. Ther e is a dialo gue tha t places the ‘old’ pub lic sector in contr ast to a ‘modern’ pub lic sector and the ‘new’ economy and as a thr eat to competiti veness; it is cast as an anachr onism, an irr elevance. Do w e tak e modest though important steps of impr ovement? Or do w e mak e the gr eat push f orward for tr ansfor mation? Let me spell it out. In educa tion . . . we open up the system to ne w and di fferent ways of educa tion . . . Ther e’s nothing wr ong with the old principles b ut, if the old ways worked, they’d ha ve worked by now. (Tony Blair, Labour P arty Confer ence, Autumn 2002) The rhetoric conjur es up the need f or ne w kinds of policy and a ne w kind of government, w hich is Ne w Labour ; and the policy itself is timel y and dynamic. [W]e must let the systems change and de velop. The old monolithic structur es won’t do . We can’t engineer change and impr ovement thr ough b ureaucr atic edict. Hence the r efor m pr ogramme . . . It is not our tax and fiscal positions w hich ar e holding us back as a na tion. It is pr oducti vity and the sta te of our pub lic services. (Prime Minister’s speech on pub lic service refor m, 16 October 2001, available online: http://www .number10.go Page1632.asp from www.dir ) Bureaucr acy stulti fies creativity and inhibits inno vation, w hich ar e sometimes natur al qualities (of the na tion) tha t ar e being suppr essed and m ust be ‘released’ but sometimes need to be imported (fr om the pri vate sector). ‘Toda y the British people ar e char acteriz ed by creativity, ingenuity, and imagination. Ther e is a new dynamism in our country . . . educa tion is our No . 1 domestic priority . Tha t is the k ey to economic success and social justice’ (Tony Blair, ‘The Ne w Britain’, DL C, New Democrat, 1 Mar ch 1998). The

Privatisation(s) in contexts


rhetoric of r efor m also tightl y couples social justice , equity and maximising social and economic participa tion to enterprise and economic success . Modernisa tion and change ar e all-embr acing; they ar e meritocr atic, an escape from old social di visions, again in this w ay a for m of liber ation w hich will allow creativity and passion to flourish unhamper ed. Her e individual and collective well-being ar e totall y elided. Equity and enterprise , technolo gical change and economic pr ogress are tied to gether within the e fforts , talents and qualities of indi vidual people (see Cha pter 6 on this and on ‘peoplism’) and the na tional collecti ve – the ‘us’ and the ‘w e’. It is to modernise our country , so tha t, in the face of futur e challenges, intense and pr ofound f or us and lik e nations, we are able to pr ovide opportunity and security f or all, not f or an elite , not f or the pri vileged few, but for all our people , whatever their class , colour or cr eed. It is to b uild, on the pla tfor m of economic sta bility, the modern kno wledge econom y with the skills , dynamism, technolo gical and scienti fic progress a country lik e Britain needs . And a bove all, they ar e about r ealising the enor mous cr eative energy and passion tha t people feel in all w alks of life for educa tion, f or its liber ating po wer, for its unique a bility to corr ect the inequalities of class or backgr ound. (Text of a speech b y Tony Blair to the La bour P arty’s Centenary Confer ence in Blackpool, 10 F ebruary 2006) Refor m will not onl y deliver greater equality; it is also intima tely tied thr ough the de velopment of skills and ‘ne w’ knowledge’ to the r equir ements of the imaginary Kno wledge Econom y: and the f orging of “a na tion w here the cr eative talents of all people ar e used to b uild a true enterprise econom y for the 21st century – w here we compete on br ains, not br awn” (Tony Blair, Color ado Alliance for Arts Educa tion, http://www .artsedcolor ado .org/advocacy.cfm). Successful countries need a sta ble economic fr amework so firms, and families, can plan with con fidence. They need open mar kets, strong encour agement of enterprise with la bor-mar ket flexibility to f oster d ynamism and ada pta bility. And, mor e important toda y than e ver, they need sustained in vestment in science , educa tion and lifelong learning to mak e the most of the skills and talents of all their people – to cr eate, in fact, true kno wledge economies . (Tony Blair, Newsweek, http://www .policy-netw /php/article .php?sid=4&aid=528 ) Centr al to the pr ocess of educa tion r efor m and to the insertion of d ynamism and the achie vement or r elease of inno vation is the participa tion of ne w players in the field of pub lic service delivery – the pri vate and v oluntary sector. Blair himself pla ys a key role in pr oviding r ecurring rhetorical legitimation f or a ‘di versity of pr oviders’ and the ‘failur es’ of unifor mity. The pri vate

36 Privatisation(s) in contexts sector is not a simple ideolo gical pr eference as it w as under Tha tcherism; it is a means to an end, a mechanism r ather than a belief system. Ther e is a convergence of inter ests. ‘The pub lic sector is looking to the pri vate sector for expertise, inno vation and mana gement of a ppr opria te risks. The pri vate sector is looking f or b usiness opportunities , a stead y funding str eam and a good r eturn on its in vestment’ (DfES Pub lic–Private Partnership w ebsite, Ma y 2004). Indeed, the task of modernisa tion is pr esented as bey ond ideolo gy and politics , which ar e distr actions fr om what must be done . “It is not just in vestment tha t has held back r efor m. We have also been held back b y ideolo gical clashes, going back decades , which ha ve distr acted fr om the r eal challenge of impr oving our pub lic services” (Prime Minister’s speech on pub lic service refor m, 16 October 2001, a vailable online: http://www .number10. age1632.asp from www.dir ). Service delivery itself is ‘depoliticised’ – policy, mana gement and pr actice ar e discursi vely integrated. The pri vate sector also acts as a f or m of discipline , an alterna tive to the pub lic sector if modernisa tion is r esisted or fudged. “If y ou ar e unwilling or una ble to work to the modern a genda, then go vernment will ha ve to look to other partners to tak e on your r ole” (Tony Blair’s ad dress to pub lic agencies, 1998, cited in Ne wman 2001: 51). The pri vate sector is a compar ator and a model to be em ulated: ‘we need to mak e sure tha t government services ar e brought f orward using the best and most modern techniques , to ma tch the best of the pri vate sector’ (Ca binet O ffice 1999: 5). As Jones puts it: ‘Blair combines a mar ket-based r ecognition of “por osity” and the limits of go vernment action with an assertion tha t governments should act decisi vely within those fields where directive action is possib le’ (Jones 2003: 149). ‘Prime Minister T ony Blair used his monthl y press confer ence to mak e clear his deter mina tion to use pri vate-sector pr actice to push thr ough pub lic-sector refor m. It w ould be a mistak e of “fundamental historic importance” to change course no w, he said’ (Jon Sla ter, Guardian, 2 Ma y 2003). In de veloping gr eater choice of pr ovider, the pri vate and v oluntary sectors can pla y a role. Contr ary to m yth, no-one has e ver suggested they ar e the answer. Or tha t they should r eplace pub lic services. But w here use of them can impr ove pub lic services, nothing should stand in the w ay of their use . In an y event, r ound the w orld, the barriers betw een pub lic, private and v oluntary ar e coming do wn . . . if schools w ant a ne w relationship with b usiness in their comm unity, as man y do, let them . . . What I’m saying is let the system br eathe; de velop; expand; let the inno vation and cr eative ideas of pub lic servants be gi ven a chance to flourish. (Prime Minister’s speech on pub lic service refor m, 16 October 2001, available online: http://www .number10.go Page1632.asp from www.dir ) The discursi ve ensemb le adumbr ated a bove is constantl y reiterated and re-worked and e xpanded into ne w fields; it b uilds, sediments and ela bor ates,

Privatisation(s) in contexts


supplanting other possibilities , appr opria ting other uses and meanings . The key ter ms ar e insinuated into the e veryday langua ge of the pub lic sector, changing the landsca pe of meanings and ima gination. The d ynamic of tr ansfor mation and the need to seiz e opportunities , constantl y inno vate and constantl y impr ove perfor mance ar e everywhere. Schools a t the cutting edge of inno vation and colla bor ation will be selected from amongst the country’s best schools as a le ver to tr ansfor m secondary educa tion, to engineer the gr owth of colla bor ative learning comm unities and feder ations, and to pr omote inno vation, r esearch and development to push the boundaries of curr ent teaching pr actice. (Leading Edge P artnerships , DfES w ebsite, 2004) Constantl y, I meet pub lic servants w hom I find trul y inspiring; people who ar e change mak ers and social entr epreneurs e very bit as ca pable and creative as the best pri vate sector entr epreneurs. We need to encour age them, to let di versity br eak do wn the old monoliths . (Prime Minister’s speech on pub lic service refor m, 16 October 2001, available online: http://www .number10.go Page1632.asp from www.dir ) Such a discourse w orks in a v ariety of w ays to r e-draw boundaries , label heroes and villains , create space f or action, e xclude other possibilities , legitimate new voices, construct e vents into sequences (narr atives) and r e-write history , attrib ute cause and e ffect, and mak e some things seem na tur al and others ine vitable. It pri vileges certain sorts of kno wledge and human qualities . The pub lic sector is r e-imagined (see Cha pters 6 and 7 on icons). Within this discourse is a single , iter ative and embed ded ontolo gy of refor m based on an idealisa tion of the firm as a generic model of social and economic beha viour – cr eativity, inno vation, risk-taking, flexibility and ada pta tion (joined and anima ted b y charisma tic, r esolute, committed and visionary leadership , for which Blair himself is the model) in a changing and d ynamic and competiti ve economic conte xt ar e the model f or the na tion, pub lic sector, local sta te (see Cha pter 5), institutions and r ational, selfinter ested b ut r esponsib le individual actors . The e xpecta tions, assumptions and standar ds within policy discourse r equir e the pub lic sector to imita te the outlook and pr actices of the pri vate sector and a tr ansfer (or r elease) of the char acteristics of the firm into the pub lic sector. What this amounts to is w hat Hodgson (1999: 240–1) calls an ‘e votopian scheme of thought’, made up of uncertainty , experiment, v ariety and the impossibility of omniscience and stressing the link betw een plur alism and inno vation, tha t is the idea tha t inno vation comes a bout ‘fr om a r epertoir e of opportunities’ (p . 252). As part of this r e-imagining of the pub lic sector ther e are opportunities and possibilities f or and legitimacy lent to v arious f or ms of pri vatisation and a re-working of the r elationships betw een the sta te and the pri vate sector .


Privatisation(s) in contexts

Ther e are both opportunities f or ne w sour ces of pr ofit, the ‘r estless development of ca pital’ (Rik owski 2001), and a concomitant e xplor ation of ne w for ms of pub lic sector mana gement and deli very. Both ar e intended to enhance the sta te’s ‘capacity to pr oject its in fluence and secur e its objecti ves’ (Jessop 2002: 199) – economic sta bility and interna tional competiti veness. While pri vatisation is a ‘necessary’ and decisi ve component of the tr ansfor mation of educa tion it is as m uch a bout changing the pub lic sector as it is a bout replacing it. Indeed, the sta te is highl y active in the or ganisa tion and management of ne w pub lic sector mar kets. This is not a single , simple or finished mo ve, nor simpl y a mo ve ‘to pri vatise’ as such. It is the pr agmatism of Ne w Labour and its commitment to ‘what works’. This is nicely captur ed in the policy a phorism ‘standar ds not structur es’. In displacing and dismantling the institutional and pr ofessional founda tions of a monolithic pub lic sector and mo ving to a system w hich is mor e diverse, responsi ve (signal-alert) and mallea ble by the use of fixed-ter m delivery systems (contr acts and initia tives), the sta te builds flexibility and reflexivity into its competiti veness and coor dina tion str ategies at the oper ational le vel. Failur es can be mor e quickl y dispensed with – both in financial and in elector al ter ms – and learned fr om; ‘relative success in coor dina tion o ver time depends on the ca pacity to s witch modes of coor dina tion as the limits of an y one mode become e vident’ (Jessop 2002: 244). The ‘de-privatisation’ of r ail maintenance is a case in point. In this r espect the examples I shall gi ve in later cha pters of the sta te as a market-maker indica te the mana ged development of educa tional pri vatisation, the limits set to some for ms of pri vatisation and their e xperimental use and as part of all this the ‘publicisation’ (Sellers 2003) of pri vate pr ovision. The opportunities f or b usiness within pub lic sector r efor m rest on the variety of meanings and pr actices of the Thir d Way discourse as r ealised within an ensemb le of policies and sta tements – Best V alue, CPA, School Acts and W hite P apers, EAZs , contesta bility, failur e, measur ement, inspections, outsour cing, connecti vity, infr astructur al investment, partnerships and Academies . Such ideas and initia tives and their sca ffolding within prime ministerial speeches and other policy utter ances mak e meaningful and pr actical the doing of pri vatisation. On the one hand, the sta te underwrites pri vate failur e by ensuring, in some cases , a favour able point of entry into the ne w mar kets, making them a ttr active. Ho wever, on the other , these ne w mar kets can contain surprises f or b usiness and pr ofits can be elusi ve, especially in educa tional ‘r etailing’ where the mar gins ar e small (see Cha pters 4 and 6). As a r esult, as will be demonstr ated, the ESI is potentiall y unsta ble and unpr edicta ble. It is to a detailed e xamina tion of the ESI tha t I no w turn.


Scale and scope Educa tion is big b usiness

In this cha pter and the ne xt I look in some detail a t the scale and scope and comple xity of the educa tion services industry (ESI) and some of its internal workings in the f or m of a descripti ve anal ysis. Such an e xercise will provide, I hope , some clarity and pr ecision r egarding what is meant b y privatisation(s) and specify some of the di versity of arr angements to w hich this ter m refers. The cha pter will also intr oduce substanti ve issues which ar e tak en up in mor e detail in the f ollowing cha pters. Some bits of the ESI ar e high-pr ofile and ha ve received consider able press and pub lic attention – LEA interv ention contr acts, for example, or the Academies programme or PFIs – b ut man y other facets of this e xtensive mar ket remain r ather obscur e or neglected – lik e prison educa tion, consultancy w ork within the DfES , induction schemes f or o verseas-tr ained teachers , work with childr en out of school, pr oject mana gement, etc., etc. I will ar gue tha t the extent and ‘v alue’ (to b usiness) of pri vate participa tion in pub lic education is generally misunderstood and under-estima ted and ‘b lurr ed under a thousand half-truths’ as P ollack (2004: vii) puts it in her e xamina tion of the pri vatisation of health car e. Further mor e, not onl y are the pri vatisations w hich the ESI r epresents very diverse, but so too ar e the companies and gr oups w hich participa te. The cha pter will pr ofile some of the ‘pla yers’ and detail some of their di fferences in ter ms of size, ambition, v alues and history . The chapter concludes with some pr eliminary gener alisations a bout the ESI and privatisation and their r elationships to the changing r ole of the sta te.

Profiting from reform The ‘refor m’ of the pub lic service sector is a massi ve new profit opportunity for b usiness – a k ey point tha t I shall r evisit several times in this stud y. “F ast gr owth in the local go vernment and educa tion outsour cing mar ket is certain no w tha t the go vernment has made educa tion its k ey priority” (Mik e Hene bury of Gr esham T rust, pri vate equity in vestors in T ribal Gr oup). The school r ebuilding and r efurbishment pr ogramme Building Schools f or the Futur e (BSF) is worth betw een £5 billion and £8.5 billion. In 2003 the PFI debt mar ket stood a t £8.2 billion, up fr om £4.9 billion the pr evious year.


Scale and scope: education is big business

New investment in PFIs in 2003 w as £6.7 billion. The outsour cing of educa tion services is w orth a t least £1.5 billion a y ear, and outsour cing acr oss the pub lic sector as a w hole a t least £10 billion a y ear. The T enders Electr onic Dail y Service (http://www .scottishenterprise .com/sedotcom_home/a bout_se/ procur ement/tenders/teds .htm ) estima tes the total v alue of the pub lic procurement mar ket (contr acts for pub lic sector work of all kinds) a t £500 billion ann ually. Ho wever, within all this , pri vate sector participa tion r anges fr om multimillion-pound b uilding pr ojects and na tional contr acts for systems mana gement to in volvement in the small-scale , everyday activities of schools and with teachers . Private companies run na tional pr ogrammes, like the Na tional Liter acy Strategy (CfBT and no w Capita), pr ovide school inspections , ad vice for school lea vers, and school meals ,1 and suppl y teachers and IT and o ffice support systems f or LEAs and indi vidual schools . Ad ditionall y, and often confusingl y, man y schools and LEAs ar e involved in ‘partnerships’ and joint ventur es with pri vate companies , and man y state agencies and quangos also seek and obtain contr acts for commer cial work, often in dir ect competition with pri vate companies . Further mor e, schools w ere enabled by the 2002 Educa tion Act to f or m themselv es as companies and mar ket goods and services to other schools . The school e xamina tion boar ds, including Ede xcel (ann ual turno ver £112 million), A QA (£128 million) and OCR (Oxf ord, Cambridge and RSA) (£77 million), ar e now fully fledged interna tional b usinesses. Uni versity student loans and uni versity b ursaries ar e handled b y SLC, the Student Loans Compan y, etc., etc. In other w ords, pri vatisations ar e everywhere and ar e very diverse. Most of the major UK mana gement services companies and accountancy and consulting firms ar e now or ha ve attempted to become in volved in the ESI; several of the lar gest building firms in the UK and o verseas-based no w devote all or signi ficant pr oportions of their in vestment to Pri vate Finance Initia tive (PFI) w ork; pri vate equity banks and City institutions see the pub lic sector as an ‘opportunity’ and ar e now investing in educa tional ‘enterprises’ or b uying up e xisting contr acts. On the other hand, ther e are still lar ge, but declining, n umbers of sole tr aders and small and mediumsize enterprises w ho do consultancy w ork, CPD and back-o ffice work for schools.

Box 3.1 Retail services Succeed and ha ve Fun with Di fferentia tion, Modelling and Plenaries. Key Stage 2 Teachers of English Liter acy – F ee £135 Pupils’ Spiritual, Mor al, Social and Cultur al De velopment – Ofsted Licensed course – F ee £240 (HBS CPD Course P ortf olio 2004–5)

Scale and scope: education is big business


The pri vate sector is no w embed ded in the heart and sine ws of sta te educa tion services a t all levels, inter-twined in the da y-to-da y business of decision-making, infr astructur al development, ca pacity b uilding and services delivery. The ESI has also gener ated signi ficant b ut lar gely unackno wledged secondary mar kets (e.g. in PFI facilities mana gement (FM) contr acts and lease contr acts), and a subsidiary ‘tr ansition’ b usiness which pr ovides a constant str eam of w ork for ‘the Big F our companies of auditors and mana gement accountants , and the corpor ate law firms responsib le for dr awing up hundr eds of thousands of contr acts and subcontr acts with all those pri vate providers’ (Pollack 2004: 214). Further mor e, the policy w ork of the sta te is routinel y infor med, monitor ed or tak en over by private pr oviders in the f or m of consultancies , evalua tions or r eviews; this is what Mahon y et al. (2004: 207) call ‘privatizing policy’ – ‘we contend tha t such has been the centr al involvement of some of these companies tha t they should be seen as part of the policy cr eation comm unity’ (see Cha pter 4). Figur es from the O ffice of Go vernment Commer ce show tha t spending on consultants r ose by 42 per cent last y ear fr om £1.76 billion in 2003–04. Some pri vate consultancies ar e now focusing entir ely on pub lic sector contr acts, which can a ttr act fees of up to £2,000 per da y. Fir ms ar e being hired to ad vise on outsour cing, to ‘mana ge change’, to set up IT systems , to ad vise on ad vertising and comm unica tions and to conduct polls and surveys . . . Douglas J ohnson-P oensgen, dir ector of Ser co Consulting, said tha t his firm had seen a 250 per cent incr ease in pub lic sector contr acts in the past tw o years, particular ly from the NHS . . . And y Ford, head of local go vernment consultancy a t Price waterhouseCoopers , said his firm’s pub lic sector contr acts had doub led over the past thr ee years, particular ly in local go vernment. This w as partl y due to council lea gue tables, Sir Peter Gershon’s dri ve to save £20 billion in the pub lic sector and local e fforts to impr ove frontline services . (Times, 24 September 2005) Thr ough these in volvements, networks of social r elations ar e established between politicians , civil servants and b usiness (and charities and v oluntary or ganisa tions) w hich infor m and in fluence policy thinking a bout education, and in ad dition ther e is consider able movement of personnel betw een state and pub lic services and the pri vate sector and some in the other direction. Within these netw orks, the distinctions betw een ad vice, support and lob bying for work ar e sometimes har d to see. Private consultants ar e routinel y contr acted to gi ve advice on the futur e organisa tion of go vernment or local government services or ar e members of taskf orces which almost without exception pr oduce r ecommenda tions f or further pri vatisations and outsour cing. Within these netw orks, pri vatisation in one f or m or another is ‘the obvious’ of policy. Pr evailing policy discourses w hich cir culate in and ar e

42 Scale and scope: education is big business legitima ted b y these netw orks pri vilege privatisation(s) as the solution to almost e very pr oblem of go vernment. Ther e are two further aspects to the ESI w hich need to be noted. First, this is not just a na tional phenomenon, and I do not mean this simpl y in the sense tha t mor e and mor e countries ar e engaged in pri vatisation, to gr eater or lesser extents , although this is the case (K enway and Bullen 2001; Hall and Lubina 2004; Crump and Slee 2005; Molnar 2005; Saltman 2005). R ather the ESI is interna tional. British firms sell their services a broad and f oreign firms are engaged in the deli very of educa tion services or infr astructur e here. In 2003–4 the Swedish construction firm Skanska did the most PFI b usiness in the UK a t £3 billion, f ollowed by Balfour Bea tty, and J apanese compan y Kajima is another major PFI in vestor. Two sta te schools in Surr ey, King’s College and F rencha y, which ar e contr acted out, ar e run b y a compan y owned b y Gener al Educa tion Mana gement Systems (GEMS), a Dubai-based interna tional educa tion b usiness. Vinci, a F rench construction giant, has bought out most of the PFI w ork of construction and services compan y Jarvis (‘Beleaguered’, http://ne .cfm?tid=571&id= 1194522004). Second, ther e is a massi ve and gr owing adjunct mar ket in educa tional services , tha t is the selling of ‘educa tional’ pr oducts and services directly to par ents and learners . This includes pri vate schools – and GEMS is also a pr ovider her e – and n ursery schooling and childcar e, pri vate tuition, enrichment acti vities (e.g. Sta gecoach, 2 Tumb letots and Cr escendo), learning materials (books and softw are) and educa tional to ys and ma terials or w hat Kenway and Bullen (2001: 83) call ‘edutainment’ – ‘fun with a purpose’, which encour ages par ents to ‘seek consumerist solutions to par enting problems’ (p. 85). In a br oader sense , what K enway and Bullen (2001: 90) call ‘promiscuous corpor ations’ also see childr en themselv es as a lucr ative mar ket via ‘sponsorship , philanthr opy and commer cial opportunism’. Schools ar e now tar geted as a means of r eaching the child consumer – “So, it is a question of coming up with a method w hereby one can actuall y get into schools” (Mar keting Mana ger, quoted in K enway and Bullen 2001: 91). I will e xplor e each of these di fferent aspects of the ESI in mor e detail belo w.

Representing the ESI I intend to e xplain and r epresent the de velopment and structur e of the ESI using heuristic de vices which highlight di fferent aspects of it and di fferent ways of thinking a bout it. La ter I will o ffer a typolo gy of pri vate sector companies and in the ne xt cha pter look a t the w ork of a n umber of ESI companies , dr awing on intervie ws and documentary r esearch. As intima ted above, the r ole of pub lic sector or ganisa tions and quangos in the ESI also needs some consider ation – as , for example, Warwick Uni versity esta blishes a Far East campus , Dul wich College sets up schools in Mala ysia and China, and the Quali fications and Curriculum A uthority competes to win go vernment contr acts.

Scale and scope: education is big business


The educa tion mar ket within w hich pri vate companies participa te is in fact a series of often discr ete sectors and specialisms w hich some companies w ork across and others specialise within. Man y of the companies intr oduced belo w reappear a t points in la ter cha pters – indica ting their m ulti-faceted enga gement with the ESI. One w ay of representing the sectors is o ffered in Figur e 3.1. As K ay (2004: 11) says, ‘a good model is lik e a bib lical par able and lik e par ables, is neither true nor false , only illumina ting or unillumina ting’. Figur e 3.1 indica tes four major kinds of in volvement with and r elationships with and within sta te educa tion b y the pri vate sector (the cr oss-axes within the cir cle), although they ar e in pr actice not al ways mutuall y exclusive. The for ms of involvement r ange fr om har d services like buildings, IT har dware and connecti vity (infrastructure), thr ough mana gement systems a t LEA and institutional le vels, and o ffice, payroll and HR services , benchmar king and perf or mance monitoring ( contracts), to softer services r elated to CPD , curriculum ma terials and ‘perf or mance enhancement’ ( services), and peda gogy in the case of the Na tional Str ategies for Numer acy and Liter acy, and careers ad vice in the case of Conne xions (programmes). Several other mar ket

Figure 3.1 The educa tion services industry – a model.


Scale and scope: education is big business

sectors ar e indica ted in the figure (on the rim of the cir cle) inter-woven in different ways with the main ESI sectors . I will work thr ough each of these sectors and mar kets (with the e xception of ne w philanthr opy, which is discussed in Cha pter 5). I will also look a t the pr ocesses of vertical and horizontal integr ation in the ESI. The scope and comple xity of these sectors and mar kets mean tha t I can onl y offer a glimpse of w hat goes on in each, enough I hope to con vey a sense of the scale and r ange of acti vities. Infrastructure Infr astructur e mainl y concerns ca pital w orks, the b uilding or major r efurbishment of school or uni versity b uildings and the installa tion of IT C systems and connecti vity (e.g. Regional Grids of Learning). The Pri vate Finance Initia tive is in some r espects the most r adical f or m of the pri vatisation of pub lic services, involving the use of pri vate sector funding and o wnership to provide new buildings and major r efurbishments . I do not intend to r ehearse too m uch of the details of these schemes and initia tives here (some further explana tion a ppears in Cha pter 6). R ather I w ant to r egister the siz e and significance of PFI commitments and the inter est of the construction industry in them and to note some of the disputes a bout PFI financing and some issues a bout o wnership . It is important to note tha t PFI schemes oper ate right acr oss the pub lic sector. I also w ant to dr aw attention la ter to the attempts of some of the infr astructur e companies to di versify into the softer end of educa tion services , tha t is to mo ve across the boundaries betw een ESI sectors. The UK Pri vate Finance Initia tive was launched in la te 1992 by the Conserv ative government. It encour ages pub lic authorities to ‘consider’ contr acting f or major ca pital assets and the facilities services associa ted with their oper ation as a combined packa ge – DBFO (design, b uild, finance and oper ate). Bid ders for these contr acts ar e nor mally a consortium (or special purpose v ehicle) made up of b uilders, banks or pri vate equity companies and sometimes a mana gement services compan y. See Box 3.2 for examples.

Box 3.2 PFIs: e xamples Renfrewshire Schools Operis acted as financial ad visors to the Bank of Scotland on the Renfrewshire Schools PPP Pr oject which r eached financial close in Mar ch 2005. The Bank of Scotland w as the senior de bt pr ovider. The £135 million contr act is betw een Renfrewshire Council and the Renfrewshire Schools P artnership Limited (‘RSP’), a joint v entur e compan y owned b y Amey Ventur es Investment Limited, Carillion Private Finance and the Bank of Scotland Corpor ate.

Scale and scope: education is big business Under the 32 y ear contr act, RSP will assume r esponsibility f or the construction of ten ne w schools, which will comprise six primary and f our secondary schools , two comm unity n urseries and a comm unity learning centr e. The schools , which carry a b uild value of just under £100 million, w ere designed b y Carillion and will be mana ged by Amey on behalf of the consortium. It is e xpected tha t the first facility will be completed b y the mid dle of 2006 with the remainder due f or completion b y the end of 2007. (http://www efrewshire.htm ) Balfour Beatty reaches financial close on £140 million North Lanarkshire schools PPP project 8 June 2005 Balfour Bea tty plc, the interna tional engineering, construction and services group , announces toda y tha t it has r eached financial close on North Lanar kshir e Council’s Educa tion 2010 PPP schools pr oject. The pr oject involves capital w orks to the v alue of a ppr oximately £140 million and o ver £100 million of long-ter m service r evenue. The 31-year concession in volves the construction of 21 ne w schools, including thr ee large secondary schools in Air drie and Coa tbridge , six primary schools and a further 12 primary schools provided o ver six joint campus facilities . Also, ther e is a potential for a further thr ee schools to be constructed. Commenting on toda y’s announcement, Balf our Bea tty Chief Executive, Ian T yler, said: “W e are delighted to be w orking in partnership with North Lanar kshir e Council in r ealising its objecti ve to provide the v ery best educa tion opportunities f or the ar ea. Balfour Beatty will pr ovide the Council with a gr eatly enhanced educa tion environment thr ough the design, construction and servicing of ne w, modern, sta te-of-the-art b uildings and facilities . We intend to bring the same le vel of pr ofessionalism and service as w e are providing thr ough our pub lic–private partnerships in Stok e and R otherham schools.” North Lanar kshir e Council Leader , Councillor Jim McCa be, said: “I am pleased to r eport tha t after a lot of har d work behind the scenes b y the Council and T ransfor m Schools , we are a step closer to pr oviding br and ne w schools and comm unity facilities f or the people of North Lanar kshir e.” Balfour Bea tty will invest £8 million of equity in the pr oject. Balfour Bea tty Ca pital Pr ojects and its joint v entur e partner , Innisfr ee Limited, ha ve established Transfor m Schools (North Lanar kshir e) Ltd as the concession compan y. This is the highest value concession contr act awarded to T ransfor m Schools , which now has r esponsibility f or pr oviding services to o ver 150 schools in England and Scotland.



Scale and scope: education is big business Construction w ork by a joint v entur e of Balfour Bea tty subsidiary companies , Balfour Bea tty Construction and Balf our Kilpatrick, began under an ad vance works contr act in October 2004. Completed schools will be handed o ver betw een January 2006 and October 2008. F acilities mana gement for a r ange of har d and soft services will be pr ovided b y Haden Building Mana gement, Balf our Beatty’s building mana gement and b uilding maintenance ar m. Balfour Bea tty is pr eferred bid der on tw o further schools PPP projects, in Nottinghamshir e and Bir mingham, w hich ar e expected to r each financial close during 2005. (http://www .balfourbea beatty/media/pr/ 2005/2005 –06–08/)

By late 2004 ther e were 86 PFI schools pr ojects in England w orth £2.4 billion in volving o ver 500 schools , 15 in Scotland w orth £553 million, and tw o in Wales. The o verall value of PFI deals in 2004 w as estima ted b y the Treasury to be £7.7 billion, including £900 million f or educa tional and skills projects. Under PFI contr acts the pri vate sector compan y is responsib le for meeting output speci fications set b y the pub lic sector authority . These ma y be expressed in a wide v ariety of w ays reflecting the na tur e of the desir ed services facility or system. The pri vate sector compan y carries the r esponsibility and risk f or design, financing, pr oject mana gement and ongoing service quality and deli very. Ho wever, man y critics of PFI, lik e the Associa tion of Charter ed Certi fied Accountants and the Na tional A udit O ffice, ar gue tha t the ‘risk-costing’ of these schemes , which is part of the v alue-for-money calcula tions (in r elation to a pub lic sector compar ator, an estima te of the cost of the pr oject if it w ere pub licly funded), is typicall y exaggerated. Risk-costing tends to ensur e a built-in ad vanta ge to pri vate sector tenders o ver the pub lic sector compar ator, and this is in turn a sour ce of short-ter m pr ofit when borr owing costs ar e renegotia ted when construction is finished. These windfalls ar e now shar ed with the pub lic sector. PFI contr acts and b uildings and facilities mana gement nor mally last for betw een 25 and 35 y ears, over which time the pub lic agency (LEA, health trust) pa ys a monthl y lease and FM fee . These fees ar e an ongoing cost to the pub lic authority ann ual b udget. PFIs ar e enor mousl y attr active to construction companies and ha ve provided a ne w stability and consider able growth in the industry . The Major Contr actors Gr oup (MCG), w hich lob bies government on behalf of the construction industry , accepts tha t companies in volved in PFI w ork ‘expect to mak e between thr ee and ten times as m uch money as they do on tr aditional contr acts’. Bill Tallis, the Dir ector of MCG , said ‘construction firms tr aditionall y received rates of r eturn of 1.5% to 2% on contr acts b ut were now expecting mar gins of 7.5% to 15% on PFI b uilding schemes’ ( Corporate Watch, 19 Mar ch 2004).

Scale and scope: education is big business


Once b uilding is complete , the contr actors ar e responsib le for FM and oper ational services , although these contr acts ar e also sold on in some cases (see pa ge 63) and they nor mally tak e on or r eplace the e xisting workforce thr ough TUPE arr angements 3 (http://www .businesslink.go bdotg/action/la yer?&topicId=1074450319&tc=000KW021904512 ). For this and other r easons PFIs and PPPs ar e staunchl y opposed b y pub lic sector tr ade unions lik e the NUT and Unison: Pub lic services are labour intensi ve and la bour costs can be a major sour ce of potential sa vings and pr ofit to the pri vate sector . Until emplo yees are fully protected a gainst contr actors cr eating a ‘tw o-tier workforce’ by giving new sta ff inferior pa y and conditions , this will remain a centr al issue for tr ade unions . (Unison, ‘What is PFI?’, p . 18, http://www .unison.or /acroba t/B1062.pdf ) In 2003 the Best Value Code of Practice on Workforce Matters was intr oduced, w hich sta ted tha t contr actors w ho intended to cut costs in this w ay ‘will not be selected to pr ovide services’ (par a. 3). Nonetheless , the tr ansfer of workers from the pub lic to the pri vate sector and changes to their conditions of work is one of a n umber of e xamples of the flexibilisation of la bour w hich privatisation(s) bring a bout and part of a gr adual br eak-up of na tional union and pr ofessional arr angements f or the emplo yment of educa tion services workers which ‘disa ggregates pub lic services’ (Rutherf ord 2003: 44) and disentangles ‘service provision fr om its social ties’ (p . 44). Pub lic services are made objects of commer cial calcula bility. Perversely several local authority pension funds (London, Ne wham and South Y orkshir e) are now investors in a £400 million fund put to gether b y the Mill Gr oup to in vest in small-scale PFI pr ojects. PFI pr ojects ar e for ms of Pub lic Private Partnerships (PPPs), b ut PPPs now embr ace a m uch wider r ange of possib le contr actual and colla bor ative relationships betw een pub lic authorities and pri vate sector companies . The ter m has become widel y used to describe initia tives to for m partnerships between the pub lic and pri vate sectors ‘to enhance the v alue of pub lic sector assets or to deli ver mor e efficient services’ (Serco website). Such schemes ar e attr active to go vernment in tha t they a ppear to r educe pub lic borr owing requir ements, although ther e are heated and technical de bates about the ‘r eal’ costs of PFI to the taxpa yer. They ar e also a ttr active to local authorities in so far as they pr ovide funding f or ca pital b uilding w hich might w ell not otherwise be f orthcoming. At a confer ence in 2000 the Finance Dir ectors of Birmingham and Glasgo w local authorities , both major users of PFI, both cast doubt on the v alue-for-money claims being made f or the scheme . Geor ge Black, the Finance Dir ector of Glasgo w, said “I’m not sur e it is value for money. But it’s the onl y game in to wn. It is the w ay you get money back into your services .” The m ulti-faceted na tur e of PFIs r e-works the landsca pe of


Scale and scope: education is big business

pub lic sector pr ovision and is part of the r e-positioning of local go vernment as service commissioners . The BSF pr ogramme is a par allel sta te-funded infr astructur e development programme w hich is intended to ‘r ebuild or r enew facilities for all secondary pupils in England within 10–15 y ears fr om 2005–6’ (PfS website). The La bour government ha ve committed £5 billion to the pr ogramme. Not surprisingl y this has also elicited ea ger inter est from construction and IT companies (most of the major companies r efer to BSF schemes on their w ebsites). In this case local authorities m ust select a pri vate sector partner f or their r enewal works and esta blish a Local Educa tion P artnership (LEP) (see Gr een 2005, Cha pter 5). The ‘delivery vehicle’ for BSF is P artnerships f or Schools (PfS), w hich is

Box 3.3 Building schools f or the futur e Amey-led consortium selected as Preferred Bidder for £400 million Bradford Schools project The Amey-led consortium, Integr ated Br adford, has been announced as pr eferred bid der for the Building Schools f or the Futur e (BSF) pr ogramme in Br adford. The £400 million, 30-y ear pr oject with Br adford Council is designed to tr ansfor m educa tion in the city , delivering 21st century learning en vironments tha t will raise attainment, cr eate a hightech workforce and e xtend learning opportunities to the w hole comm unity. BSF is the go vernment’s biggest in vestment in educa tion f or half a century , intended to pr omote a ne w appr oach to the design, construction and oper ation of secondary schools . During the next 10–15 years, the pr ogramme will r enew and r ebuild all the secondary schools in England, cr eating learning facilities tha t exploit inf or mation and comm unica tions technolo gy, supported b y oper ational services tha t allo w teachers to f ocus on teaching. In Br adford, the first phase of BSF will deli ver thr ee fully oper ational ne w schools b y 2008, with a second phase cr eating further new schools tha t integr ate special needs facilities with mainstr eam secondary educa tion. Following the construction phases of the contr act, Integr ated Bradford will tak e responsibility f or the facilities mana gement of the schools . This will incorpor ate services from car etaking thr ough to cleaning, gr ound maintenance and security . Each school will also be equipped with integr ated IT systems providing every pupil with access to wir eless laptops . This will allow teachers to o ffer personalised learning tailor ed to meet the individual needs , inter ests and a ptitudes of pupils .

Scale and scope: education is big business


Accor ding to the council’s dir ector of educa tion and life skills , Phil Gr een, Integr ated Br adford’s success was the r esult of str ong alignment betw een its pr oposals and the council’s educa tional aspir ations. He said: “The BSF pr ogramme gi ves us a one-o ff opportunity to tr ansfor m our secondary school pr ovision. It is both an e xciting opportunity and a major challenge , and w e have involved the first thr ee schools e xtensively in the de velopment of their ne w schools. We believe tha t Integr ated Br adford’s holistic and educa tion-led pr oposals o ffer a solution designed to deli ver our vision of educa tion as a vital part of Br adford’s regeneration over the coming decades .” (http://www ws_752.htm )

jointl y mana ged by the DfES and P artnerships UK (PUK), w hich ar e inter esting in their o wn right and e xamples of ne w kinds of ‘linka ge devices’ between the pub lic and pri vate sectors and part of a r e-cultur ation of the pub lic sector (see Bo x 3.13). The Academies pr ogramme also in volves the b uilding or r efurbishment of schools, again paid f or mainl y from sta te funds; sponsors contrib ute up to £2 million, a gainst an a verage cost to b uild of £25 million to £30 million (Hansard, par liamentary ans wer at http://www .pub lications.par pa/cm200506/cmhansr d/cm060612/te xt/60612w0861.htm #06061315000629). Again ther e are opportunities her e for construction companies and pr oject mana gement contr actors lik e Mouchel P arkman, T ribal, Alligan Consulting, and 3Es w hich ar e involved in the feasibility studies f or Academ y projects (£250,000) and the pr oject mana gement (£650,000) of these ne w schools.4 ITC is another infr astructur e (as well as retail) opportunity . Research Machines (RM) is the mar ket leader her e and b y 2002–3 had a 35 per cent shar e of the IT educa tion mar ket; Learning T echnolo gy, Gr anada Learning and to some e xtent the BBC ar e major competitors . (The BBC’s co verage of the Na tional Curriculum is limited to allo w commer cial pr oviders ‘space’ to oper ate.) The RgsL (consortia of LEAs) ar e led by commer cial partners (connecti vity companies). Inter active whiteboar ds (IWBs) ar e another e xample of a m ulti-faceted policy opportunity f or b usiness from infr astructur al developments w hich as a ne w peda gogical technolo gy has r eceived consider able encour agement fr om go vernment. Ther e is the sale of boar ds, technical support contr acts, tr aining (peda gogical and oper ational), installa tion, softw are sales (EasyTeach, Boar dWorks), and w ork for fr eelance tr ainers. The whiteboar d companies (Cle verboar d, Clevertouch, GT CO, SMAR T, Hitachi, RM Classboar d, Pr omethean 5), mar ket their goods to LEAs (the London Challenge has pr ovided a t least one w hiteboar d to e very secondary school in London). The IWB softw are bites deep into the peda gogical cor e of classroom w ork.


Scale and scope: education is big business

‘When we provide inter active classroom solutions w e also pr ovide the tr aining, support and ad vice tha t you need to bring out the ma gic of classroom technolo gy’ (Promethean ne wspaper ad vert). Programmes Programmes is a r ather loose ca tegory used her e to r efer to na tional schemes of various kinds w hich ar e contr acted out to pri vate pr oviders. These can r ange fr om IT and mana gement systems to peda gogical or curricular initia tives (see Box 3.4).

Box 3.4 Privatised pr ogrammes Teachers’ TV – the channel will be run b y Educa tion Digital, an independent consortium made up of Br ook La pping Pr oductions , ITV and the Institute of Educa tion with an ann ual b udget of £20 million. Conne xions – a na tional scheme of car eers and tr aining ad vice for young people . VT Educa tion and Skills is the mar ket leader her e and nationall y the lar gest pr ovider, but Pr ospects is also a major pr ovider: “car eers guidance , Conne xions, tha t bit of the b usiness, still accounts for a bout 50 per cent of our turno ver” (RA). Gridclub is a PPP de veloped b y Channel 4, Or acle Inc. and Intuiti ve Media, with an in vestment of £6 million b y the DfES to cr eate a virtual learning en vironment f or childr en aged 7–11. It w as launched in 2001 with ‘content’ co vering the w hole of the Na tional Curriculum. Cocentr a supports the DfES School Impr ovement Ad viser Initia tive, working with 650 secondary schools in challenging cir cumstances . £1.9 million. A £1.8 million contr act to cut pa perwork for teachers has been a warded to consultancy firm Serco and Manchester Metr opolitan Uni versity. The scheme is aimed a t school administr ators and will be o verseen by the Na tional College f or School Leadership . The Thr eshold Assessment of T eachers’ P ay and P erfor mance in volved six private pr oviders a t the na tional le vel. Ha y McBeer w ere contr acted to de velop standar ds; CfBT w ere contr acted to tr ain assessors; CEA were contr acted to v erify judgements; TL O and Q AA were subcontr acted to write tr aining ma terials; and Ernst & Y oung w ere brought in to design and monitor the implementa tion of the pr ogramme.

Scale and scope: education is big business


Among the f or mer ar e various systems mana gement contr acts held b y Capita including Plasc, TPS (T eachers’ P ension Scheme , £62 million), ILAs (Indi vidual Learning Accounts), school admissions , educa tion smartcards (£100 million o ver seven years) and Childr en’s Trust accounts (£430 million o ver 20 years). Ca pita is the specialist pr ovider of such services b ut a number of these pr ogrammes ha ve run into di fficulties or been dela yed (http ://mana gement .silicon .com /governmen t/0, 39024677,10004285,00.htm (CRB), http://www .pub lications.par d/vo020627/debtext/20627–30.htm (ILAs), http://ne w/educa tion/ 4330245.stm (school admissions), http://society .guar .uk/ppp/story/ 0,,515808,00.html (benefits)). In 2005 Ca pita also took o ver the contr act for the Na tional Learning Str ategies (Liter acy and Numer acy) from CfBT (worth £177.5 million o ver five years). Her e the pri vate sector is both taking o ver existing in-house go vernment or local services (car eers ad vice) or taking up ne w opportunities (lik e Gridclub and T eachers’ TV) b ut mainl y the la tter. Contracts This a gain is a br oad ca tegory b ut r efers to speci fic, time-limited contr acts to run services or pr ovide support f or local authorities and institutions or to provide educa tional services outside the mainstr eam. This is a lo wer-mar gin field of pri vate sector acti vity and indeed some of the ear ly LEA service contr acts ar e proba bly ‘loss leaders’, tha t is they serv e as indica tions of inter est and demonstr ations of e ffectiveness intended to a ttr act further b usiness rather than gener ate short-ter m pr ofit (see Cha pter 4). The outsour cing of LEA services is pr oba bly the best-kno wn example of these (see Bo x 3.5) and, by the end of 2005, 14 contr acts had been a warded to pri vate companies . The possibility of such outsour cing has no w been extended to local authority childr en’s services, although as of the end of 2005 onl y one such major contr act had been a warded – North East Lincolnshir e (NEL), a thr ee-year £200,000 p.a. contr act to Mouchel P arkman and Outcomes UK. These contr acts nor mally arise fr om serious concerns a bout LEAs’ perfor mance and ca pacity identi fied in Ofsted (see Campbell et al. 2004) and subsequent ‘recommenda tions’ made b y consultants (PW C in man y cases) to the DfES and negotia tions betw een the authorities and the DfES a bout appr opria te remedial action. Ho wever, not all authorities in di fficulties ha ve been outsour ced, and outsour cing is one of a n umber of ‘e xperiments’ b y the DfES to encour age ‘new ways of working’ by LEAs. The e valua tion of these ‘experiments’ b y Bannock Consulting (Bannock 2003) identi fied 44 (sic): 11 interv entions leading to outsour cing; 11 interv entions of other kinds; 10 New Models funded b y the DfES; and 11 independent inno vations. Then again some of the funded e xamples (e.g. Surr ey/VT (see pa ge 70), Black Country P artnership , Wirral) and independent e xamples (e.g. Bedfordshir e, a 12-year contr act with HBS – no w ter mina ted) did in volve contr acts with


Scale and scope: education is big business Box 3.5 Islington pri vatised An outsider in the bid ding to tak e over Islington’s school services , Cambridge Educa tion Associa tes nipped in a t the last to tak e the priz e from bigger ri vals Nor d Anglia and the CfBT . The £86.6m (over seven years) deal – the biggest pri vatization of sta te school services so far – is e xpected to mor e than triple the pri vate compan y’s turno ver. Ha ving finaliz ed the Islington deal this month [including a pr ofit cap of £600,000 a y ear (intervie w DF) and lar ge penalties if it fails to perf or m – http://www .gh.acca pub lications/pub lic_eye/32/22724], the compan y says it will not be in the mar ket for another pri vatization contr act until it has digested its catch. If e verything goes w ell in north London, it is lik ely to be a major pla yer in pri vatized educa tion f or years to come . Other names to conjur e with ar e the interna tional accountancy firm Arthur Andersen, The Educa tion P artnership , Ca pita, W indsor and Co , and the CEM consortium. All of these companies ar e on the a ppr oved government list to tender f or local authority services . The list also has non-pri vate-sector partners including the local educa tion authorities of Bir mingham (with Arthur Andersen), Essex (with W indsor and Co), and Hampshir e. ( windo w_type=print–21k- )

private companies and in se veral other cases e xternal consultancy support and advice was commissioned (Ca pita w orked with Oxf ordshir e, West Berkshir e and Wokingham), most b ut not all fr om the pri vate sector . In some cases (Leicester , Liverpool, R otherham and Sand well – see Cha pter 5), the outsour cing involved contr acted or seconded interim management of v arious kinds , usuall y undertak en by serving or r etired LEA officers (see Cha pter 4). T wo of the outsour ced authorities , Swindon and Haringey , have subsequentl y returned to local authority contr ol; Islington is negotia ting with its pr ovider (CEA) f or a v oluntary e xtension to the contr act. Of two others , Hackney is outsour ced to a not-f or-pr ofit trust, and Educa tion Leeds is run on a not-f or-pr ofit basis b y Capita. In these ter ms local authority outsour cing has not, thus far , proved to be the sort of major mar ket opportunity (or pri vatisation nightmar e) it was originall y thought to be (see Cha pter 4). Ho wever, in some w ays the LEA contr acts ar e the tip of the ice berg as regards outsour cing at this le vel. Lar ge numbers of local authorities ha ve whole or partial outsour cing of their other services dri ven by the findings of Best Value r eviews – Housing Bene fits and other financial services in particular . Four companies domina te in the pr ovision of these services – CSL (Sheffield, Southw ark, Ne wham, North Somerset, T aunton, etc.), Ca pita

Scale and scope: education is big business 53 (Lambeth, W estminster , etc. – see Cha pter 4), EDS (Br ent, Kingston, Wands worth, etc.) and ITNET (Islington, Hackney , etc.). In some cases these contr acts tak e the for m of Str ategic Partnerships (Lincolnshir e, Norf olk, Sheffield, etc.) within w hich pri vate contr acts tak e over a wide r ange of often very different local authority services . In J une 2001, HBS (see pa ge 72) was awarded a 12-y ear £267 million Str ategic Service Partnership (SSP) b y Bedfordshir e County Council co vering financial, inf or mation technolo gy, human r esour ces and schools support services and contr acts/facilities management. Some 550 sta ff were transferr ed to HBS (see Centr e for Pub lic Services 2005). In 2005 the County ter mina ted the contr act; ‘The Council considers and is so ad vised tha t HBS w as in br each of a n umber of its obligations under the Services Agr eement’ (http://www .pub lictechnolo modules .php?op=modload&name=Ne ws&file=article&sid=3646 ). The cost of the ter mina tion to the Council w as £6.75 million. The point her e again is the scale , comple xity, diversity and in some r espects invisibility of pri vate sector in volvements. Further mor e, the majority of the private sector in volvements with local authorities and LEAs did not stem from interv entions , although they ma y have been encour aged in various w ays or made necessary b y Best Value and CP A reviews.6 And a t the heart of Best V alue, this time ar ound, is going to be contestability. So, why is this, you kno w, this service might be deli vering – why do you think it’s the best service and w hy do you think it’s the most e fficient way of delivering it? Ho w have you tested it? W hat alterna tives have you look ed at? And can w e see your e vidence, please? So ther e’s going to be an incr easing focus ar ound tha t. (BH, Mouchel P arkman) Ho wever, in man y examples the initia tion of pri vate sector in volvement came from the authorities themselv es. These examples a t least suggest tha t ther e is no coor dina ted policy push to wards wholesale LEA outsour cing although ther e is ‘policy talk’ b y Prime Minister Blair and others (see Cha pter 2) about mo ving local authorities to become commissioners r ather than service deliverers and an emphasis on a gr eater r ole for the pri vate and v oluntary sectors as pr oviders. Ho wever, the Bannock (2003: 34) e valua tion of ‘ne w ways of working’ notes a lack of incenti ves for headteachers and LEA officers to pr ocur e services from the pri vate sector and a lack of skills and capacity to do so and r ecommend ‘ad ditional in vestment in br okerage or other a gencies to support pur chasers and pr ocur ers’. The Bannock e valuation also notes ‘policy de velopments tha t might ha ve blurr ed the messa ge tha t pri vate sector pr oviders ha ve a bigger part to pla y’ (p. 33). Nonetheless , the pri vate sector is making inr oads and their ‘mar ket shar e’ of services is growing and some local authorities ar e moving to wards the model of w hat is called ‘virtual authorities’. P erha ps the messa ge here is tha t the ‘contr act mar ket’ should be neither o ver-estima ted nor under-estima ted. Ther e is a


Scale and scope: education is big business

mor e detailed and close-up account of some of this w ork in the f ollowing chapter. The second le vel of this ‘contr acts mar ket’, the outsour cing of schools , is much less de veloped. Onl y thr ee secondary schools , all in Surr ey, ar e fully outsour ced, two run b y 3Es (F rencha y and King’s College) and one (Abbeylands) b y Nor d Anglia. Another primary school in T ower Hamlets , Rams Episcopal, w as mana ged for a short time b y CfBT. This level of outsour cing is much mor e developed in the US b ut still small-scale , with Edison as mar ket leader . In 2003 Edison r an one-quarter of the 417 contr acted-out schools in the US , teaching 132,000 students in 20 sta tes – a tin y proportion of US schools . The major inhibitors in ter ms of further de velopments in the UK ar e a lack of inter est on the part of LEAs and on the part of pr oviders, most of w hom see little opportunity f or efficiency savings and pr ofit in running single schools . Neil McIntosh of CfBT e xplained: essentiall y being the mana gers of a gr oup of schools is w hat we aspir e to. And I’v e been saying, since, well, since the beginning of the La bour government tha t the model f or us e xists in the independent sector , which is the Gir ls’ Public Day School T rust, w hich has 25, 30 schools . I’m not saying tha t everything in tha t model w e would mirr or and w e are certainl y not inter ested in it being intellectuall y or sociall y exclusive, come to tha t, b ut in ter ms of a mana gerial model it’s inter esting. In principle tha t’s something w e would be quite inter ested in if the go vernment no w, or a t an y point in the futur e, was to do a Sw eden and allo w the pri vate sector to oper ate schools within the sta te system, then w e would certainl y be inter ested in tha t . . . in Scandina via at the moment ther e are some, I think, some v ery inter esting examples of school systems tha t ar e owned in di fferent ways: private sector, voluntary sector , faith, state . . . this is the sort of thing tha t could be in either or both political manifestos the election after ne xt. (DM, VTES) Ther e are some de velopments in policy tha t do gestur e to such a possibility (see the 2005 W hite P aper). One is the Academies pr ogramme: a n umber of sponsors ha ve undertak en or indica ted an inter est in running clusters of such schools – ULT, Oasis Trust, P eter Vardy and ARK. Another is thr ough the development of feder ations of schools . Federations o ffer the possibility of a new kind of pri vate sector in volvement thr ough partnerships . Gr aham Walker of Eduno va explained: And w e’re now working with a colla bor ative in Weston-super-Mar e, which ar e four secondaries and tw o specialist schools . We’ve been working with them f or o ver a year no w – we’ve helped them f orge a vision as to where they would lik e to tak e tha t group of schools . And they’r e working

Scale and scope: education is big business


as a pr etty coher ent team no w. They’ve got ne w governance structur es and they’v e got pr ocesses by which they’r e supporting each other . So it’s a new school model, the concept of feder ations, of colla bor ations, of schools working in a har d-edged w ay together . . . a) you ha ve 26 federations out ther e already who’ve got these feder ation gr ants , and b) y ou have piles of netw ork learning comm unities w ho ar e already in an ear ly stage of collabor ation, albeit soft. Y ou’ve also got a w hole lot of old EAZs tha t ar e coming to the end of their life w ho perha ps have got the potential. Ther e’s actuall y an a wful lot of potential colla bor atives out ther e if they were just given, you kno w, a bit of the w herewithal to speed up the pr ocess. It ma y also be tha t pri vate school o wnership is , or is seen b y some companies as, a ‘route’ into the mana gement of gr oups of sta te schools . In 2003 ( TES Archive, 21 Mar ch) the TES reported tha t CEA, Nor d Anglia and CfBT w ere ‘talking to ministers a bout taking o ver and setting up schools’ and ‘w ant contr ol of teaching and learning in schools contr acted out to them f or up to 30 years in deals tha t would ena ble them to emplo y sta ff’. The article w ent on to sa y tha t ‘leading educa tion entr epreneurs belie ve the Academ y initia tive does not gi ve them enough contr ol and w ant to e xtend PFI contr acts to co ver teaching and learning’. CEA Oper ations Dir ector V incent McDonnell w as quoted as sa ying “This could tak e private sector in volvement in educa tion to another le vel.” Ther e are also various ‘e fforts’ ongoing within the conte xt of policy in fluence to k eep the possibility of lar ge-scale school outsour cing on the policy agenda. A meeting or ganised b y the Social Mar ket Founda tion (27 A pril 2004) is an inter esting example of such policy ‘w ork’. Representa tives of Kunska psskolan (Sw eden’s largest educa tion compan y, which oper ates 22 taxpa yer-funded schools) and So vereign Ca pital and GEMS (see page 77) were invited to speak a bout ‘the v alue and the inno vation tha t independent and pri vate sector companies and or ganisa tions can bring to educa tion’ (http://www .refor y.aspx?mn=41580&s= f928e6e0–2ffb–436c-b124-c208995439ac& ). A thir d level of contr acts is a massi ve variety of local pr ovision for childr en out of school with special needs and speci fic learning needs w hich ar e delivered outside the mainstr eam, lik e pupil r eferral units , as well as postcompulsory pr ogrammes of w ork-based learning, r eturn-to-emplo yment skills, Learndir ect, Jobcentr e Plus, etc. and prison educa tion (see Bo x 3.6). Private companies also pr ovide specialist r esidential car e and r elated childcar e services. Again the di versity and siz e of this mar ket ar e difficult to convey. A couple of e xamples will ha ve to su ffice: We do a lot of Eur opean Social Fund pr ojects, some quite e xciting ones . In Southw ark we’re running w hat we call Elephant Angels , which is a comm unity support pr oject, where our sta ff act as ad visers, supporting,


Scale and scope: education is big business Box 3.6 Educa tion of o ffenders The successful r ehabilita tion of o ffenders is a vitall y important strand of the go vernment’s aims to cr eate a mor e inclusive society. Reed Learning o ffer educa tion and r esettlement services to the Prison Service w hich focus on o vercoming barriers to learning and impr oving prisoner emplo yability. (Reed website)

stimulating people to get back into emplo yment or to tak e contr ol of their li ves and de velop themselv es, go back into learning in w hat is effectively a very depri ved ar ea. (RA, Pr ospects) So we now find ourselv es in our f ourth y ear of tr ading, ha ving become the lar gest pri vate pr ovider of w ork-based learning in W est London, and proba bly the most signi ficant pr ovider of f ounda tion pr ogrammes for 16- to 19-y ear-olds . We proba bly work with 90 to 100 companies a t an y one time and w e see in the r egion of 900 to 1,000 people o ver a 12-month period acr oss everything w e do. So it is life-long learning tha t is going on her e, because w e could ha ve a 65-year-old doing a Learndir ect course in one of our o ffices, or you could ha ve a 16-year-old doing an entr ance-to-emplo yment pr ogramme. (VF, Ca pital) Services This is the r etail end of the educa tion services b usiness. Tha t is the sale of single services or packa ges of services to indi vidual schools or LEAs r anging from ‘har d’ office, financial and facilities services to ‘soft’ school impr ovement and CPD w ork and w hat Tribal call ‘turnar ound services’ aimed a t supporting w eak or ‘failing’ institutions . Services companies will also help schools pr epar e themselv es for Ofsted inspections and mentor and tr ain senior sta ff in the mana gement r oles (see Cha pter 6). Various ‘human r esour ces’ services also fit her e, like interim mana gement and teacher suppl y agencies (see Box 3.7) (by 2002 the teacher suppl y business was worth £600 million per ann um (see Hutchings 2006). A significant part of this ‘soft’ w ork responds to go vernment policy changes and initia tives in relation to curriculum r equir ements and r elated de velopments. The pri vate sector fills the ga p left b y the r eduction in funding of local educa tion authorities to interpr et and media te policy for schools . Peter Dunne described HBS’s educa tion b usiness as “95 per cent curricular and national a genda acti vities, standar ds funds , 5 per cent back o ffice . . . we’re

Scale and scope: education is big business


Box 3.7 Teacher suppl y Reed Education Professionals Providing Best v alue for schools and Best pa y for teachers , Reed Educa tion Pr ofessionals is an autonomous , dedica ted di vision, entir ely sta ffed by experienced teaching personnel. R eed Educa tion Professionals meets the needs of schools , colleges and Local Education A uthorities b y providing a quality , total sta ffing solution. Reed Educa tion Pr ofessionals meets the needs of teachers , lectur ers and n ursery n urses b y finding the w ork tha t suits them best. (Reed website)

directed primaril y at school impr ovement and ena bling change in schools”. Back o ffice work also includes such things as the suppl y and tr aining of labor atory technicians and school gr ound maintenance . Perfor mance mana gement systems , like benchmar king, ar e a part of this mar ket. The ESI companies enga ge with the services mar ket in di fferent ways. HBS does a consider able amount of b usiness in this ar ea, whereas Bob Ho gg of Mouchel Parkman described this as “bits of w ork we don’t go near . . . nothing in it f or us 23k customers”. Some of the softer w ork, ‘the mana gement of change’, is also a niche mar ket for smaller companies – lik e Eduno va, Edison and Cocentr a. New technolo gy adoption pr ovides opportunities in w hich the pri vate sector has e xpertise and e xperience w hich has ne ver existed to an y great extent in the pub lic sector, although some of the softw are development companies which no w sell to schools (lik e Intuiti ve Media and SEMER C and Inclusi ve Technolo gy) and ar eas of acti vity like SEN softw are did origina te from pub lic sector services or inno vations – “a lot of these companies ha ve been specifically tar geting teachers f or their emplo yees” (CA). Let’s mo ve on no w to some other facets of the ESI w hich ar e related in different ways to the main ar eas of the edu-b usiness.

Secondary markets Acquisitions and mergers One a bsolutel y key point a bout the ESI is tha t it is d ynamic and fastchanging. It is a r elatively young industry and the mar ket is not y et sta ble or matur e. A gr eat deal of gr owth in the siz e and ca pacity of companies is dri ven by acquisitions and mer gers. This means tha t the n umber of participa ting players is declining b ut they ar e growing in size (see Box 3.8). In part this is one of the ‘na tur al’ tendencies of mar kets, a r esult of the need to di versify, which is in turn in part a r esponse to the uncertainties of a b usiness tha t


Scale and scope: education is big business Box 3.8 Tribal Gr oup Tribal Gr oup can serv e as an illustr ation her e of ho w ESI b usinesses grow and particular ly the r ole of acquisitions in this gr owth. Tribal Gr oup w as set up in September 1999 (f ounder Henry Pitman of Pitman Pub lishing) and quickl y listed on the AIM. It w as rated b y Ernst & Y oung as the second-fastest-gr owing compan y floated on the Stock Ex change betw een 1998 and 2002. T urno ver for 2000–1 was £17.5 million, f or 2001–2 £45.7 million, f or 2002–3 £105.7 million, and f or 2003–4 £185.7 million with an oper ating pr ofit of £23.2 million but in la te 2004 the compan y issued a pr ofits warning based on sixmonth losses of £4.4 million. T ribal lost near ly a quarter of its v alue after the NHS a warded a contr act for a na tional netw ork of walk-in centr es to Swedish firm Ca pio ( http://www .unison.or oba t/ B2916.pdf ). As well as educa tion and health car e, Tribal w orks with local authorities, police and housing – 97 per cent of its income is fr om the pub lic sector and a ppr oximately 65 per cent of its sta ff were recruited fr om the pub lic sector. Head of Educa tion Services J ohn Simpson is e x-CEO of Brent. Acquisitions include: 2000 2000 2002 2002 2002 2003 2003 2004 2004

Instant Libr ary Ltd SfE, a teacher tr aining compan y Yale Consulting Kings way Advertising Riley Consulting (pub lic sector r ecruitment) HA CAS (consultancy b usiness in the social housing sector) Ger onimo (PR and CSR) Recruitment firm GWT SITS (softw are and technolo gy)

Tribal tr ains teachers and lectur ers, inspects schools , provides libr ary services, holds Academ y project mana gement contr acts, sells school impr ovement thr ough its Pupils Champions scheme (part of w hich is funded b y the DfES thr ough the London Challenge), held the interv ention contr act to run Swindon LEA, runs benchmar king schemes f or FE colleges , works with 80 per cent of all secondary schools and 70 per cent of all LEAs in England (ma terials fr om compan y website and intervie w). Tribal is one of the five national inspection companies r ecognised b y the DfES with a curr ent contr act worth £50 million o ver five years. “So we have a pr operty di vision, which is no w I think the thir d-lar gest architectur e practice in Britain, and tha t’s specialising in schools ,

Scale and scope: education is big business


FE colleges and hospitals . We’ve got a comm unica tions di vision, a technolo gy division, a consultancy di vision” (JS).

is driven and constr ained b y the ‘opportunities’ of sta te policies. Policies change; political priorities shift; contr acts come to an end. This consolida tion is a pr oduct of pr ocur ement pr actices and the ‘mar ket-making’ acti vities of the sta te. The ESI cannot be understood e xcept in r elation to changes in and the r equir ements of the sta te. Inspection is an e xample. When inspection w as contr acted out in 1992 the n umber of contr actors gr ew rapidly to ar ound 120 of varying siz es. In 2005 Ofsted issued se ven regional and sector al contr acts to just five providers, five of the ‘big pla yers’ in the ESI – Nor d Anglia (North-W est and FE), Pr ospects (South/South-East), CEA (Midlands and independent schools), CfBT (North-East) and T ribal (South-W est and W est Midlands). Man y of the small inspection companies had in the meantime been swallowed up b y the bigger pr oviders. Her e ther e are for ms of horizontal and v ertical integr ation b ut primaril y the for mer. Tha t is, compan y expansion tak es the for m of the acquisition of similar or r elated ar eas of b usiness. Inspection services ar e added to school impr ovement w ork; ‘turnar ound’ and interim mana gement and inspection prepar ation and human r esour ces services are added to leadership mentoring and CPD w ork; youth w ork is ad ded to after-school acti vities; comm unity pr ogrammes complement car eers ad vice and r eturn-to-w ork courses, etc. Educar e is one of those scenarios , handled pr oper ly, would be w onderful, in ter ms of a full mana ged service which pr ovided the eight-to-six wr aparound b ut left the peda gogues doing w hat they do best . . . So ther efore we’re looking a t partnerships , joint v ehicles, special purpose v ehicles, and acquisitions f or the educar e. (PD, HBS) In a fe w cases, like Tribal, contr acts for educa tional services ha ve led on to work with the health service and housing associa tions via acquisitions . This pr ocess of consolida tion seems lik ely to contin ue. I still get phone calls on a v ery regular basis , usuall y from people acting on behalf of major companies , because I suppose w e’re proba bly one of the lar gest of the ‘independents’ still out ther e. But w e’re rather stoutl y independent, and w e see our futur e as being independent and de veloping tha t way. And tha t’s strongly the view of my boar d. (RA, Pr ospects) The tw o companies w hich ha ve been most a ggressive in ter ms of gr owth and


Scale and scope: education is big business

integr ation str ategies thr ough acquisitions ar e Capita and Ser co (see pa ge 71), which ha ve been gr own into v ast and e xtremely diverse mana gement services multi-na tionals . In 2005 GEMS , a Dubai-based compan y headed b y Sunn y Varkey (partowner of the Dubai Plaza Hotel), bought not-f or-pr ofit educa tion services compan y 3Es which holds contr acts to mana ge two Surr ey secondary schools and w orks with thr ee Academies. In 2004 GEMS paid £11.9 million to Nor d Anglia f or ten pri vate schools and plans to acquir e 25–30 mor e and b uild up to 20 on gr eenfield sites. GEMS also has schools in the U AE, Qa tar and India, 42 in all w orldwide, and o wns the Emir ates Dia gnostic Clinic and other health car e services. “Educa tion is a b usiness and w e have acquir ed a lot of expertise o ver a n umber of y ears which can be bene ficial to e veryone. It does not ma tter if the indi vidual is pa ying or the Go vernment is pa ying” ( TES, 25 Mar ch 2005). Private equity funds ar e also incr easingly inter ested in educa tion services . In 2004 Co gnita, a compan y chair ed by ex-Chief Inspector of Schools Chris Woodhead, bought Asquith Court’s chain of 17 pri vate schools f or £60 million and Quinton House school in Northamptonshir e with funds fr om WestAb Private Equity Ltd w hich is back ed by Englefield Ca pital, a Ger man pri vate bank, and the Bank of Scotland. In 2003 HCT C and ServiceT eam acquir ed Sedgemoor College in a £13 million deal (see Bo x 3.9). Sovereign Ca pital has acquir ed Pelcombe Training, and Cli ff and Silv erwood schools (see Bo x 3.10). It is also possib le to identify some f or ms of vertical integr ation in the ESI, tha t is acquisition of or e xpansion into up- and do wnstr eam acti vities tha t ar e part of the ‘o verall man ufacturing pr ocess’. The r elevance her e is tha t some companies no w oper ate at di fferent points in the ‘policy pr ocess’. Involvement in ad vice, consultancy and e valua tion w ork with centr al government secures inputs into educa tion policy f or mation or policy in fluence; the running of pr ogrammes in volves the pr oduction of tr aining and curriculum materials; CPD , school impr ovement and ‘turnar ound’ services media te and

Box 3.9 Private acquisitions and consolida tion Sedgemoor ar e leaders in child car e educa tion and r esidential car e for childr en and y oung people . As a child car e provider we provide emergency assessments f or childr en and y oung persons . We are also a fostering services pr ovider. Sedgemoor has a single se x specialist care provision pr oviding r esidential facilities and educa tion f or young people and childr en, including those with hearing impair ment and learning di fficulties. Sedgemoor oper ates EBD Schools & Educa tion. (http://www .sedgemoor .net/content/ed_o verview.htm )

Scale and scope: education is big business


Box 3.10 Sovereign Ca pital Sovereign Ca pital is the UK’s lar gest owner of independent mainstream and special educa tion needs schools – a mar ket with high barriers to entry and stringent r egulations. Sovereign’s investments include Alpha Plus Gr oup and SEN AD Gr oup. The r ecent investment in P elcombe Training in December 2004 has br oadened our scope into the lar ge and fr agmented adult tr aining sector . Sovereign Ca pital P artners LLP announces tha t it has led the £25 million institutional b uy-out of one of the UK’s leading pri vate educa tion b usinesses Da vies Laing & Dick Limited w hich oper ates 11 schools and colleges acr oss the UK. The educa tion sector is large and fr agmented. The suppl y for quality independent schools is a growing mar ket, particular ly in the Centr al London ar ea. This is primaril y due to the incr ease in first time fee pa yers gener ally dissatisfied with the sta te pr ovision (a position ampli fied in London), and the competition f or places in leading schools . Paul Br ett, Str ategic Dir ector of Ser co plc’s educa tional b usiness, will become the ne w Chief Ex ecutive Officer of DLD . While at Serco, Paul b uilt a £50 million b usiness pr oviding educa tional services across the UK. (Sovereign website)

dissemina te policy and pr ogrammes; and inspection w ork involves setting and monitoring standar ds of perf or mance. The other side of these kinds of secondary acquisitions comes in the case of companies tha t run into di fficulties and m ust sell their assets . Jarvis is the case in point her e, although Amey has also had liquidity pr oblems. Both companies o ver-str etched themselv es financiall y in the PFI mar ket and both made a borti ve attempts to e xpand into the educa tion services mar ket (see later in this cha pter and Cha pter 6). Selling contracts A secondary mar ket of a di fferent kind has gr own up ar ound the PFI, tha t is the selling on of contr acts b y builders or FM companies once pr ojects ar e completed. Construction contr actors use this r oute once their acti ve role is complete to gener ate funds f or further PFI w ork. Sometimes a w hole portfolio of PFI in vestments come up f or sale. Buyers include banks and in vestment funds tha t specialise in the long da tes and pr edicta ble natur e of PFI income (see Bo x 3.11). What these e xamples point up is both the a ttr actions of PFI as a sour ce of investment and pr ofit and a gain the interna tionalising of UK pub lic service


Scale and scope: education is big business Box 3.11 Contr act sales In No vember 2003 Carillion sold its stak e in the Derw ent Valley Hospital f or £5.2m to the Bar clays UK Infr astructur e Fund. (http://www vatefinance/assets/ documents/dar ent.pdf ) In J uly 2003 John Laing with the Commonw ealth Bank of A ustr alia bought Carillions PFI r oad scheme shar es. (http://www ) Innisfr ee is the leading infr astructur e investment gr oup in the UK sponsoring and making long ter m investments in PFI and PPP infr astructur e projects. Innisfr ee curr ently has a pla tfor m of 47 PFI infr astructur e projects with a ca pital v alue of some £8 billion co vering health, educa tion, tr ansport and go vernment accommoda tion. Innisfr ee provides the principal channel f or institutional in vestors to in vest in PPP/PFI assets and has to da te raised £1.12 billion for in vestment in PFI and PPP pr oject companies . Innisfr ee’s investors include leading UK institutional in vestors such as the Prudential and Her mes and local authority pension funds . Overseas institutional in vestors fr om Sweden, Ger man y, Switzerland, USA, Canada and J apan curr ently provide 42% of Innisfr ee’s funds. Innisfr ee is the lar gest investor in NHS hospitals and healthcar e after the NHS . It has committed some £280 million to 17 hospital pr ojects costing £4.3 billion. These comprise 26 hospitals representing some 13,000 beds in the UK. Innisfr ee is also the lar gest pri vate sector in vestor in PFI education pr ojects in the UK. It has curr ent commitments of some £90 million to 16 educa tion pr ojects costing £1.4 billion. These comprise o ver 270 schools educa ting o ver 100,000 childr en. (Innisfr ee homepa ge) Innisfr ee is backed by Her mes, Prudential and J ohn Hancock. Star Ca pital P artners a 581mEu pri vate equity fund acquir ed Secondary Mar ket Infr astructur e Fund (joint v entur e between Abbey Na tional and Ba bcock and Br own) in 2003. SMIF acquir es inter ests in infr astructur e assets fr om in vestors and de velopers in PFIs . (E.g. Varndean school, Brighton fr om Jarvis and HSBC’s equity inter est in the F alkir k Schools pr oject for £18m). In 2003 SMIF had assets of £120m in 23 inter ests in educa tion, local authority and health (with an under lying asset v alue of £2bn).

Scale and scope: education is big business


STAR is back ed by a netw ork of cor e partner Eur opean banks , including The R oyal Bank of Scotland Gr oup , Santander Centr al Hispano , Espirito Santo and One Equity P artners . (STAR w ebsite) Having personall y been involved in the PFI since its beginnings , I have always believed in the a ttr actions of the PFI mar ket and its euro equi valents as an in vestment class tha t is resilient to economic down turn and pr oduces good risk adjusted r eturns . Tony Mallin, ST AR Chief Ex ecutive (STAR w ebsite) Engineering firm Jarvis is to back out of its contr oversial £105 million schools contr act. A ne w compan y, the Secondary Mar ket Infr astructur e Fund (SMIF), will tak e over the r efurbishment and maintenance of Dor oth y Stringer, Varndean and P atcham high schools in Brighton this w eek. Jarvis has been f orced to sell its private finance initia tive (PFI) contr acts acr oss the country f ollowing interim losses of mor e than £283 million. SMIF toda y pledged to tr ansfor m the w ay the schools w ere run. Since the a greement to turn o ver the mana gement of the thr ee schools w as signed in 2002 it has been beset b y problems. The go vernors of V arndean blamed J arvis in their ann ual r eport of 2003 f or dela yed ter m openings, rooms without equipment and a lack of cleaning and other day-to-da y maintenance . (http://ar chive.thear , from the archive, first pub lished in the Argus, 27 January 2005) assets. Mor e and mor e of the UK pub lic service infrastructur e is built, o wned or run b y overseas companies .

The transitions market The oper ation of the educa tion services industry and pr ocesses of pri vatisation involve transition costs of v arious kinds particular ly in the writing of contr acts and other legal w ork, the use of consultant r eports and ‘scoping’ r eviews and evalua tion and r esearch reports . By 2002/3 PWC had in volvements in consulta tion and r eviews for 132 PFI schemes . PWC holds the contr act for the five-year evalua tion of the Academies pr ogramme, and wr ote ‘recommenda tions’ on se veral ‘failing’ LEAs including R otherham, She ffield, Leeds , Waltham F orest and Hackney , before also writing se veral of the outsour cing contr acts for these LEA services ( http://www .teachers esour ces/word/ failing_leas_2003.doc ). PWC also dr afted the outsour cing contr acts for Islington (intervie w LF), W alsall, Swindon and North East Lincolnshir e. Of the la tter, one r espondent commented: “This is Swindon, because tha t’s what


Scale and scope: education is big business

they used. And then they just ad ded . . . they put a childr en’s services umbr ella on the Swindon contr act, basicall y. Same lawyers involved.” Another r espondent described the contr act writing pr ocess: And I think the pr oblem was you had the b lind leading the b lind. You had Price waterhouse , or w hoever was doing tha t side of it, negotia ting and ad vising, and they didn’t understand educa tion b udgets and b udget streams. You had, v ery often, councils w ho were having financial di fficulties an yway, so they w eren’t very clear on it. And then y ou had people on the pri vate sector side w ho didn’t understand the educa tion b udget. This kind of w ork not onl y produces signi ficant income str eams b ut also furthers the w ork of r endering educa tion into a commodity f or m and re-articula tes educa tional pr ocesses within the discourse of commodities . The Gershon R eview of the Ci vil Service (http://www .hm-tr ) has led to further use of pri vate consultants within go vernment, to r eplace per manent ci vil servants , as a w ay of reducing costs and ‘incr easing flexibility’: the FD A, which r epresents senior ci vil servants , said it had r epeatedly raised concerns a bout the use of mana gement consultants w ho were often f or mer civil servants being paid mor e to do the same w ork. “Ther e is no accounta bility for the money spent,” a spok esman said. “Nobod y kno ws how much money is spent, it often doesn’t a ppear in department running costs , and it is just spir aling out of contr ol”. (http://www .timesonline,,2–1798183,00.html ) Gr een (2005: 70) quotes a school go vernor in volved in a PFI scheme sa ying “All the fees spent on the pr ocess would ha ve built a primary school.”

Adjunct markets Alongside the dir ect pri vatisation(s) of pub lic sector services ther e is a whole variety of mor e subtle, indir ect and intima te pri vatisations in volving educa tion and educa tional services as part of w hat Clar ke (2004: 122) calls ‘doub le privatizations’, tha t is shifts fr om the pub lic to pri vate sector and fr om the pub lic to pri vate realm. In a w hole variety of di fferent ways childr en and childhood ar e now ‘satur ated b y the mar ket’ (Ball 2004). As Baudrillar d (1998) puts it, ‘consumption is la ying hold of the w hole of life’. R esearch by advertising a gency WAA found tha t the a verage family spends £1,500 per child betw een the a ges of 6 months and 8 y ears on ad ditional classes and activities (outside school hours). Most acti vities ar e given up within five weeks (Loving and Family Life – London’s Child Magazine, Autumn 2004, p . 9). “Parents ar e driven by a fundamental anxiety”, sa ys Stacy DeBr off author of ‘Sign me up! The P arents’ Complete Guide to Sports , Activities, Music

Scale and scope: education is big business


Lessons, Dance Classes and Other Extr acurriculars’, “we perceive the world as incr easingly competiti ve and specialised, so w e think the choices we mak e for our f our-y ear-olds ar e relevant to success in life . We think if we don’t gi ve our childr en an edge , we’re being a bad par ent”. (Dianne De vlin, in Loving and Family Life – London’s Child Magazine, Autumn 2004, p . 16) Parenting itself is a mar keting opportunity . Ther e are an expanding n umber of par enting ma gazines which o ffer ad vice on childr earing, and childr en’s fashion and entertainment in equal measur e. Companies also sell ad vice, support and tr aining to anxious par ents. The P arent Compan y offer evening seminars f or £45 per person on topics such as ‘R aising bo ys’ and ‘Raising girls’. They also o ffer par enting classes o ver the phone . The P arenting Practice o ffer ‘Skills for tr ansfor ming famil y life’; upcoming w orkshops (all £38 per person, £60 per couple) include ‘R educing sib ling squa bbles’ and ‘Impr oving adult–child r elationships’ ( flyer). Parental anxieties also fuel the mar ket in personal tutoring (Ir eson 2004) and home learning. The 2001 OECD PISA stud y reported 20 per cent of UK students as using tutors (Ir eson 2004: 113). Ther e are now several na tional tutoring b usinesses, including P ersonal T utors (with 10,000 tutors na tionwide), TopTutors (esta blished in 1985 and dir ected b y 30-year ex-teacher Bill Fleming) and Stepping Stones T uition. BrightA pple Tutoring ( www. Brighta ) in the USA, w here ‘tutorbr okers’ oper ate to ma tch student needs with tutors , notes a 10–12 per cent incr ease betw een 2000 and 2006 in students using tutors . Softw are and har d texts which supplement school w ork ar e also no w big interna tional b usiness. The UK’s 4 leading educa tional softw are companies ar e all owned b y global m ultina tionals: TL C (for merly the Learning Compan y) – US to y compan y Ma ttel, and Eur opr ess – US to y compan y Hasbr o. Ha vas is owned b y the F rench-based media corpor ation V ivendi, and the 4th is Disney. (Buckingham and Scanlon 2005) These ar e privatisations in se veral different and comple x senses: a pri vatisation of parts of the w ork of learning thr ough the use of tutors , crammers , software and learning to ys, etc.; a pri vatisation within the famil y of responsibility for mana ging childr en’s learning and their educa tional car eers; and a privatisation or commer cialisation of aspects of the intima te life of families as things lik e enrichment acti vities, developmental e xperiences, birthda y party e vents and par enting itself ar e commodi fied and mar keted. The mar ket in pri vate schools is also changing. Alongside trusts and charities and small tr aders, business ‘chains’ lik e Cognita, So vereign and GEMS (which plans to cr eate 120–200 low-cost schools in the UK o ver five years) ar e becoming a mor e significant part of the pri vate school mar ket. The Gir ls’


Scale and scope: education is big business

Da y School T rust r emains the lar gest pr ovider of pri vate educa tion in the UK, running 25 schools and emplo ying 3,500 sta ff. ‘GEMS r ecently sent a promotional D VD to 2,000 pri vate schools to persuade them to contr act out their mana gement. It fea tur ed intervie ws with Mik e Tomlinson, Sir Michael Bichar d and Dul wich college head Gr aham Ab le’ (TES, 2 July 2004). For older students w hose families can a fford them, ther e is a range of private sixth f or m colleges and cr ammers . Uni versity students ar e also no w a business opportunity: Inf ‘specialises in assisting students in the compila tion of all manners of assignments and pr ojects’ (compan y flyer). Mor e and mor e of the w ork of learning or learning-r elated pr oblems is subject to commodi fication and the possibilities of pr ofit; in effect parts of individual learning can be ‘outsour ced’ to commer cial pr oviders. In the USA the la test de velopment in the pri vatisation of learning is the cr eation of ‘virtual’ charter schools , which use ‘the W eb to link home-based students with educa tional pr ograms, and in turn collect sta te funds or dinaril y directed to pub lic schools’ (Molnar 2005: 110).

Indirect selling and promotion In part w hat I am r eferring to her e is what is called in the US the ‘cola-isa tion’ of schools , selling to school childr en thr ough v ending machines ,7 and the development of br and identity and lo yalty thr ough displa ys of logos, sponsorships and equipment pr omotions (see Molnar 2005). As Molnar notes , ‘schools b y their na tur e carry enor mous good will and thus can confer legitimacy on an ything associa ted with them’ (p . 7). As a r esult of campaigns b y the F ood Commission and others , Cadb ury’s scrapped its campaign f or fr ee sports equipment after it w as revealed tha t pupils w ould ha ve to ea t 5,440 chocola te bars – containing 33 kilo grams of fat and near ly 1.25 million calories – to qualify f or a set of v olleyball posts . In some kind of contr ast, the W eetabix ‘Ener gy for Ev eryone’ pack, w hich includes ad vice on planning sports da ys and fr ee (branded) equipment, w as requested b y 48 per cent of all English primary schools ( TES, 25 June 2004). Tesco run ‘T esco Sport f or Schools and Clubs’ and Sainsb ury’s ‘Kids Acti ve’. Bennett and Ga briel (1999) found tha t 58 per cent of 171 sta te-funded secondary schools in Gr eater London had participa ted in v oucher collection schemes. Companies lik e McDonald’s and Cadb ury’s also use ‘educa tional’ websites to pr omote their pr oducts (Buckingham and Scanlon 2005). 8 Mar kets of an y kind ar e comple x phenomena. They ar e multi-faceted, untid y, often unpr edicta ble and both cr eative and destructi ve. It seems clear tha t the child and childhood ar e now thor oughl y satur ated b y mar ket relations and within this sa tur ation the meaning of childhood and w hat it means to be w ell educated ar e subject to signi ficant change . As K enway and Bullen (2001: 3) argue, ‘we are entering another sta ge in the construction of the young as the demar cations betw een educa tion, entertainment and ad vertising collapse’.

Scale and scope: education is big business


The international education business I have already indica ted the penetr ation of the UK PFI mar ket by overseas companies lik e Skanska and K ajima. W e can ad d to this the pur chase of Amey and parts of J arvis b y overseas companies (see Cha pter 7) and the b uying into other aspects of UK edu-b usiness, dir ectly or indir ectly, by overseas companies or ca pital, as w ell as the pr esence, albeit small-scale , of US companies Edison and Brighter Horizons F amily Solutions (no w the fourth-lar gest pr ovider of pri vate nursery places in the UK). Ede xcel the (Uni versity of London) examina tion boar d was recently bought b y US testing and pub lishing giant Pearson Media. Some Ede xcel GCSE e xam ans wers ar e now mar ked in Io wa and Sy dney; time di fferences allow for 24-hour mar king, which speeds up the turnar ound of mar ks (Education Guardian, 17 August 2004, p . 2). Ho wever, the interna tionalising of the edu-b usiness is two-way. In 2003 UK educa tion and tr aining ‘exports’ w ere worth £8 billion ( http:// www.overseas-tr ). UK educa tion b usinesses ar e expanding into overseas mar kets – Ca pita and Ser co ar e established m ulti-na tional b usinesses. Other ESI companies w ork overseas: At the moment w e’re doing some w ork in Hong K ong. Thr ough our Ofsted inspection compan y, we’re doing some ad visory work in Macedonia, looking a t the esta blishment of an inspection r egime ther e. So they’r e picking up on the idea of Ofsted-type inspections of their schools. We’ve got a n umber of smaller colla bor ative projects where we collabor ate with y outh services in Finland. W e’re particular ly inter ested in the medium ter m and our people w ho ar e doing the w ork in Hong Kong ar e also, I believe, starting to do some w ork in mainland China now. So tha t’s clearly a big potential mar ket for educa tion, as is the w hole of Eastern Eur ope. So I think tha t pr oba bly the ne xt decade will see us looking a lot mor e externall y as well as developing in the UK. (RA, Pr ospects) China, people ar e building flagship schools , but if they can no w have English lessons going out to the rur al comm unity . . . And I ha ve been appr oached b y somebod y who’s in tha t business in Hong K ong who kno ws tha t we do tha t kind of technolo gy. (PD, HBS) . . . the discussions w e’ve been ha ving to look a t mo ving into W ales, where it seems tha t har dly any of the pri vate companies ar e working. We had a collea gue who has a backgr ound in schools and LEAs , who’s come to talk to us this morning a bout W ales, so it’s not onl y developing these products b ut actuall y saying, oka y, where are we going to tak e them no w? Which r egions? (RG, Tribal)


Scale and scope: education is big business

Nor d Anglia runs schools in Mosco w, Pudong (K orea), Warsaw, Shanghai, Bratislava and Ber lin and in 2005 enter ed into a joint v entur e with U AE compan y ETA Ascon Gr oup to launch Star British schools in the U AE. The Nor d Anglia CEO commented tha t “We hope Star British School will be the first of man y such schools in the r egion and bey ond” ( ). Also in 2005 it sold its stak e in two schools in the Ukr aine for £1.3 million. Global Educa tion Mana gement bought the British Interna tional School in Ber lin from Nor d Anglia (GEMS w ebsite, 10 December 2004). GEMS with the Alokozay Gr oup , also based in Dubai, plan to cr eate a netw ork of fee-pa ying schools in Afghanistan: ‘This pr oject is in line with the compan y’s corpor ate policy of contin uousl y expanding ongoing services and f orging new partnerships to pioneer ne w developments’ ( http://www .gemseduca server.php?sear ch_word=Alok ozay&Go.x=13&Go .y=8&chan ). The Alok ozay Gr oup describes itself as a ‘leader in the cigar ette industry’ and is the sole distrib utor f or cigar ettes made b y the K orea Tobacco and Ginseng Corp in Africa, Asia, Eastern Eur ope and the Mid dle East . . . Hugh MacPherson, chief oper ating o fficer of Gems , said the pr oject was “a small step to wards achie ving a brighter futur e for the childr en of Afghanistan”. (Michael Sha w, TES, 20 August 2004) The UK pr ovides a model and a la bor atory f or educa tional inno vations, and policy is being e xported. Incr easingly the work of interna tional policy tr ansfer is done b y the pri vate sector (see Crump and See 2005 on Ser co in Austr alia). CEA has been in the f orefront of de veloping local mana gement of schools and has assisted in tr ansferring this to en vironments bey ond Britain. The UK e xperience has serv ed as the under lying model f or m uch of the de velopment interna tionall y of SBM. ( These ar e all indica tions of the r e-scaling of educa tion policy and the r elative decline in signi ficance of the na tion sta te as the dominant scale of policymaking (as w as ever the case f or de veloping countries). Ov erall structur al coher ence in educa tion policy ma y no longer be automa tically secured by Western sta tes – the Bolo gna Declar ation and its e ffects in ter ms of higher educa tion is another kind of e xample, and GA TS ma y bring further scalar changes (see Rik owski 2001). At this point some readers may want to skip to the concluding section – the remainder of the chapter introduces in more detail the major companies and other organisations that participate in the ESI.

Scale and scope: education is big business


The players The ESI can also be vie wed via a typolo gy of the companies and other main players involved. The constructors ar e not included her e (see Cha pter 7) and neither ar e the banks , pri vate equity funds and IT C pr oviders. Rather I concentr ate on those companies and other or ganisa tions w hose acti vities ar e focused on the dir ect (har d and soft) educa tion services sector . I want to use the typolo gy in a n umber of w ays: to r eiterate the di versity of w hat we might call pri vate; to r eiterate the b lurring of the pub lic/private boundary – indeed such a boundary is not so m uch b lurr ed as ob literated; to indica te some values di fferences betw een companies; and to highlight di fferences in history , scope and scale among the companies and other pla yers. The typolo gy is pur ely heuristic and not particular ly robust and the fact each ca tegory contains h ybrids and mer gers, acquisitions and joint v entur es means tha t some companies ha ve in effect mo ved betw een categories. It looks lik e this: Engineering/mana gement services companies Specialist mana gement services pr oviders Pub lic service start-ups Niche start-ups Primiti ve capitalists Accountancy and consultancy services pr oviders Pub lic sector and NGOs Partnerships Engineering/ management services companies Her e ther e are six companies of inter est. They ar e engineering and construction companies w hich ha ve diversified into mana gement services and fr om ther e into educa tional services – with mor e or less success. VT Educa tion and Skills , Mouchel P arkman and Mott MacDonald thr ough its joint ventur e with CEA (see pa ge 73) are the successes. Jarvis, Atkins and Amey failed for various r easons to sustain their f orays into the educa tion services mar ket – Jarvis and Atkins ar e discussed in Cha pter 7. •

VT Education and Skills is a division of Vosper Thorney croft Engineering, originall y a boa t-building compan y. The Dir ector of Educa tion w as until recently David McGahey , ex-CEO of Buckinghamshir e, who pr eviously


Scale and scope: education is big business worked for Amey’s educa tion di vision. The 2003–4 turno ver of VT w as £700 million; VTES accounted f or £100 million (intervie w DM). Building ships migr ated into pr oviding services in support of ships once they’r e built, including, importantl y, tr aining. VT gr oup do a lot of tr aining in the defence w orld; we are the tr ainers f or the R oyal Engineers , for the Na vy. So tr aining w ould be a cor e competence of the compan y. (DM)

Services now account f or 80 per cent of VT’s b usiness. VTES runs modern a ppr enticeship pr ogrammes, Conne xions car eers services (of which nationall y it is the lar gest pr ovider), school inspections , and DfES and LA contr acts. “By 2008, the compan y has an ambition to doub le the size of its educa tion b usiness as part of an o verall expansion plan f or the group” (DM). In 2004 VTES launched a joint b usiness ventur e/Strategic Partnership with Surr ey CC – VT4S; 4S w as set up in 2000 as an in-house oper ation, and Surr ey CC will r etain a 19.9 per cent holding. Also in 2004 VTES secur ed £25 million e xtensions to their v ocational tr aining contr acts and had six of eight car eers guidance contr acts r enewed (VTES website). Amey has a similar tr ajectory to J arvis, and has faced similar tr avails. Amey evolved from a ggregate pr oduction and r oad b uilding and “r ealised tha t ther e was mor e value in the support, in mana ging contr acts than deli vering them, so got into the mana ged services, support services , procur ement contr acts and so on” (DM). Amey is inter esting her e as a sponsor of an ear ly, and ‘failing’, Academ y, the Unity Academ y, Mid dlesbrough ( http://www.ofsted.go eports/manr eports/2661.pdf ). Eduno va (see pa ge 75) has worked with Unity , and I will r eturn to Unity in Cha pter 6. Amey is also a partner with Nor d Anglia in EduAction, which holds the contr act to deli ver 28 of the 47 W altham F orest LEA service functions and shar e 14 others . EduAction w as awarded the £200 million Waltham F orest Council contr act in September 2001 with a manda te to deli ver major impr ovements in educa tional standar ds over a period of five years ( x.cfm?fuseAction= v&UUID=A490390D–1143–37A1–3602F34B9EE4B9C6 ). Mouchel Parkman is the pr oduct of the mer ger of an engineering firm and educa tion consultants (Mouchel Consulting) in 2003 and no w employs 4,250 people . Its cor e mar ket sectors ar e property , rail, water and e xpanding involvements in gas , waste, educa tion and housing. The leaders of the educa tion section ar e John T urner , ex-Senior Educa tion Ad viser at the DfES (Dir ector of Educa tional Consultancy), and Bob Ho gg, ex-Executive Dir ector of LifeLong Learning and Leisur e of Southampton City Council (Dir ector of Learning Services). Mouchel sells school impr ovement str ategies, does SEN w ork, o ffers infr astructur e support

Scale and scope: education is big business


to LAs , tr aining and de velopment, and support and ad vice for PPPs and PFIs and is the la test compan y to win a contr act to run LEA services (NE Lincolnshir e), and they ar e project mana gers for a n umber of Academies . The gr oup turno ver for 2003–4 was £217 million, up 22 per cent fr om the pr evious year; pre-tax pr ofits were up 43 per cent fr om £13.5 million to £19.4 million (compan y website and ann ual r eports , and intervie w with BH). Specialist management services providers Ther e are thr ee major pla yers in this ca tegory: Ser co, Ca pita and HBS . Serco has the longest history – it w as founded in 1929 – and has e xtensive worldwide pub lic sector contr acts r anging fr om London’s tr affic light system and the Docklands Light R ailway to air tr affic contr ol systems, IT tr aining and waste mana gement for the MOD , to running theme par ks and science la bor atories. Ca pita is mor e recent and w as spun o ff from the IT di vision of CIPF A in 1984. HBS has its origins in the pri vatisation of pub lic utilities and an LEA-based school services b usiness. All thr ee moved into educa tional services work thr ough horizontal integr ation and the acquisition of e xisting educa tion services companies . •

‘Serco’s product is the mana gement of change’ (w ebsite). The compan y dates back to 1929 as subsidiary of R CA. In the 1950s it installed and commissioned Fylingdales ear ly-warning system, the beginning of a long-standing r elationship with the Ministry of Defence . It w as the subject of a mana gement b uy-out in 1987 and Stock Ex change listed in 1988, and has 35,000 emplo yees worldwide. Serco acquir ed QAA Consultants (Ofsted inspections and school leadership), no w Serco Learning, in 2000 (Serco website). Ser co pr ofits in 2001–2 were £46.4 million; the educa tion business turno ver in tha t year was £35 million, including contr acts to run Walsall and Br adford LEAs . The Head of Childr en’s Services division is Elaine Simpson, e x-CEO of Sefton. Capita has been FTSE listed since 1989 and b y 2000–1 had a turno ver of £453 million and pr ofit of £53 million. By 2004 Ca pita’s turno ver had grown to £3.5 billion with a verage ann ual pr ofit growth of 42 per cent (Capita w ebsite). Gr owth has been achie ved in part b y an a ggressive acquisitions policy , over 40 small and medium-siz e businesses or go vernment a gencies since 1989, including f our inspection companies (TW A, Lynrose, Evenlode and QICS) and thr ee teacher suppl y agencies – Capstan Northern, LHR and ESS (f or £12 million). But it did not win any of the na tional inspection contr acts. The compan y was founded by Rod Aldridge (w ho in 2004 w as listed 337th in the Sunday Times Rich List with personal w ealth of £80 million) in 1984 with CIPF A. He led a mana gement b uy-out in 1987 (acquiring the b usiness for £350,000). Capita pr ovides mana gement softw are to schools as w ell as finance, ICT,


Scale and scope: education is big business property consultancy and personnel services . The educa tion ‘tr oub leshooting team’ is headed b y Ian Harrison, e x-CEO of Ne wham – 16 per cent of compan y income comes fr om educa tion, and pub lic sector contr acts mak e up 60 per cent of turno ver and 90 per cent of pr ofits. Among other contr acts, Ca pita administer ed ILAs (subject to a critical report b y the N AO and closed do wn, http://www .audit-scotland.go news/press_releases/2003/ILAs .pdf ), Criminal R ecords Bur eau (£400 million), T eachers’ P ension Scheme , school admissions , Child T rust Fund Accounts (£430 million o ver 20 years), Conne xions Car d Scheme (£100 million) (judged to ha ve failed to achie ve its aims and outcomes accor ding to a DfES r eport, http://www esearch/pr ogrammeofr esearch/ projectinfor mation.cfm?pr ojectid=13564&r esultspa ge=1 ) and the Education Maintenance Allo wance (£48.4 million o ver five years), and took over the Na tional Str ategies contr act in 2004. It has an alliance with Micr osoft to pr ovide educa tional Internet services . It mana ges Educa tion Leeds as a not-f or-pr ofit compan y and pr ovided interim mana gement for Haringey LEA. Ca pita is described as ‘the Go vernment’s fa vour ed external pr ovider’ (NUT w ebsite). HBS (Hyder Business Services) origina ted fr om a Str ategic Partnership between Bedfordshir e’s Teaching and Media R esour ce Service (spun o ff in 1996) and Hy der (a spin-o ff from the pri vatisation of W elsh Water) headed by John J asper (e x-DCE of W arwickshir e and f or six years a member of the Boar d of Ca pita). HBS is no w part of the equity portf olio of T erra Fir ma (headed b y Guy Hands – see Bo x 3.12). HBS Educa tion turno ver in 2003–4 was £28 million (intervie w PD). The Educa tion Services division is headed b y Peter Dunne , ex-Educa tion O fficer of Bedfordshir e LEA. HBS Educa tion also does consider able work dir ectly with schools (420 in 2005) and LEAs , providing bespok e service and support packa ges. HBS also serv es as illustr ation of the incr easing comple xity of o wnership of some of these educa tion services companies , and the w ay tha t educa tion services ar e tied in some cases thr ough such o wnership to the ownership of other pri vatised pub lic services and utilities .

Public service start-ups Ther e are four main pla yers in this ca tegory: T ribal, Pr ospects, CEA and CfBT. The la tter is a not-f or-pr ofit compan y. The other thr ee are companies which were founded speci fically to tak e advanta ge of the emer ging educa tion services mar ket in the 1990s . Prospects and CEA w ere started fr om scr atch by defectors fr om the pub lic sector. Significantl y, these companies betw een them hold f our of the five national contr acts for school and college inspection services; Nor d Anglia (see pa ge 77) holds the other . These companies distinguish themselv es from those in the pr evious tw o categories in seeing educa tion as their ‘cor e business’ (see Cha pter 4).

Scale and scope: education is big business


Box 3.12 Guy Hands Pennon spurns £1bn cash bid by Guy Hands Pennon, o wners of South W est Water, will toda y reject outright a £1bn cash a ppr oach fr om Guy Hands’ T erra Fir ma in vestment compan y to tak e over the w ater and se werage group. Terra Fir ma, which o wns the UK’s biggest land fill compan y, Waste R ecycling, has let it be kno wn tha t it will walk away if the Pennon boar d sticks to its tak eover plans f or Shanks . It pr efers to merge Waste R ecycling with Viridor . Guy Hands pr eviously worked with Nom ura, the J apanese banking group; his last deal with Nom ura was the £1.9bn b uyout of the Le Meridien luxury hotels gr oup. (David Go w, Guardian, 17 Ma y 2004; see also http:// www.thisismoney ws/article.html?in_article_id=319402 &in_pa ge_id=2&in_a_sour ce=Ev ening%20Standar d)

Prospects Services was founded in 1995 and in 2003–4 had a turno ver of £44.5 million. It has 1,200 sta ff and consultants (intervie w RA). A limited compan y, Prospects is a ‘not-f or-distrib uta ble profit’ compan y and r e-invests its pr ofits in the comm unities it serv es. It is a major Conne xions pr ovider and does y outh service w ork and Ofsted inspections, comm unity r egeneration, consultancy and school impr ovement. Chief Ex ecutive Ray Auvray is an ex-senior LEA o fficer who headed a ‘spun-o ff’ service prior to the cr eation of Pr ospects. CEA was esta blished in 1987 b y Der ek Foreman, e x-Deputy Dir ector of the ILEA, and Brian Smith, e x-Deputy Dir ector of Cambridgeshir e LEA. It deals in LEA consultancy and outsour cing and curr ently runs contr acts in Islington, Southw ark and the Scill y Isles. It conducts Ofsted inspections and does ICT tr aining, o ffers interim mana gement and PPP support and administers the T eacher P ay Refor m pr ogramme, and pr oject-mana ges several Academies . It has an ann ual turno ver of around £50 million. In 2000 CEA enter ed into a joint v entur e with Mott MacDonald (turno ver 2003–4 of £342 million and pr ofit of £7.8 million), an interna tional engineering pr oject mana gement consultancy w orking in tr ansport, pr operty , health car e, comm unica tions, energy, leisure and utilities (compan y ann ual r eport). CfBT is a not-f or pr ofit compan y established in 1965, and emplo ys around 1,000 sta ff. It ‘uses commer cial disciplines to encour age efficiency and gener ate surpluses’ (CfBT w ebsite). It oper ates in the UK and abroad, with w ork in Africa and the F ar and Mid dle East mainl y funded by the British go vernment, the EU and the W orld Bank. CfBT runs the Teaching Agency and car eers services (e.g. Thames , West London and


Scale and scope: education is big business Bedford). It w as awarded the contr act to mana ge the na tional r oll-out of the Conne xions Service Accr edited T raining Pr ogramme. It also has responsibility f or mana ging key elements of the F ast Track Teaching programme and held the first contr act for mana gement of the Na tional Strategies. It o wns a pri vate school and a small n umber of pri vate nurseries, runs after-school clubs and o ffers school impr ovement services. It mana ged R ams Episcopal primary school in Hackney f or a short time .

Niche start-ups These ar e smaller companies with turno vers of £1 million to £5 million. Five companies ar e profiled her e: Cocentr a, Eduno va, Ca pital, Edison UK and Alligan b ut ther e are others w hich could ha ve been included. Man y similar-siz ed companies ha ve been ‘swallowed up’ b y the lar ger companies . •

Cocentra, pr eviously Jarvis Educa tional Services (the name w as changed to distance itself fr om Jarvis’s difficulties), was a joint v entur e between Jarvis and pri vate finance subsequentl y ‘bought out’ and no w oper ating independentl y. It is headed b y Nick Blackw ell, an ex-Dir ector of HSBC Bank w hose initial e xperience of pub lic sector educa tion came thr ough involvement in Atkins w ork with Southw ark LEA (see Cha pter 7), w ho explained: I think bringing some of tha t [high-level business expertise] to gether with some senior educa tionists is w hat we’ve done no w. The hope is tha t bringing those things to gether, tha t two and tw o really does ad d up to mor e than f our. And the ear ly signs of tha t ar e promising. I wouldn’t sa y they’re overwhelmingl y, tha t people ar e running o ver themselv es to do b usiness. But the ear ly signs ar e promising. The issue for us is ho w long will it r eally tak e for the mar ket to w ake up to some of these things tha t we’ve got. Cocentr a has a twin str ategy for esta blishing itself in the ESI: We’ve got tw o lines to our str ategy. One is what we call demand side , which is where ther e will be tenders tha t come out and w e will continue to tender lik e everybod y else does. And w e won the na tional SIA contr act . . . but ther e is the other side of our b usiness tha t we’ve deliber ately built, pr oacti vely, which is our suppl y side, which is broadl y the pr oducts and services tha t we sell, most of tha t will be in to schools; some of it will be via the LEA mar ket. But w e see, in fact, the o verarching philosoph y comes thr ough in our br and v alues . . . I believe tha t the onl y way of unlocking this mar ket over the longer ter m is to ha ve a reputa tion tha t is better than an ybod y else’s by a huge mar gin [see Cha pter 6].

Scale and scope: education is big business


At the time of intervie wing the b usiness had 12 sta ff, with an ambition to increase tha t to 100 and achie ve a turno ver of £5 million to £10 million. EduNova is a small independent pr ovider headed b y Gr aham W alker, whose backgr ound is in accountancy with Accentur e and Ca p Gemini, with 12 full-time sta ff. The b usiness focuses on school tr ansfor mation and learning: “this is w hat we call the Eduno va wheel, which is, if you’re trying to bring a bout e ffective learning f or the indi vidual student then we believe you ha ve to mana ge at least these five key things” (GW). The a ppr oach of the compan y is to work collabor atively with schools or groups of schools: If you’re moving into a w orld of colla bor ative working acr oss schools and colla bor ation with other learning comm unities outside the school ther e’s a whole b usiness about ho w do you de velop ne w partnerships and mak e them w ork and mak e them integr ate with the way your school is oper ating.

The b usiness plan is to gr ow to 50–60 sta ff and a £4 million turno ver by expanding in the UK and else where: “So I think w e would hope tha t proba bly in five or six years’ time w e’d maybe have another country started.” Capital is a London-based emplo yment tr aining compan y with thr ee offices and 45–50 sta ff which opened f or b usiness in 2001. It is headed b y Vic Fairlie, who has a long-ter m backgr ound in local go vernment as both officer and councillor , in FE as a deputy chief e xecutive, and w orking for a T raining and Enterprise Council. He came to the educa tion b usiness with a thor ough kno wledge of all sides of the educa tion and tr aining mar ket. In 2003–4 the compan y turno ver was £2.5 million and growth was partl y achieved by the acquisition of another small pr ovider. Capital f ound its niche in the opportunity ‘ga ps’ created b y policy turb ulence: The principal opportunity w as a pub lic policy one . The Training and Enterprise Councils w ere being abolished and being r eplaced b y the Learning and Skills Councils , and v arious services just fell betw een the cr acks. A number of or ganisa tions tha t were consumed b y this change didn’t r eally understand the kind of pr ocesses tha t were at play here. And I could see , looking a t ho w things w ere organised on the gr ound, tha t a n umber of services w ere just disa ppearing, and tha t ther e was an opportunity f or someone to cr eate an or ganisa tion tha t could suppl y those services . (VF) I found a tr aining pr ovider in Kingston, the guy w anted to sell up , I went to the bank, the bank a greed to loan me the money , I bought


Scale and scope: education is big business him out, and tha t took us fr om emplo ying five people to 45 people . So we had a v ery classical de velopment str ategy where in business ter ms you gr ow organicall y, but you also gr ow thr ough acquisition. And the syner gy was tha t we had de veloped, in the first year, strong systems. What they got historicall y was str ong deli very. Tha t, then, enabled us to e xpand, so fr om when we secured the acquisition in Ma y 2002, with tha t level of sta ffing, it also ena bled us to secur e about another thr ee-quarters of a million pounds’ w orth of LSC contr acts tha t tha t pr ovider had. (VF)

Edison Schools UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Edison Corpor ation, w hich has been oper ating since 1992 and is the lar gest of the private partners to sta te schools in the USA. Edison Schools UK w as set up b y ex-CEO of Esse x Paul Lincoln in 2003. A school teacher f or 20 years, he is no w Educa tion Dir ector UK, and Mar k Lo gan (pr eviously of Serco) is the Mana ging Dir ector in the UK. The f ocus of the b usiness is on school impr ovement design, and they began w ork with f our Esse x schools – against the objections of the County Council. By 2005 this had risen to 30 schools , and 18 sta ff had been a ppointed. The b usiness turnover in 2005 was relatively small. P aul Lincoln e xplains tha t: “the cor e business is very much school f ocused and all a bout school impr ovement and w e’ve set out to di fferentia te ourselv es clearly from our competitors in a variety of w ays.” Alligan was founded in 1995 as a one-man consultancy to do support work for FE colleges struggling with the demands of incorpor ation b y Gr aham McA voy, whose backgr ound is in teaching, FE mana gement, research and DfES policy w ork. He e xplained: “because I got o ffered mor e work than I could handle I started finding people tha t I wanted to work with.” Alligan is no w almost e xclusively concerned with pr oject mana gement w ork for Academies , and hopes to e xpand into BSF w ork, but also does some w ork with schools in North Africa. It does feasibility studies and pr oject mana gement for Academies and has “de veloped an expertise in furnitur e and equipment consultancy” (GM) and the design of school unif or ms. It has an ann ual turno ver of £3 million to £4 million and emplo ys consultants (GM). I see our r ole as we’re transla tors and w e do tak e seriousl y this listening to the sponsor . Some ar e infor med, in the sense of UL T have been running schools f or – or their par ent compan y – for man y years, and others ar e not. But e ven where they’re not they still kno w what they want to achie ve. And it’s our job to articula te it for them, back to them, in a w ay tha t people w ould understand within the educa tion sector. (GM, Alligan)

Scale and scope: education is big business 77 Primitive capitalists Included her e are Nor d Anglia, Co gnita, So vereign Ca pital and GEMS , and they ha ve featur ed several times alr eady in the account a bove. These companies ar e distinguished her e for thr ee reasons. Firstl y, they oper ate acr oss the pub lic/private divide, and in the pri vate sector they ‘sell’ dir ectly to the pub lic (or to LAs) thr ough o wnership of pri vate schools , car e homes and n urseries. Second, they ar e buyers and sellers of these dir ect educa tion b usinesses. Thir d, they compete with as w ell as sell services to the pub lic sector. •

Nord Anglia is a stock mar ket listed compan y founded in 1972 b y Kevin McNean y to teach English as a f oreign langua ge. The compan y moved into f or-pr ofit schools in the UK in the 1980s , and la tter ly into pri vate day-care nurseries. It runs British Interna tional Schools in se veral countries, but K evin McNean y reported in an intervie w in 2003 tha t “the largest pr oportion of r evenue comes fr om the outsour cing business”. In 2004 it acquir ed Lea pfrog and Jigsa w nursery gr oups to become UK mar ket leader with 101 n urseries and 10,262 places . In 2004 it sold ten of its pri vate schools to GEMS f or £11.9 million. T urno ver in 2003–4 was £45.5 million, up 10.4 per cent on the pr evious year, with a pr ofit of £1 million, do wn from £2.1 million in 2003, substantiall y as a r esult of a loss of £536,000 b y EduAction, a joint v entur e with Amey to run parts of Waltham F orest LEA ( http://www .unison.or oba t/B1512.pdf ). Nor d Anglia also mana ges Abbeylands Compr ehensive in Surr ey. In 2005 a do wnturn in the n ursery b usiness led to the issuing of a pr ofits warning, and shar es fell 3p to 197p . In 2004 K evin McNean y stepped down as chief e xecutive and sold 2 million of his compan y shar es, netting £4.3 million. GEMS is headed b y Sunn y Varkey, a Dubai-based entr epreneur. It runs private schools in se veral countries and, as noted on pa ge 60, bought a UK gr oup of pri vate schools fr om Nor d Anglia in 2004 with the intention of b uilding up a chain of 200 ‘econom y class’ schools b y “cutting personnel costs” and incr easing class siz es (Varkey – AMEinf o fn, 11 January 2005). GEMS also runs pri vate health car e facilities in the Mid dle East. In 2005 GEMS bought educa tion services compan y 3Es and made an o ffer to sponsor tw o Academies in Milton K eynes, later withdr awn (http://ne tion/4443512.stm ). The Business (6/7 Mar ch 2005) reported tha t ‘Blair is considering issuing a contr act to GEMS to b uild and run schools’ in the sta te sector . Cognita was founded in 2004 and is back ed by £500 million equity fund Englefield Ca pital LLP . It bought 17 pri vate schools fr om Asquith Court, w hich is the UK’s second-lar gest pri vate nursery pr ovider ( http:// essreleases/Aquimonth.pdf ). Other schools ha ve since been ad ded to the Co gnita portf olio (making 22 b y mid-2006). The compan y is chair ed by ex-Chief Inspector of Schools Chris W oodhead.


Scale and scope: education is big business In Ma y 2005 Cognita announced a discount scheme to a ttr act par ents from the sta te sector, which could sa ve par ents up to £25,000 o ver the educa tion car eer of one child ( TES, 20 Ma y 2005, p. 16). Sovereign Capital is a UK ‘lo wer mid-mar ket’ equity firm which has made se veral acquisitions in pri vate educa tion and social car e (e.g. Herts Car e Gr oup and Or char d End) since 2000 (see pa ge 61) but has a diverse portf olio acr oss support services , leisure, health car e, a chain of funer al homes , and w aste/en vironmental services . Sovereign’s acquisitions illustr ate again the w ay in which educa tion services ar e viewed as profitable assets and the integr ation of these into sets of di verse services holdings .

Accountancy and consultancy services This is a lar ge and di verse category and I will not deal with the companies in any detail her e. Much of w hat they do is ‘behind the scenes’ and di fficult to access but they ha ve been ‘at the heart of go vernment policy on pri vatisation acting as secondees to go vernment departments’ (Unison 2002: 1). Ther e have already been several references to gr owth in the sales of consultancy services to the pub lic sector, which no w accounts f or ar ound half of the profits of the accountancy giants (PW C, KPMG , Deloitte T ouche Tohma tsu, and Ernst & Y oung). PW C has alr eady been mentioned se veral times; it emplo ys 150,000 sta ff worldwide and in 2000 handled 222 pri vatisation deals worth $5.1 billion. Other important pla yers to note her e are Bannock, McKinsey , Ha y Gr oup and PFK, and pr eviously the no w defunct Arthur Andersen. These companies both w ork inside the sta te and a ppear on se veral of the DfES and T reasury F ramework listings as a ppr oved service pr oviders, and they ar e often the bene ficiaries of policies they endorse and r ecommend (like PFI). The comple x and sometimes startling in volvements of these companies in policy w ork not infr equentl y see them acting f or both sides in contr acting and tendering pr ocesses. They earn consultancy fees fr om centr al and local go vernment and audit fees fr om contr actors . Unison (2002: 1) identified 45 cases where ‘the ad viser to the pub lic sector [in PFI deals] w as also the auditor to a t least one of the consortium members of bid ders on the contr act’. Public sector and NGOs: blurring the blur, or drowning in alphabet soup The k ey point her e is tha t some of the pla yers in the ESI ar e pub lic bodies – like the British Council (BC), the Learning and Skills De velopment Agency (LDSA) and the Quali fications and Curriculum A uthority (QCA) – or institutions (lik e schools and uni versities) or pri vatised or semi-pri vatised non-departmental pub lic bodies (NDPBs) tha t part of the time ar e acting as businesses and competing f or contr acts or deri ving income fr om other

Scale and scope: education is big business


sour ces either working alone or in partnerships or joint v entur es with pri vate providers on w hich in man y cases they r ely heavily. Several examples ha ve already been mentioned. Lar ge amounts of sta te work have been mo ved out of the sta te as a gencies ar e re-made as ar m’s length, self-funding or ganisa tions run b y chief executives (Next Steps, http://www .ar chive.official-documents . ) (see the example tha t follows). Again here the pub lic/private divide is virtuall y indiscernib le. The policy str ategies of collabor ation and competition, partnership and pri vatisation interweave, and the r esult is ne w kinds of h ybrid or ganisa tions and ne w kinds of relationships within the pub lic sector and acr oss the pub lic and pri vate sectors. Let us look a t one e xample. In 2005 the DfES Standar ds Unit contr acted for a na tional pr ogramme of subject learning coaching in FE colleges a t a cost of £100 million. To which LSD A, as a lead partner in a consortium of other partners bid successfully to deli ver . . . The other members of the consortium w ere CEL, the Centr e for Ex cellence in Leadership , tha t’s an or ganisa tion tha t specialises lar gely in leadership pr ogrammes in schools and colleges [CEL was set up b y the DfES as a limited compan y, Inspir e Learning Ltd]. Another partner w as the Ha y Gr oup [website], which is a full y private sector or ganisa tion b ut which does a lot of w ork with schools and colleges of v arious kinds . The other partner w as Oxford Brook es Uni versity, and they w ere responsib le for valida ting the accr edita tion of the pr ogramme, where participants w anted to go f or accr edita tion. And another associa te partner w as CfBT. The consortium had ob viously been established m uch ear lier in the y ear in or der to be a ble to write the document. And although LSD A led on it, and ther e was a lot of internal discussion a bout w ho the members of the consortium should be , and the view was tak en tha t the bid might ha ve a greater cr edibility if ther e was a partner lik e Ha y involved. (DS) Her e then is a non-departmental a gency, a DfES-esta blished limited compan y, a major interna tional mana gement consultancy , a not-f or-pr ofit compan y and a pub lic university working to gether under contr act to deli ver a government-funded pr ogramme for FE colleges , with cr edibility accruing to the bid b y private sector in volvement. In the backgr ound to this pr oject further structur al and policy changes in the sta tus of the major partner ar e in tr ain in this part of the educa tion services mar ket. On A pril 1st, LSD A is going to split into tw o or ganisa tions. One is the Quality Impr ovement Agency [QIA], w hich will have a str ategic commissioning r ole for quality impr ovement acr oss the post-16 sector . The other organisa tion will be the Learning Skills Netw ork [LSN], which will be a


Scale and scope: education is big business delivery or ganisa tion pur ely. And the QIA will go to Co ventry f or its headquarters; and the r ole of the Standar ds Unit will become , I think, slightly downsized and distanced. No w, why tha t is inter esting is tha t, although a t the moment y ou could sa y tha t CEL and Ha y, and LSD A to some extent, ar e direct competitors in the sense tha t they could all bid potentiall y for the same gr ant funding, f or the same pr ojects, after A pril tha t competition will become e ven mor e acute, because LSN will be on its own and it’ll ha ve to gain the totality of its income fr om successfull y bidding for pr ojects and acti vities. (DS)

Pub lic sector or ganisa tions ar e positioned sometimes as clients , sometimes as partners and sometimes as competitors of pri vate sector or ganisa tions. While Prospects or T ribal ma y at times ha ve direct client r elationships with schools in pr oviding CPD or school impr ovement services , they also act as inspectors and as a gents of the sta te in other w ays at other times (although not with the same schools). W ith LEAs they ma y replace ‘failing’ services or act as partners in joint v entur es. In some cases , like tha t of Atkins in Southw ark, a compan y may run LEA services and sell its impr ovement and support ‘pr oducts’ to LEA schools – as LEAs do themselves. Accountancy companies ar e awarded contr acts b y centr al government to write contr acts for and r eview LEA services , and ar e commissioned to pr ovide ‘independent’ e valua tions of go vernment pr ogrammes. Again the infr astructur e of the sta te and the meanings of the sta te and pub lic sector ar e being r e-worked, boundaries ar e shifted and r elationships ar e reconstituted. To ad d to this , voluntary sector or ganisa tions and think tanks (IPPR, SMF, ASI) and some pr ofessional associa tions also tender f or contr acts and other services . Ther e are also inter mediary or linka ge organisa tions w hich anima te and facilita te such r elationships (see Bo x 3.13). But r elationships within the ESI betw een the di fferent types of pla yers ar e not al ways amicable. The pri vate pr oviders talk ed about “unfair competition” (BH, Mouchel) and “in fluence and cr oss-subsid y”. No w we came acr oss this first, bef ore these UK mar kets were developed at all and w e found ourselv es in the ear ly 90s competing with the British Council, and the British Council w as an e xtremely dishonest competitor , in those da ys . . . and I r ecall ther e were thr ee bidders typicall y for OD A contr acts, CEC , which is the o verseas bit of CEA, and ourselv es, and sometimes w e’re talking a bout countries w here the British Council r epresenta tive was actuall y an embassy o fficial, where they would try and get the ambassador or high commissioner to pitch in on their behalf , where they would use their o verheads w hich were taxpa yer-funded o verheads , to steal a mar ch on independent or ganisa tions. (NM, CfBT)

Scale and scope: education is big business


Box 3.13 Partnerships and lead or ganisa tions Partnership f or Schools is a non-departmental pub lic bod y (NDPB), wholly owned b y the Department f or Educa tion and Skills , but jointl y mana ged by the DfES and P artnerships UK (PUK) under the ter ms of a joint v entur e agreement. PUK w as for med in 2000 as a joint v entur e between the T reasury and the pri vate sector and w orks to pr ovide ‘strategic support to pub lic bodies, sharing r esponsibility f or deli vering successful PFI/PPP solutions, from the a ppointment and mana gement of ad visers to the scoping, development, tr oub leshooting and negotia tion of v alue for money project’. It also shar es risk b y investing its o wn capital in pr ojects (PUK website). PUK is no longer listed on the go vernment’s r egister of its agencies.

Another r espondent e xplained tha t: the BSF fr amework run b y Partnerships f or Schools [PfS], nothing comes out of tha t; it’s a complete and utter w aste of time; it’s completel y stitched up and w e’re challenging them quite str ongly on this . They put us thr ough a pr ocess, and ther e’s no work tha t comes out of it. These di verse relationships and acti vities and the v arious h ybridities involved do discursi ve work within the pub lic sector in a v ariety of w ays, de-sta bilising and shifting identities and purposes and r equiring the de velopment of ne w kinds of skills and ca pabilities and r oles, and ma teriall y they create new incenti ves and demands .

The profit role The lar gely unspok en rationale w hich under lies political ar guments f or the superiority of pri vate sector pr ovision o ver the pub lic sector is the incenti ves and disciplines of pr ofit, and clear ly private pr oviders ar e drawn into pub lic services delivery by the lur e of pr ofit. Ho wever, not all pub lic sector work is profitable. In some ar eas of work the pr ofit mar gins ar e small, not all pub lic services businesses ar e profitable, and nor do all the generic mana gement services companies tha t have enter ed the educa tion b usiness come with str ong histories of pr ofitability. Construction and consultancy do deli ver consider able profits but several construction companies ha ve run into financial di fficulties. As noted alr eady, Nor d Anglia and T ribal issued pr ofits warnings in 2004–5. Jarvis has under gone r adical financial sur gery after taking on PFI commitments w hich they w ere una ble to finance and deli ver pr oper ly, causing delays and other pr oblems for their clients (see Cha pter 7). During 2002


Scale and scope: education is big business

Amey’s shar e price fell from 400p to 25p o wing to concerns o ver its PFI contr acts. In 2003 the compan y was acquir ed by Ferrovial Gr oup , a Spanish compan y, for £81 million ( http://www ws/story/ 20050130.1236.1.html ). Ho wever, Amey made pr e-tax pr ofits of £21.3 million in 2004 compar ed with a loss of £225 million in 2003, and b y 2005 had £104 million in vested in pub lic sector pr ojects running 11 pr ojects in educa tion, health and defence ( http://society .guar .uk/pri vatefinance/story/ 0,,670708,00.html ). HBS has e xperienced consistent pr e-tax losses r anging from £28.8 million in 2000–1 to £23.6 million on a turno ver of £120.7 million in 2003–4 (http://www .unison.or oba t/B985.pdf ). In other e xamples, online r ecruitment firm Eteach ‘lost near ly £1m after a year in w hich it w as criticised b y teachers f or failing to find them w ork’ (TES Cymru, 19 September 2005). A £125 million cut-back to Ne w Deal programmes in 2005 hit both colleges and tr aining companies; ‘R aj Doshi director and f ounder of 5E said his £2m funding f or running Ne w Deal programmes mostl y for r efugees and asylum-seek ers, is being r educed to a trickle’ (TES FE Focus, 16 September 2005, p . 3). Ther e are opportunities and uncertainties in policy-based funding and v aria tions in the financial and mana gerial competences of pri vate firms.

Conclusion This then is a schema tic cross-sectional account of the educa tion services industry in the UK. Some initial gener alisations can be a ttempted on the basis of this , but mor e detailed anal ytical work is done on the v arious sectors identi fied her e in the cha pters tha t follow. ‘Stories’ signalled her e will be filled out la ter. What we see here is a number of v ery different pri vatisations in volving very different kinds of r elationships with the pub lic sector. Very much a t the centr e of all this ther e is ‘the omnipr esence of the sta te’ (Leys 2001: 107) and the w ork of ‘smart go vernment’ (Br own et al. 2001: 241): the sta te as a mar ket-mak er, as initia tor of opportunities , as r e-modeller and moderniser . This is not the end of the sta te or of sta te educa tion b ut the beginnings , real and symbolic, of the emer gence of a di fferent kind of sta te and sta te educa tion and a di fferent kind of r elation betw een educa tion and the sta te (this is an issue I r eturn to in Cha pter 5). Her e privatisation is a policy tool in a number of w ays, with a v ariety of ends and purposes , not a gi ving up of capacity to mana ge social pr oblems and r espond to social needs b ut part of an ensemb le for inno vations, recalibr ations and ne w relationships and social partnerships . Ther e is a dr ama tic re-mar king of institutional and discursi ve boundaries . Ther e is both a ‘r e-scaling’ and a ‘desta talisa tion’ of pub lic services and a r e-alloca tion of tasks acr oss the pub lic/private divide (Jessop 2002: 199). Indeed the na tion sta te is no longer the a ppr opria te scale for conceptualising and r esearching educa tion policy or the deli very of na tional educa tional services – educa tion is a global b usiness. These de velopments reconstitute pub lic service delivery and the o wnership of pub lic sector assets

Scale and scope: education is big business


as separ ate from the r ole of the sta te as commissioner , contr actor , tar get setter and perf or mance monitor (see W hit field 2001) and r e-work new aspects of the pub lic sector as commodities , as legitima te objects of pr ofit-making, and r ecognise pr ofit as a major incenti ve for impr oving pub lic service efficiency. The entr epreneurial discourse is also dissemina ted thr ough pub lic sector organisa tions in the pr ocess of modernisa tion and pri vatisation. As se veral writers ha ve noted, ‘partnerships’ pla y an important part in this dissemination. Pub lic sector bodies ar e drawn into financial r elationships with the private sector b ut also r equir ed to act within the fr amework of mar ket pr oxies or m ust maintain their e xistence from earnings in the educa tion mar ket. It is important not to o ver-sta te the degr ee of or der and thought w hich goes into mar ket-making. Ther e are man y contr adictions within and betw een policies, and ga ps betw een rhetoric and pr actice. Within the enthusiasm f or privatisation ther e are also man y inconsistencies and e xperiments – ‘chance discourse , sear ch pr ocesses, policy tr ansfers and social struggles’ (J essop 2002: 135). Much of w hat we see here is pragmatic solutions to economic problems and funding pr oblems which dr aw upon a coincidence of inter ests but which ar e foster ed and inf or med b y heavy lobbying and other f or ms of influence. Ne w and esta blished pri vate pla yers ar e eager to push the boundaries of commodi fication further f orward – the r esour cefulness of ca pital (Leys 2001: 91)! These solutions and in fluences pla y their part in the r e-working of educa tion as a legitima te object of pr ofit and into a f or m which is contr actable and salea ble as local authorities ‘learn’ to ‘packa ge work appr opria te to the mar ket’ (http://www .dft.go oups/dft_contr ol/documents/ contentserv ertempla te/dft_inde x.hcst?n=16367&l=4 ). Clear ly business is enthusiastic a bout opportunities arising fr om and within policies b ut is not equall y enthusiastic a bout e very aspect of r efor m. The opportunities f or profit, the pr edicta bilities and risks di ffer. But incr easingly the pri vate sector is inside policy and inside the sta te bringing its inter ests and its discourse to bear and earning money fr om consultancies w hich r ecommend a gr eater r ole for the pri vate sector in the deli very of pub lic services – a closed cir cle of the obviousness within policy . Ther e is also consider able movement of personnel between the sta te and pri vate sector w hich facilita tes the flow of discourse as well as involving in some cases ‘b uying insider kno wledge’, as Allyson P ollack (2004) puts it. This is another dimension of the b lurring of pub lic/private boundaries and identities . It is a side-stepping of esta blished pr ocedur es and methods , in particular local authority democr acy and ci vil service bureaucr acy and their r eplacement with a di fferent set of r elationships and a different ethos , and a t the same time this is a means of achie ving a r efor m of local authorities and a r econfiguration of their r oles in and r elationships to service delivery. This is what Leys (2001: 63) calls the ‘inter connectedness of change’. A further inter-connected item on the a genda of educa tional modernisa tion is a r e-working of la bour r elations and conditions of emplo yment, and a


Scale and scope: education is big business

side-lining or constr aining of the r ole of tr ade unions – a pr ocess of flexibilisation and the intr oduction of ne w post-F ordist pr oduction nor ms. In a mor e general sense this constitutes part of a br eak-up of ‘collecti vist systems’ and the flexibilisation of the sta te, a mo ve away from structur es and b ureaucr acies to contr acts and mor e malleable and tempor ary r elationships dri ven by perfor mance and output monitoring and benchmar king, and to wards greater diversity and a ‘mix ed econom y of welfare’. The main ar eas of the mar ket within sta te educa tion ar e mar kedly regulated but ther e are a consider able number of ‘ethical slippa ges’ and pri vate sector inefficacies. Mor e and mor e areas of educa tion, pub lic and pri vate, ar e now subject to b usiness pr actices and financial lo gics, de-socialised and bought and sold as assets and made part of in vestment portf olios or generic services empir es. The possibilities of pri vatisation contin ually change and e xpand, and the r atcheting up of policy o ver time opens up mor e state educa tion services for pr ofit.


Economics and actors The social r elations of the ESI

In this cha pter I look inside the ESI b y focusing on the car eers and perspectives of a gr oup of k ey players, senior industry e xecutives – the ne w entr epreneurs. The account starts b y looking a t the mo vement of these actors from the pub lic to the pri vate sector and the emer gence of an ESI mar ket. This leads on to consider ation of v alues and the distinction, if ther e is one, between pub lic and pri vate sector v alues in the ESI. I tak e very seriousl y the failur es of the pub lic sector and the contrib utions of the pri vate sector to social justice and ar gue for the need to a void ethical simplicities . All of these illustr ate blurrings of di fferent kinds betw een the pub lic and pri vate sectors. The cha pter concludes b y looking a t the r elationships of these k ey actors to and in policy , as part of a ‘policy cr eation comm unity’, and the comple xities involved. P art of this participa tion in policy in volves the sear ch for ne w mar ket opportunities within pub lic sector pr ovision.

Market relations Mar kets ar e not just a bout the economics of pr ofit and loss; they ar e also a bout social r elations, about ‘socia bility, appr oval, sta tus and po wer’ (Gr ano vetter 1985: 506). They w ork in part b y virtue of trust and shar ed values – they ar e embed ded in social institutions and fr amed b y economic policy. As John K ay explains: ‘The comple x institutions of the mar ket economy developed lar gely without centr al dir ection and ar e constantl y evolving. Go vernment is an a gent in tha t evolution, not a b ystander , but go vernment cannot contr ol the pr ocess’ (2004: 240). Ho wever, the ESI is less embed ded than man y mar kets and mor e contr olled than most. It w as to a gr eat extent cr eated and is sustained b y deliber ation and planning b y the sta te – suppl y and demand ha ve been encour aged and facilita ted b y various policy mo ves and the e fforts of particular policy actors . On the other hand, the design and gr owth of the ES mar ket is also the outcome of the ongoing e fforts of ‘sellers’ in and ar ound v arious conte xts of policy to mak e their case and in fluence policy in their inter ests. The actors within this mar ket, buyers and sellers , constitute a social netw ork of policy and economic acti vity (see Figur es 5.1 and 5.2), although as w e have seen


Economics and actors

this simple binary of mar ket relations is totall y inadequa te as a w ay of thinking a bout the structur e of the ESI. Ther e is an interpla y of and flows between the v arious sides of the mar ket – blurrings and boundary r econstitutions – and interpersonal histories and r elationships ar e important to ho w the mar ket works and ho w it is evolving. Such histories and r elationships play their part inside the comple x anon ymity of the sta te in most ar enas of economic policy b ut for various r easons they ar e relatively mor e visible in relation to the ESI, and m y intervie ws thr ow further light on aspects of them. This cha pter looks a t the car eers of one v ery specific group of actors within the ESI, ‘ne w entr epreneurs’, most of w hom spent long periods in b ut ha ve moved from the pub lic sector, at their entry into the industry , at their moti vations and v alues, and a t their actions in r elation to one another and to the state. They ar e mostl y men, they ar e white and they mo ved from senior positions within the pub lic sector. Their v alues r eflect their positioning within the pub lic sector. I am aiming f or a r elatively ‘thick’ account of these actors in ter ms of their di verse and comple x moti vations, rather than carica tur e them as rapacious ca pitalists . In a sense they inha bit ne w and virtuous subject positions pr oduced within the discourses of pub lic sector r efor m and go vernmentality b ut they ar e also indi viduall y very acti ve in seizing or f orging new career opportunities . I focus speci fically here on the contr act and services sectors of the industry and mainl y a group of companies tha t ar e ‘in the business of educa tion’ r ather than in the b usiness of ‘selling services into the educa tion sector’ as one r espondent put it. F or simplicity her e I refer to them as educa tion b usinesses. I look, thr ough the perspecti ves of these pla yers, at the risks , difficulties and opportunities of the ESI and the w ay in which business follows policy and some of the particular w ays of working and buyer/seller r elations tha t pertain.

The new entrepreneurs The striking and v ery important point a bout the ‘educa tion b usinesses’ at this point in time is tha t most ar e run and mana ged and in se veral cases were created b y ex-pub lic sector workers who held senior positions in local authority educa tional b ureaucr acies (see Table 4.1), most of w hom had w orked for several local authorities and had long pub lic sector car eers. Further mor e, the overwhelming majority of the w ork done b y these b usinesses is carried out b y other e x-pub lic sector workers. “We are recycling the same people in di fferent roles”, as one person put it (see T able 4.2). This is pri vatisation of a v ery particular kind. In thr ee senses the mo vement of this bod y of expertise and of values fr om the pub lic to the pri vate sector is the r esult or e ffect of policy. First, to v arying degr ees these senior figures were increasingly aliena ted fr om their w ork in the pub lic sector in part as a r esult of the impact of r efor m and ‘modernisa tion’ and in part because of some of the pr actices to w hich refor ms were addressed. They spok e about being “stuck in the tr eacle” (R G),

Economics and actors


getting “free from an in flexible bureaucr acy” (PL) and “banging a gainst the sides of the ca ge” (DM). (See Ne wman 2005 f or an account of some of the frustr ations and possibilities and e xcitements of pub lic sector r efor m.) Second, a fe w saw their car eers dir ectly thr eatened or disrupted b y refor m. “Mrs Tha tcher a bolished m y old or ganisa tion. I tr eated it as a sign” (DF). Their jobs w ere privatised or de volved from under them. Also they w ere experiencing a pub lic sector in w hich esta blished values were being displaced (P ollack 2004: ix) and in w hich for ms of ne w pub lic mana gement were already in place, although some of them w ere agents of this displacement. Thir d, several also spok e about the w ays in which their e xperiences of refor m while in the pub lic sector had stim ulated or r equir ed them to tak e an inter est in r elationships with the pri vate sector or in w orking in ne w, mor e entr epreneurial w ays. Policies provide conte xts and possibilities w hich can be ‘taken up’ entr epreneuriall y, and as w e shall see these actors see no inher ent incompa tibility betw een the lo gic of business and the lo gic of educa tion. So by 1992, confr onted with making 87 sta ff redundant, w e were appr oached b y one of the members fr om the council and said “Look, you could run it as a b usiness.” And so w e did, for a couple of y ears with the support of the LEA, and then became completel y nil net and cash generative. (Calvin Pik e) Baker [Conserv ative Secretary of Sta te for Educa tion] got behind the LMS [Local Mana gement of Schools] mo vement in Cambridgeshir e, where it did ha ve party support and w as going gr eat guns , except tha t Cambridgeshir e got some what bor ed with being the ma gnet for everybod y from all o ver the country , and indeed interna tionall y . . . Brian Smith w as pr etty passiona te about it as w as I and took ear ly retirement and set up CEA with a vie w to pr opa gating LMS . (DF) I spent a fair amount of time thr oughout m y career working a t educa tion–b usiness partnerships with local tr aining enterprise councils and tha t sort of thing. And in the ar ea of school support services and local educa tion authority support services , during the la tter part of the 90s , things r eally began to ha ppen. A n umber of companies set themselv es up, focused in tha t ar ea. (DM) . . . at that stage when I w as working in a local authority I had an opportunity to tak e the service tha t I was running so tha t it oper ated a t ar m’s length fr om the local authority . And tha t gave me a little bit of a taste f or getting in volved in running a b usiness . . . I’d always had


Economics and actors small b usiness side-lines m yself anyway, so when the opportunity came with the pri vatisation of the car eers services in the ear ly 90s I mo ved out of local authorities a t tha t point and started up Pr ospects. (RA)

A par ado x tha t is evident running thr ough these personal histories is tha t a number of initia tives tha t were later tak en up centr ally and na tionall y as part of the modernisa tion of educa tion had their origins within speci fic local authorities . Indeed, these initia tives were concentr ated in a small n umber of authorities , some of w hich also pr ovided k ey personnel in the ‘educa tion b usinesses’ (e.g. Essex, Surr ey, Cambridgeshir e and Bedf ordshir e – see Cha pter 5 on partnerships). The shift in 1992 a way from HMI and local authority inspection systems to contr acted-out Ofsted inspections w as also a key push–pull factor as e xisting local authority posts w ere extinguished and new commer cial opportunities cr eated. Several LEA IT C support and educational softw are development units w ere also ‘levered’ out of the pub lic sector a t this point (e .g. Inclusi ve Technolo gy, a compan y with an ann ual turno ver of almost £5 million, e volved a r egional Special Educa tion Media Resour ce Centr e). In e ffect the ne w private pr oviders enact a v ersion of Ne w Labour’s ‘enterprise her oism’: they tak e up a visionary , risky and enterprising position within educa tional r efor m and tr ansfor mation in r elation to b ut outside of the pub lic sector. Thus , some of these k ey actors w ere ‘self-starters’. Others w ere headhunted or ha ving ‘exhausted’ their car eers in a contr acting pub lic sector w ere looking for ne w challenges or in some cases an esca pe from what they sa w as the frustr ations of local authority politics . Several talk ed about the mo ve from pub lic to pri vate as a liber ation: it’s part of a w hole life decision. P eople mo ving from headship to consultancies , saying “You’ll be liber ated. It’s a hell of a step . You’ll feel liberated.” I had an o ffer of a job fr om Tribal Educa tion. And I kno w John Simpson w ell and, if I w as going to mak e the mo ve and it w as into the pri vate sector, I would ha ve to work for a compan y whose ethics I admir ed. (RG) I saw it from the kind of politics , pub lic policy, professional angle , and got to the point w here my career had tak en me to the Deputy Chief Executive of West London T ech in ear ly 2000, and I w as really confronted with a car eer challenge , in tha t I could contin ue doing the job tha t I was going to do , and I w as in m y early forties a t this point, b ut I couldn’t r eally see my career pr ogressing much further . (VF) I could see mor e opportunity f or making a di fference for kids a t school

Economics and actors


level than I could in m y previous r ole, which was too m uch caught up in the politics and b ureaucr acy of educa tion. (PL) Existing social and pr ofessional netw orks and w orking r elationships w ere often crucial in pr oviding opportunities or enticements f or the mo ve between sectors. Having been ar ound the place f or a bit, ha ving done a fair amount of stu ff nationall y, one or tw o of them talk ed to me a bout going and working for them. And I joined one compan y, Amey, thr ee or so y ears ago no w. (DM) And e verybod y, all of us , have been headhunted lots of times o ver the recent period. (ES) We worked to gether looking a t failing schools and he mo ved into Ca pita and he ga ve me a tug basicall y and said do y ou fancy coming along? (PD) The tw o exceptions in T able 4.1 ar e Nick Blackw ell of Cocentr a and Gr aham W alker of Eduno va, whose backgr ounds ar e in banking and accountancy r espectively. But both account f or their ‘in vestment’ in the b usiness of educa tion as m uch in ter ms of commitments to educa tion as in ter ms of financial opportunity . Ther e have also been a n umber of high-pr ofile defectors fr om the pub lic to the pri vate sector (see T able 4.3). The leadership of and use of sta ff with signi ficant pub lic sector e xpertise is of consider able importance to the educa tion b usinesses. This expertise in man y cases was accrued thr ough the implementa tion of r efor ms: “we’ve got 2,000 years of school-facing educa tional support; all of our sta ff are ex-LEA with huge longe vity” (PD). These ar e pub lic sector actors w ho survi ved and thri ved thr ough the pr ocess of r efor m. This pla ys a part in the w ay in which they pr esent and mar ket themselv es to potential clients . The r ecruitment of sta ff, ‘consultants’ they ar e usuall y called, is also overwhelming fr om the pub lic sector. Most companies ha ve a cor e sta ff of full-time emplo yees and contr act workers, who ma y work for mor e than one compan y. Man y of the la tter ar e senior figures who ha ve retired from pub lic sector positions . (DF) We tak e largely people w ho’ve been ther e and done it – not a t the end of


Economics and actors

Table 4.1 Key actors in the ESI Company

Previous employment

Ian Harrison David McGahey*

Capita VT Educa tion and Skills

Der ek Foreman*

CEA/Mott MacDonald CEA/Mott MacDonald Tribal

Dir ector of Educa tion, Ne wham Dir ector of Educa tion, Buckinghamshir e; ‘moved in 2005 to become a P olitical Consultant with Politics Interna tional headed b y for mer Conserv ative political ad viser Andr ew Dunlop’ (http://www each_ london.htm ) and r eplaced b y Simon W hitey who ‘has spent the past thr ee years in the centr al Business De velopment function and will also be able to a pply his pr evious experience heading up Fla gship Training to the important educa tion b usiness’ (VT Staff Magazine, http:// e/VTiwinter0506.pdf ) Deputy Dir ector, ILEA

Brian Smith John Simpson* Bob Ho gg* Peter Dunne* John Tizar d Elaine Simpson* Neil McIntosh* Ray Auvray* Paul Lincoln*

Mouchel Parkman HBS

Capita Serco CfBT Prospects Edison Schools UK John J asper Capita/HBS Nick Blackw ell* Cocentr a (Jarvis) Gr aham McA voy* Alligan Consulting Gr aham W alker* Eduno va

Deputy Dir ector of Educa tion, Cambridgeshir e Dir ector of Educa tion, Br ent and North-East Somerset Head of special school; Inspector , ILEA; Executive Dir ector, Educa tion Southampton School deputy , Head of Bedf ordshir e Teaching Media R esour ce Service CEO , Bedfordshir e Dir ector of Educa tion, Sefton Dir ector of Shelter Educa tion Dir ector ate, Haringey CEO , Essex Deputy Chief Ex ecutive, Warwickshir e HSBC Bank LEAs; DES; BTEC; FE colleges Accountant and mana gement consultant, Ca p Gemini

* indica tes intervie wee

their car eers, usuall y mid-car eer, very successful – we pay them a lot of money, and w e expect them to do a r eally good job f or our clients . And we’ve now got a bout 50 people . I think the consultancy b usiness will turn over about 5 or 6 million this y ear. (BH)

Economics and actors


Table 4.2 Other actors – e xamples Company

Previous employment

Robin Gilderslee ve* Calvin Pik e Sally Withington Ken Ball


Head of Nailsea School

PRK Mouchel P arkman Mouchel P arkman

Sylvia Richar dson Peter Dougill*


John T urner Peter Sharp

Mouchel P arkman Mouchel P arkman

Bob Hart and Car ole Fletcher Vic Fairlie*

Dir ectors of Intuiti ve Media Capital

Paul Br ett


Steve Clar ke Martin Crib b

VT4S Capita

John Haslett

Tribal (KPMG , CfBT, PPI) IdeA Str ategic Adviser (Dir ector of Capita Educa tional Services) Chief Educa tion Officer, Co gnita Tribal

Inspector , Bromley ADSI, Slough and A udit Commission Chief Ex ecutive, Na tional Associa tion of Gifted Childr en Headteacher ; Adviser; Chief Inspector , Cambridge Ofsted; DfES (no w Chief Inspector f or Wands worth) DfES; SEU Ad viser Principal Educa tional Psy cholo gist, Southampton Respectively IT Ad viser for She ffield and primary Headteacher Deputy Chief Ex ecutive, West London Tech Strategic Dir ector of Educa tion, Bedfordshir e Deputy Dir ector of Educa tion, Surr ey Deputy Dir ector of Educa tion, T ower Hamlets Deputy Dir ector, LEA

Paul R oberts

Jim Hudson Gary W illiams


Dir ector of Educa tion, Nottingham City; teacher

Headteacher , Two Mile Ash Mid dle School Chief Ex ecutive, Sherwood and W eston FE Colleges; Ex ecutive Dir ector, LSC, Wiltshir e

* indica tes intervie wee

In our compan y we’ve been, betw een us, dir ectors of educa tion of proba bly ten local authorities – in T ribal Educa tion, betw een some of our senior sta ff. We’ve got a gr oup of college principals w ho’ve been a t the centr e of the college principal mar ket. We’ve got loads of headteachers w ho’ve served in SHA [Secondary Headteachers’ Associa tion]. (JS)


Economics and actors

Table 4.3 Pub lic-to-pri vate sector mo ves Company

Previous employment

Michael Barber


Mik e Tomlinson Chris Woodhead Elizabeth Passmor e

GEMS Cognita GEMS (stepped do wn from Boar d, Ma y 2005) (and Go vernment Schools’ Adjudica tor) Bridgepoint Amey; Northumbrian Water Gr oup; GoAhead Gr oup (b uses and tr ains) Symbian Limited; Premier F arnell plc

Cabinet O ffice Standar ds and Effectiveness Unit/T reasury Deli very Unit Chief Inspector of Schools Chief Inspector of Schools Dir ector of Inspection a t Ofsted

Alan Milb urn Sir Patrick Brown

Sir Peter Gershon

Secretary of Sta te for Health Permanent Secr etary, Department of Transport (1991–7), closel y involved in privatising of tr ansport and w ater and the de velopment of PFI Chief Ex ecutive Office of Go vernment Commer ce

. . . it was very much working with and alongside people w ho were pretty much of the same outlook as I had, because they had been br ought out of local authorities . (PD) It is worth r eiterating tha t these actors ar e overwhelmingl y pub lic sector mana gers rather than fr ont-line pr ofessionals . Their identities , values and perspecti ves as pub lic sector workers were constructed within the particular positions they held and they ha ve particular w ays of ‘telling themselv es’ and their car eers and of accounting f or their pub lic-to-pri vate mo ve.

The value of values Such people pr ovide a kind of cr edibility and a kind of pr ofessional or mor al capital 1 and come with f or ms of expertise and e xperience tha t can be re-packa ged and sold back in the educa tion services mar ketplace to pub lic sector clients w ho ar e under v arious kinds of pr essure to outsour ce or seek external support. At the same time pr epar ation and tr aining costs ar e minimised. Skills and kno wledge built up in the pub lic sector ar e ‘cashed in’ in the pri vate. It is common pr actice to hir e sta ff in from the pub lic sector to fulfil specific contr acts: the London Bor ough of Haringey w hich contr acted with Ca pita to , essentially, provide it with a senior mana gement team of good-quality people

Economics and actors


who came out of a successful LEA, man y of them fr om Nottingham, and o ver the last thr ee years ha ve turned Haringey fr om a r eally very weak LEA into one tha t’s actuall y doing r eally quite w ell now. (DM) By recruiting fr om authorities w hich ha ve undertak en outsour cing, the education b usinesses ar e able to dr aw on the insider kno wledge and skills involved in the authority perspecti ve in such negotia tions, as well as acquiring a ‘believer’ who ma y convert others . Some, but not all, of w hat these companies sell is not ne w ideas or ne w ways of working which ar e drawn from outside the pub lic sector, but the r e-deplo yment of e ffective working practices alr eady evident in the pub lic sector, although the origins of these practices ma y lie elsewhere and the langua ge of change thr ough w hich they are expressed and legitima ted is based on r ecent de velopments in b usiness change mana gement (see Cha pter 6). Elaine Simpson, Dir ector of Childr en Services for Ser co and an e x-CEO , explained tha t Serco “had people to help with the change mana gement pr ocesses . . . you’d got all y our sort of e xperts in ho w to mak e change mana gement w ork”. W hat is offered by the educa tion businesses is ways of doing things di fferently but, in ter ms of cr edibility and history , not tha t di fferently. A part of the cr edibility, as seen b y pub lic sector clients and b y government, tha t is acquir ed from a history of pub lic service is values talk – an espousal of pub lic service values. In their pr omotional ma terials, their presenta tions of self , and enga gements with clients , these values ar e given consider able prominence: “Y ou can esta blish your cr edentials in the first four seconds” (PD). The deplo yment and commitment to pub lic service values serves to place the companies as not totall y outside of the pub lic sector, tha t is to position them as public service companies. The point a bout these educa tion b usinesses is tha t they should displa y and deli ver some of the qualities and char acteristics of the pri vate sector b ut not others – to be just di fferent enough. W e ‘combine pub lic sector v alues with high quality or ganisa tional and financial discipline’ (Pr ospects w ebsite). Ho wever, the elusi veness and insta bility of such v alues and their susceptibility to er osion and drift ha ve to be reiterated. Ha ydon (2004) mak es the point tha t ‘mor al environments’ ar e inevitably diverse and quotes Blackb urn’s (2001) comment tha t they ar e also ‘strangely invisible’. Claims to pub lic sector v alues ar e thus di fficult to pin down, wherever they ar e made. Nonetheless , the pub lic sector e x-pats ar e able to talk a langua ge tha t pub lic sector clients r ecognise and understand and feel comf orta ble with. Indeed f or particular tasks specialists ar e ‘bought in’ to stand f or and speak f or cr edibility in their ar eas of expertise. This is part of the w ork of promoting the b usiness. We brought Jim in as one of our consultants and all of a sud den we started to pick up w ork. It all had to be tender ed for b ut Jim can talk

94 Economics and actors their langua ge and deli vers well, and is highl y respected b y them. W e’ve built a little team ar ound him. But all the intervie wees made the point tha t their companies had to tr anslate langua ge into pr actice. They ha ve to ‘deliver’, to be as good as they claim: one of the things tha t I al ways talk a bout is or ganisa tions lik e ours ar e really good a t talking the talk; they emplo y people lik e me to do it. But mor e and mor e our futur e clients, when they’r e doing due diligence , want to see tha t talk being w alked. They w ant to talk to people w ho you’re working with; they w ant to get inside not just ho w well you’re doing b ut how you’re doing it, and w hat the na tur e of the partnership is . (BH) The netw orks of social r elations betw een the b usinesses also serv e to reinforce and sustain a v alues orienta tion (Gr ano vetter 1985: 496) and to distinguish these pub lic services companies fr om ‘outsiders’ (see Bo x 4.2). The Bannock Evaluation of News Ways of Working in Local Education Authorities (2003) noted tha t ‘maintaining the pub lic sector ethos w as adduced as a k ey argument a gainst outsour cing to pri vate pr oviders in man y of our discussions’ (p . 23). To the e xtent to w hich these companies can foreground their v alues commitments they ma y be able to assua ge the fears and concerns of the pub lic sector. An emphasis on v alues is also important in a ttr acting the ‘right’ people a way from the pub lic sector to work in the educa tion b usinesses. These people see themselv es as being able to carry their v alues with them acr oss the pub lic/private boundary . The pr eponder ance of e x-pub lic sector workers creates and maintains a particular v alues vocabulary and, ar guably, a particular ‘ethical en vironment’ (Ha ydon 2004), although a pr oper understanding of ethical pr actice and the interpla y of business imper atives with ‘pub lic sector’ values or the reconte xtualisa tion of pub lic sector v alues within b usinesses would r equir e further , mor e focused r esearch. 2 Clear ly though, the leading actors within these companies ar e able to esta blish and maintain a langua ge of principles which mak es recruits fr om the pub lic sector feel ‘comforta ble’ although as the pub lic sector itself becomes mor e ‘business-like’ the potential f or discrepancies ma y be reducing as pub lic sector v alues themselv es shift. Maesschalk (2004: 465) ar gues tha t research sho ws tha t NPM (Ne w Pub lic Mana gement) br ought a bout ‘a signi ficant shift in pub lic service ethical standar ds’ and a ne w kind of ‘mor al mindset’ (p . 466). Perha ps ther e is a kind of con vergence. The onl y way I thought I could do the job is if I w orked for an or ganisa tion tha t shar ed pub lic sector v alues, principles and had similar w ays of working. And in fairness they do , largely because their , 95 per cent of

Economics and actors 95 their, work was with the pub lic sector. And I think I’d r eally struggle if those v alues and principles and w ays of working weren’t ther e. (BH) And since then w e’ve grown from nothing. No w just our educa tion business has got the best part of near ly 500 sta ff in it and a turno ver of 45 millionish. And, y ou kno w, I think w e’ve created an or ganisa tion which people seem to lik e to join and w ork for. (JS) Even in the lar ger mana gement services companies the educa tion di visions appear to ha ve their o wn cultur e: “Ca pita SES w as a kind of island . . . they’d sort of talk a bout y our tar gets . . . then w ent away again.” One r espondent talk ed about cr eating in his compan y “a setting in w hich pub lic sector pr ofessionals feel comf orta ble . . . So our ethos is actuall y very, very important to us. In tha t aspect it does go vern the calibr e of the people tha t we get in” (RA). Virtuall y, well, certainl y, all our consultant sta ff are from the pub lic sector. It’s something tha t we think a ttr acts people to come and w ork for us and potentiall y seems to be a ttr active to our clients if y ou look a t our growth. 3 (JS) It was tied in v ery much with our v alues, tha t we are not simpl y about maximising pr ofit but we also felt w e wanted to do some inter esting things in educa tion using the fr eedom of our position to do so . And our compan y ethos has al ways been tha t we achieve mor e by working with rather than simpl y decrying and sa ying onl y the pri vate sector can deli ver this efficiently, because it’s just manifestl y not true . (RA) These then ar e not people or companies tha t ar e anta gonistic to wards the pub lic sector – and indeed such a stance w ould be commer cially untena ble. They do not see themselv es as turning their backs on pub lic sector v alues but r ather ar e adamant tha t they ar e able to maintain and pursue their v alues within the pri vate sector conte xt. But this is not simpl y a ma tter of personal commitments; it is also a ma tter of b usiness sense. As public service companies, their b usiness is pr edominantl y working with pub lic sector clients . Ther e is a constant flow of infor mation ar ound the mar ketplace, and r eputa tion is a k ey resour ce and selling point in r enewing or obtaining ne w contr acts. Repeat business is absolutel y vital to financial via bility: at the end of the da y, I can ne ver a fford to clash with m y client. Ther e’ll be ar guments a bout perf or mance indica tors and so on, b ut a t the end of the da y all tha t Ofsted or Surr ey or the LSC has to do is sa y, “Go a way.


Economics and actors Box 4.1 Values in pr actice One of the pr oblems with r esearch of the kind r eported her e is timing. The ESI ma y be entering a mor e ‘matur e’ phase b ut the b usiness is still developing. Ther e is scepticism and a t times r esistance to o vercome in the media, among politicians and in the pub lic sector itself . Part of the work of these b usinesses at this sta ge in their de velopment is b uilding trust and furthering ‘institutional thickness’ (Admin and Thrift (1995) in Jessop 2002: 241). This is a kind of social ca pital b uilding, de veloping social r elationships w hich can be used as a basis f or further in volvements, a social fr amework for mar ket relations. Ther e are a number of tactics in volved her e in establishing good will and assua ging doubts and fears . No w, we spent a lot – w hen I first came w e spent a lot of meetings sitting r ound with the councillors discussing the tar gets and w hat size they were. And actuall y you were expending a lot of ener gy on something tha t wasn’t actuall y impr oving things . Target setting is a waste of time; it’s tar get getting tha t’s where you’re really working. So Da vid and I had a cha t about it. And he said, “W ell, look, I’ll get a commitment fr om the council tha t if we’re paying you an y bon uses we’ll throw them back into educa tion.” And I said, “Well, I’ll give the same commitment f or Ser co then.” And we sat ther e in a meeting and announced tha t to the scrutin y and o verview group and they fell o ver. And sud denly, where ther e had been a distrust I think of the pri vate sector, tha t was reduced hugely by tha t agreement. And w e had to pa y a small penalty last year, which we used to b uy laptops f or all the look ed-after childr en. (ES) We can tak e a cynical or positi ve view of such beha viour – let’s tak e a cynical vie w for a moment. This is a phase , part of mar ketbuilding, esta blishing inr oads f or mor e work, then they could use tha t as a sort of pla tfor m for learning ho w to do other things in other schools . (ESt) The companies seek to esta blish and maintain cr edibility with departments and o fficials in others w ays, thr ough such ‘positional in vestments’ for example: “It w as quite clear to me tha t we wouldn’t mak e any money out of it b ut equall y if we could do a r easona ble job ther e then we’d earn a fair n umber of smarty points with the DfES” (DF).

Economics and actors


One of the things tha t has become a ppar ent to me with these local authorities contr acts is tha t most of the account contr actors – Atkins is an e xception – r egard them as kind of loss leaders , tha t they actuall y didn’t e xpect to mak e money, or m uch money , out of them, tha t they sa w it as a step to wards what might be a m uch bigger mar ket and no w they’re all a bit upset tha t ther e isn’t one. (PDg) GEMS is lik ely to sponsor tw o of the go vernment’s city Academies . Though it sa ys tha t its inter est is philanthr opic, the compan y’s schools dir ector has admitted tha t running Academies will help to establish the compan y’s brand. (http://www .gemseduca server.php?sho w=ConW ebDoc.958&vie wPage=1 ) Hall and Lubina (2004: 269) mak e the point tha t contr act negotia tion is a dynamic pr ocess and in their r esearch on the pri vatisation of pub lic utilities found companies ‘submitting loss leaders or unr ealistic bids , in the expecta tion of la ter up wards revision’. Eduno va’s work in South Africa is not-f or-pr ofit. Educa tion Leeds is run as a not-f or pr ofit compan y by Capita. Ther e may be elements her e of what Leys (2001: 83–4) calls ‘walk-in ethics’. Loss leaders can ‘be r epresented as a “success story” and serv e as an ar gument f or a wider opening-up to mar ket forces’ and once the new mar kets ar e thor oughl y penetr ated then the cr edibility beha viours will disappear . Less cynicall y we may see these instances as e xamples of a ne w kind of Thir d Way, hybrid ca pitalism, as alr eady outlined. Certainl y some of these educa tion b usinesses oper ate financiall y, and in ter ms of working pr actices and w orking conditions , in ways which are atypical. We don’t w ant to contr act with y ou an y mor e.” I’m not in a position, as Atkins ar guably did in Southw ark, tha t I can conclude this is too difficult, I don’t w ant to do it an y mor e, and in e ffect walk away from it. At the end of the da y, in ter ms of r elative power in a r elationship , the client has got the gr eater po wer than the contr actor . (DM) In ter ms of cr edibility and w hat they can o ffer to pub lic sector or ganisa tions, these companies w ere also k een to distinguish betw een service impr ovements and cost-cutting, tha t is betw een a substanti ve appr oach to educa tional


Economics and actors

issues and e ffectiveness and a b usiness or b udgetary a ppr oach in ter ms of simple efficiencies. “All of those things help in ter ms of cr edibility. Because, you kno w, tha t’s what people r eally want. Most LEAs , they don’t w ant costcutting. They w ant to deli ver” (PD). This is also r eflected in the shift of emphasis fr om ‘cost’ in CCT to ‘quality’ in Best V alue assessments . Thus , reputa tional risks ar e avoided: “our most pr ecious thing, especiall y as a gr owing compan y, is our r eputa tion. So w e don’t w ant to do an ything tha t messes up our r eputa tion” (JS). Der ek Foreman e xplained: “w hat we want to do is to demonstr ate tha t you don’t ha ve to be pub lic sector to deli ver a pub lic sector ethos and tha t’s what we try to r emain true to”. He w ent on to sa y: “then y ou earn r espect, pr ofessional r espect, and people use y ou a gain. It’s not tha t big a mar ket. You couldn’t come in and r aid, e ven if you wanted to , and e xpect then to ha ve a contin uing b usiness.” We “need to be cleaner than clean to get and k eep business. Anything else would be ‘just b usiness suicide’ ”(JS).

Box 4.2 Glossing di fferences I am not w anting to suggest tha t all these actors tak e up exactly similar values positions within the pri vate sector . Their r oles and r esponsibilities di ffer, as do the particular cultur es of their or ganisa tions. For example, one r espondent w as adamant: “I don’t gi ve a bugger a bout selling; I can’t get enthused or e xcited or inter ested.” In contr ast another e xplained: “I mean tha t’s what I do f or a li ving, basicall y. I mar ket-mak e. And part of tha t is about fr onting the r elationship with centr al and local go vernment, not just ar ound educa tion b ut ar ound all the softer people’s services .” Ther e are different r oles and r esponsibilities and kinds of e xpertise in volved her e. Someone has to write the contr act bids , mak e the pr esenta tions to clients and ‘talk up’ the compan y’s services. Financial via bility depends on a contin uing flow of new business and ne w business ideas . While pr ofit remains ‘the bottom line’ for the survi val of these companies , the r elationship betw een pr ofit and values her e is not str aightf orward. Values ar e not an ad d-on or an afterthought. Ther e is a particular kind of embeddedness (Gr ano vetter 1985) tha t pertains her e. Economic tr ansactions tak e place within a framework of personal r elations w hich values a v ariety of goals and purposes – not just pr ofit. This is also a self-sustaining comm unity in the sense tha t people carry v alues back and f orward acr oss the sectors , and ‘social relations betw een firms’ (Gr ano vetter 1985: 497) maintain the values comm unity. Ho wever, I am not suggesting either tha t these key actors ar e una ffected b y economic demands and moti ves, or tha t these other moti ves are not carried into their enga gements with the pub lic sector. Nonetheless , ther e was a str ong sense of a ‘comm unity of practice’ across the intervie ws, tha t is a clear sense among themselv es of the boundaries and di fferences betw een insiders and outsiders , and

Economics and actors


the members ar e ‘infor mally bound b y what they do to gether’ (Wenger 1998: 3) and use a common linguistic r epertoir e. Ther e was a distinction drawn betw een the ‘slick’ newcomers and the pub lic service companies . One r espondent r eferred back to his LEA da ys to exemplify this contr ast: I did a gr oup schools contr act out w hen I w as ther e. [The contr actor] came in, and they w ere dreadful. And it w as a b unch of slick people w ho just pick ed something o ff the shelf and said, “Look, you kno w, we’re the biggest pr ovider and w e do it f or everybod y. Why do you possib ly want to go some where else?” Like other ‘comm unities of pr actice’ this one w orks ‘across compan y boundaries’ (W enger 1998: 4) and ‘it de fines itself in the doing, as members de velop among themselv es their o wn understanding of w hat their pr actice is about’ (p . 5). It is a ‘home f or identities’ (p . 9), it ‘stewards competencies’ (p . 8) and it is a netw ork thr ough w hich to ‘e xchange and interpr et infor mation’ and ‘shar e learning and inter est’ (p. 8). One respondent e xplained tha t: “ther e’s a very clear distinction betw een selling services into the educa tion sector and calling y ourself an educa tion b usiness, and being in the educa tion b usiness. You kno w, our business is educa tion.” As a gainst this , the pr ocesses of expansion, acquisition and mer ger ar e likely to dilute this speci ficity over time and ma y mean a gr eater r eliance on generic ‘solutions’. These ar e businesses; they w ork within the disciplines of competition and pr ofit. Pub lic sector v alues ma y be carried acr oss but ne w values and a new cultur e do ha ve to be learned b y those w ho cr oss the pub lic–private boundary , even if in a n umber of cases the scale of the enterprise they are joining is mor e modest than tha t of their pr evious emplo yment. Cultur e shock – I personall y moved from a £250 million b udget, 10,000 sta ff, incredibly multidisciplinary , largely relating to a political bod y, to something tha t was turning o ver then a bout £70 million, had a bout 1,000 sta ff, was lar gely engineering. I had no soulma te, and w as not politicall y driven but look ed for quick results. And I got suck ed into things lik e flota tion and mer ger and acquisitions and things tha t I kne w about fr om ha ving been a b usiness studies student, b ut had no idea w hat they felt lik e on the inside. So I needed cr ampons f or the learning curv e. (BH)

We could perha ps then think of these as Thir d Way companies and Thir d actors , hybrid or composite social subjects w ho r epresent a mix of entr epreneurism and pub lic services values. These actors embod y a blurring of


Economics and actors

positions , langua ges and perha ps ethics. The langua ge of the pub lic sector is appr opria ted b ut also r econte xtualised and mer ged with the r egister of the private sector . Ther e are dual commitments in pla y, to impr oving educa tion and social justice and to the inter ests of their b usiness. Brereton and T emple (1999: 455) refer to this as ‘a synthesis of pub lic and pri vate sector ethics’ – a two-way process – and the emer gence of a ‘ne w pub lic service ethos’, which for them r ests on ‘a mo ve from seeing the pub lic as a client/supplicant to one of seeing them as a consumer/pur chaser’ (p. 471) and an ‘outcome-oriented service ethos’. Both aspects w ere significant in the w ay the pri vate pr oviders talk ed about their w ork, although the client w as in some cases ‘the pub lic’ and in other cases the pub lic sector itself . Some r espondents distinguished betw een the pub lic and the pub lic sector and vie wed their purpose as being to ad dress the needs of learners w ho had been failed b y the pub lic sector. One talk ed about “sta ying focused on w hat you’re actuall y doing, w hich is about pr oviding for the kids” (DF); and another said: “m y position is kids deserv e much better than this” (BH). Again this ma y be a for m of mor al accounting b ut also points to the need to separ ate o ff individual fr om corpor ate moti ves. The pr ofit-seeking of companies as financial entities does not tr ansla te dir ectly into the v alues of individual emplo yees but the mor e senior the emplo yee the mor e immedia te are the financial pr essures. The mor al and ethical comple xities her e have to be tak en seriousl y. The pub lic sector does not ha ve an automa tic monopol y of positi ve values commitments . In r elation to the educa tion b usinesses, what we see here perha ps is a version of w hat Sellers (2003) calls ‘pub licization’ wherein ‘companies ar e increasingly forced to modify their pr ocedur es and pr ocesses in or der to attr act, obtain and especiall y retain their contr acts’ (p. 607). Her e this is not so much a ma tter of being f orced; it is an anticipa tion of and ‘willing’ accommoda tion to aspects of pub lic service cultur e and pr ocedur es – what Woods et al. (forthcoming) call ‘an ada ptive pub lic service model’ – while nonetheless being clear a bout w hat is being o ffered by way of expertise and ‘mana ged change’. Ho wever, Sellers, writing a bout pri vate prisons in the

Box 4.3 Social justice Public pleasure over private regret And will companies rush to tak e on di fficult schools , when the possibility of high-pr ofile failur e is consider able? As John Simpson, director of educa tion a t Tribal, said: “R unning schools in potentially the most challenging cir cumstances seems to me to be a bout the best thing an y organisa tion can do in ter ms of social justice . . . But ther e are risks associa ted with such contr acts.” (Warwick Mansell, TES, 21 September 2001)

Economics and actors


US, sees ‘publicization’ as ha ving ‘a dampening impact upon the e xpected benefits of pri vatization” (2003: 618). Again all of this assumes tha t ther e is something clear and sta ble tha t is pub lic sector v alues and, as noted alr eady, in pr actice it is becoming incr easingly difficult to deter mine what we might mean b y ‘public service values’; such values ar e increasingly difficult to specify and ar e being shifted and r e-worked by endo genous and e xogenous ‘market’ influences.

Box 4.4 Private sector la bour mar kets As the ESI e volves and settles , so does its la bour mar ket. As well as movements betw een the pub lic and pri vate sectors , and back a gain, ther e is an incr easingly fluid ‘economy of expertise’ within the educa tion business sector . For example, Mar k Patterson, Ser co’s senior mana ger in Bradford LEA, mo ved to w ork for Ca pita na tional str ategies. The pub lic–private boundary itself is incr easingly por ous. Paul Br ett, w ho was the str ategic dir ector f or educa tion, took Bedfordshir e into partnership; as soon as the first part of the contr act was signed he then left and w ent to Ser co. And mo ved from Serco. He went ther e; he was ther e for a bout a y ear, heading up their educa tion di vision. And then mo ved to a compan y engaged in, as I understand it, y ou kno w, providing schools o verseas. Susan Shoesmith, an LEA chief o fficer emplo yed by Capita to run Haringey LEA, sta yed on w hen the services r eturned to the LEA. John Jasper – Chief Executive of Supporta plc John spent five years in local Go vernment as Deputy Chief Ex ecutive of Warwickshir e County Council bef ore joining Ca pita plc in 1987 establishing and mana ging Ca pita Mana ged Services. He was a member of the Gr oup boar d for six years. He subsequentl y joined Hyder Gr oup , establishing Hy der Business Services as a start up providing outsour cing services to the pub lic sector in 1999. At the time of his r etirement as Gr oup Chief Ex ecutive of HBS (f or merly Hyder Business Services) ear lier this y ear, HBS had gr own into a business with a turno ver of mor e than £150 million. J ohn is a member of the CBI Pub lic Services Strategy Boar d and is a fello w of the British Computer Society . (http://www .uk/a bout/boar d-of-dir ectors/ ) Given the y outh of the ESI, ther e are relatively few actors with a pr oven tr ack r ecord of success, particular ly in the mana gement of pr ojects and contr acts. This cr eates a mo vement of such people ar ound the industry .


Economics and actors

Ther e is also mobility pr oduced b y the winning and losing of particular contr acts of bodies of w ork. In r ecent weeks we’ve recruited k ey people fr om KPMG , HBS, Capita. So w e’re recruiting their dir ector-le vel people no w. And, you kno w, some people might sa y, well, are you getting the people who ar e most mar ginalised? Other people might sa y they’re leaving because they think it’s a better place to be her e. (JS) Gary Narunsk y, Chief Financial O fficer of GEMS , moved to the same position in Co gnita.

Blurred visions Following from the pr evious cha pter, one of the things I w ant to con vey here, which is de veloped further belo w, is tha t the f or ms of mar ketisation and privatisation w hich ar e manifest in pub lic sector educa tion ar e very diverse. A simple binary of mar ket (pri vate sector) and b ureaucr atic-pr ofessional (pub lic sector) for ms (with netw orks lying some where between the tw o) is of limited anal ytic value. Nor , as Clar ke (2004: 108) points out, is ther e any straightf orward historical sequence of the r eplacement of b ureaucr acy by mar kets. Her e blurring can r efer to a v ariety of le vels of anal ysis. I ha ve tried to demonstr ate alr eady tha t the ESI b usinesses di ffer among themselv es and indeed tha t the a gencies of the sta te, if we can call them tha t for con venience, are differently positioned, sometimes f or di fferent purposes , in r elation to the mar ket and the sta te. To tr eat the pri vate sector her e as of a piece , separ ate and di fferent fr om a unif or m pub lic sector, is unhelpful and untena ble. Let me suggest, a gain heuristicall y, tha t the binary of mar ket and b ureaucr acy can be re-thought as a contin uum and tha t di fferent or ganisa tions can be positioned differently along it. Nonetheless , in some cases this positioning is unsta ble. The or ganisa tions ar e sometimes mor e mar ket-like and sometimes less , some act sometimes v ery much lik e state agencies and sometimes less so and the systems of funding within w hich they w ork also change . Sometimes the di fferent players work to gether with shar ed goals, as in some partnerships . Figur e 4.1 is an a ttempt to ca ptur e some of the messy positioning and inter-pla y of bureaucr acies and mar kets on a contin uum of mar ketisation. All of these di fferent sorts of or ganisa tions enga ge at times in mar ket acti vities and act as though they w ere businesses and deri ve profit. Schools (lik e Ash Gr een Junior , Gr eensward, Dix ons CT C, Varndean, etc.) sell services and pr oducts to others . Colleges (like Richmond T ertiary and Manchester) tender f or and ha ve run prison educa tion and J obcentr e Plus pr ogrammes.

Economics and actors


Figure 4.1 A contin uum of mar ketisation.

QCA, LSD A and NCSL, as noted alr eady, compete f or go vernment contr acts in collabor ation with pri vate companies . PUK is a joint v entur e between the Treasury and pri vate companies . LEAs lik e Kno wsley (with Mouchel Parkman), Hampshir e and Surr ey (with VTES), Bir mingham (with Arthur Andersen) and Esse x (with W indsor and Co .) have engaged in commer cial joint v entur e activities. Uni versities like the IOE w ork with CEA and in partnerships lik e Teachers’ TV and lik e other HE institutions mar ket their services abroad as consultants; Brunel, Li verpool and the Uni versity of the West of England ar e Academ y sponsors with the pri vate sector . On the other hand, as noted alr eady, educa tion b usinesses undertak e pro bono and charitable work, tak e on loss-making contr acts, and enter into partnerships with pub lic sector bodies and sta te agencies. Her e even the distinction betw een exogenous and endo genous pri vatisation is too crude; ther e is an inter-w eaving of values, moti ves, relationships , methods and f or ms of exchange acr oss what was once a mor e discernib le pub lic–private divide.

An economy of policy As well as buying experience and e xpertise fr om the pub lic sector, these educa tion b usinesses ar e buying into or making use of esta blished social relationships . Thr ough their a ppointments they acquir e access to and b uild social netw orks of in fluence and inf or mation. In e ffect they ‘b uy’ personal relationships , and insider kno wledge and trust. The senior personnel in


Economics and actors

particular w ho run or w ork for these companies often ha ve long-standing relationships with go vernment departments and a gencies and esta blished personal cr edibility with ci vil servants and policy-mak ers. So we’ve got these links , so we kno w the people in DfES , so it’s not lik e we’re unkno wn to them as indi viduals . . . You kno w, I kno w people in the industry . You kno w, I kno w people in the TT A, I kno w people in Ofsted, just because I’v e always kno wn them, not because I kno w them now, because I’v e always kno wn them. (Intervie wee) Within and ar ound these r elationships , new kinds of policy netw orks ar e being for med (see Cha pter 5).

Box 4.5 School firms’ forte ‘is lob bying for work’ Private companies br ought in b y the go vernment to run educa tion owe their success to their skill a t lob bying ministers and ci vil servants r ather than an y evidence they can deli ver services better , a think tank a ffiliated to the La bour P arty ar gues toda y. (Guardian, 5 Ma y 2003) The common fea tur e of the companies in volved in the emer ging educa tion ‘mar ket’ is their prior e xperience of winning go vernment contr acts of v arious kinds e ven if the substanti ve business is new to them. (Crouch 2003)

These r elationships pr ovide opportunities to ‘cash in’ cr edibility and ‘talk up’ the educa tion b usiness, to pr esent ideas and lob by for work, and ar gue for extensions of the ar eas of enga gement of the pri vate sector in educa tion services and deli very. To some e xtent a t least policies ar e muta ble and malleable. The e xperimental sta tus of pri vatisation policies lends itself to e xtension or ela bor ation of ne w initia tives stemming fr om various sour ces and thus to new mar ket opportunities . Sometimes w hat is talk, w hat is lob bying and w hat is advice become b lurr ed. Tha t’s exactly my job. I’m working way ahead, trying to get go vernment policy to be mor e open than it curr ently is, to work with policy-mak ers in ter ms of sa ying ther e are different ways of doing things , to de velop contesta bility as a mor e universally applied concept and to ensur e tha t we’re well positioned to bene fit from tha t. (BH)

Economics and actors 105 So all the time I’m sa ying to di fferent people in go vernment, “By the w ay, we can do this; ar e you inter ested? We can do this; ar e you inter ested?” (JS) I am v ery acti ve in the CBI pri vate sector educa tion gr oup. And thr ough tha t we’ve met Stephen T wigg [Educa tion J unior Minister and Minister of Sta te 2002–5] to talk a bout the mar ket and w e’ve met others . (ES) We’re aligned with the CBI pub lic services group , with the Business Support Associa tion, Business Services Associa tion. I chair their educa tion and tr aining panel. And w e’re a recognised consultee [inaudib le] of the department. So w e have regular meetings with ci vil servants and ministers and so on, as do chief educa tion o fficers, as do b uilders and so on. (DM) These ongoing enga gements in and with the sta te also o ffer the possibility of seeing new policies ear ly and being a ble to pr epar e for the w ork of selling policy media tion or r elevant support services or tr aining to schools (see Cha pter 6) bef ore the policy is launched. As I ha ve already noted, and will do a gain, ne w policies ar e new business opportunities . You go along with the initia tives, so if beha viour is an issue then y ou tar get it a) because people car e about it b ut also ther e’s likely to be funding f or it either b y our go vernment or b y the schools themselv es, so the mar keting is not e xactly random. (DF) Mr Simpson talk ed excitedly about the opportunities cr eated b y the extr a Go vernment in vestment in computers , buildings and teachers’ professional de velopment, w hich were all pr edicted in the pa per [‘Schools achieving success’]. He welcomed the encour agement for schools to seek mana gement support. But none of these ar e new areas for pri vate involvement. (TES, 17 October 2003) Thr ough ongoing w ork and esta blished contacts these companies also ha ve relationships or partnerships with non-go vernmental a gencies and associations and or ganisa tions in volved in pub lic sector educa tion – N AGM, TT A, NCSL, N AHT , SHA, etc. – as w ell as uni versities. Income gener ation is increasingly important to pub lic sector and non-departmental or ganisa tions and associa tions. “So w e founded a school in peda gogic research with De Montf ort Uni versity, who ar e a teacher tr aining uni versity, and f ound tha t extremely useful, because w e brought academics in to sit alongside ourselv es as resour ce producers” (PD). Further mor e, involvements in the sta te can be mor e


Economics and actors

or less intima te or f or mal – in ter ms of giving ad vice, paid consultancies , doing evalua tions of policies or pr ogramme or r eviews of departments or functions , or running pr ogrammes and services on contr act. In some of these ca pacities ther e can be v ery fine or bar ely discernib le lines between ad vice, paid w ork and business ad vanta ge – mor e blurring. One r espondent w ho worked as a consultant f or the DfES w hile a bid der for contr acts found the ethical dilemmas involved difficult to mana ge and ga ve up his consultancy r ole: I was looking a t pr ogress and risks acr oss all of the pr ojects, including those of our competitors . But I just decided ear ly on tha t I’d shar e a lot of infor mation, I’d just shar e all the inf or mation I w as picking up fr om all the di fferent pr ojects, so tha t the other companies w ere actuall y getting a bene fit from these sessions . And it just got sill y in the sense it’s such a huge con flict of inter ests tha t when it came to changing arr angements it wasn’t sustaina ble . . . it was extremely helpful in kno wing ho w things worked, in a v ariety of cir cumstances , with the w hole r ange of a ttaina ble sponsors . And it helped a lot in risk identi fication because the sour ces of risk ar e very varied. Again these m ultiple r oles and r elationships firm up social r elations, establish credibility and r einforce the legitimacy of the pri vate sector and dissemina te their langua ge and concepts – as long as services or outputs ar e delivered ‘successfully’. However, the social r elations and netw orks and in fluence work both w ays. To be a ble to mak e use of the pri vate sector as a policy device in the r efor m and modernisa tion of the pub lic sector the DfES and other departments need to encour age participa tion in the educa tion services mar ket and to encour age the de velopment of ca pacity within the b usinesses (see also Selwyn and Fitz 2001: 140). “Y ou four people acr oss the ta ble are responsib le for a v ery high pr oportion of go vernment policy deli very in this particular ar ea” (go vernment minister to r espondent). Ther e is an incr easingly sophistica ted pr ocur ement pr ocess for pub lic sector services. Frameworks ar e one means of doing this , tha t is appr oved-pr ovider lists for particular kinds of business or services .

Box 4.6 A framework example A separ ate list includes the six companies a ppr oved to go into struggling local authorities and anal yse their needs . They ar e char ged with writing the job description f or the service contr actors – a vital r ole. On the list ar e KPMG , Lorien, Ca pita, The O ffice of Pub lic Mana gement, Price waterhouseCoopers and the partnership of Arthur Andersen and Bir mingham LEA. (TES, 28 January 2000)

Economics and actors


In setting conditions f or a ppr oval and thr ough a v etting pr ocess the sta te is able to in fluence the structur e and ca pacity of the educa tion b usinesses. The fr amework pr esenta tions done b y aspir ant companies ar e also further moments of inter action and comm unica tion. The r equir ements of such fr ameworks ar e one of the dri vers of the consolida tion pr ocess (mergers and acquisitions) and a way of ‘encour aging’ new participants . This incr eases and r educes the n umber of participants a t the same time . One r espondent e xplained: Last w eek we did a pr esenta tion to the Ca binet O ffice, as a gr oup , so this wasn’t just educa tion. And the feedback w e got fr om the Ca binet O ffice was we were unsuccessful because w e weren’t able to con vince them tha t we were a sufficiently integr ated or ganisa tion to meet their comple x requir ements. The awarding of lar ge contr acts is also in some cases dependent on educa tion companies being a ble to give financial guar antees w hich ar e only possib le with the backing of lar ge transna tional companies: “ther e is no way tha t CEA w ould ha ve got the contr act if it had been on the stand without Mott MacDonald” and “Q AA would bid f or small things and w ould do things in partnership . But the r esour ces of SER CO sud denly gave them m ulti, m ulti million contr acts” (quoted in Mahon y et al. 2004). This is one dimension of what Jessop (2002: 240) calls ‘meta-go vernance’ or the conditions f or go vernance and, speci fically, ‘meta-exchange’, tha t is ‘the r eflexive redesign of individual mar kets’ or her e the cr eation or in vention of mar kets ‘by modifying their oper ation and articula tion’ (p. 241). This is done f or mally, as above, and inf or mally. Her e the ESI is liter ally a policy le ver for the sta te, a means of achieving its ends , a for m of go vernance . One of the things tha t the pri vate sector’s in volvement has been a ble to do is le verage capacity fr om the system and mak e it available mor e generally to the system. So the LEA interv ention pr ojects tha t the DfES initia ted, beginning w ay back in the la te 90s, had a n umber of entir ely beneficial consequences , but one of them w as to r e-deplo y good-quality people fr om a) w here they were already into b) w here they pr oba bly would ne ver, ever have thought of going. (DM) [The] people do wn ther e in Westminster , one of the r easons they ha ve chosen to enga ge with the pri vate sector o ver the last decade or so is because you pull a le ver, you, you get the e ffect you want, perha ps mor e directly sometimes than if y ou do it thr ough the old b ureaucr atic systems tha t I spent 20-od d years of m y career working in. (DM) Quite clear ly the go vernment ar e committed to pub lic services as much as

108 Economics and actors the pub lic sector. They’re trying to cr eate a mar ket, so they’v e got to talk to us , collectively and indi viduall y. Because if we don’t pr esent, tak e up those opportunities , they can’t achie ve their objecti ves. So ther e’s got to be tha t inter action, because it’s in both people’s inter ests. So we’ve got for mal or ganisa tions, like tha t one y ou’ve come into contact with, the CBI one , which we set up m uch mor e infor mally about f our y ears a go. (DM) “Oh, w e’re going to 10 Do wning Str eet.” Well, I tell you what, it’s the easiest place to get to if y ou’ve got good ideas , you kno w. Because we’ve got our o wn Ca binet O ffice connections and talk to the Home Secr etary, Foreign Secretary, all sorts of stu ff, around acti vities, because the go vernment ar e desper ate to see their ideas , as distinct fr om visions , reflected in a mirr or of achie vement. (PD) In other w ords the r epresenta tives of the pri vate sector ar e in regular con versation with go vernment and part of the ‘policy cr eation comm unity’ (Mahon y et al. 2004) in much the same w ay as the teacher tr ade unions and LEAs w ere in the 1950s and 1960s . The sta te is primus inter pares in these conversations and acts as ‘media tor of collecti ve intelligence’ (Jessop 2002: 243) as well as major funder and client and anima teur of the mar ket. These relationships and inter actions ar e examples of w hat Rhodes calls ‘policy networks’, and he sees ‘the policy of mar ketizing pub lic services’ as accelerating their m ultiplica tion and di fferentia tion. In his v ersion of go vernance such networks ar e a new alterna tive to ‘the star k choice betw een hier archy and mar ket’ (Rhodes 1999: xix) (see Cha pter 5). It is ar guable whether Leys’s star ker view of these changes as ‘media ting a basic shift in the balance of power betw een mar ket forces and political f orces’ (2001: 63) is appr opria te here, but clear ly ther e are ongoing changes in po wer relations and ther e is a mix of the ‘structur al po wer’ and ‘corpor ate agency’ of business a t work her e (a distinction used b y Farns worth 2004). Ho wever, it a ppears tha t in some r espects policy and policy pr onouncements ha ve outrun the ca pacity of pri vate sector or ganisa tions to participate in the educa tion b usiness. The Bannock Evaluation of New Ways of Working in Local Education Authorities (2003) noted tha t ‘The de velopment of the [educa tion services] mar ket has been less than w as hoped b y policymak ers and r emains pa tchy in ter ms of the r ange of services a vailable and in ter ms of geo graphical distrib ution’ (par a. 27, p. 37). Further , the mar ket is not the onl y curr ent policy le ver in the w ork of meta governance . As noted pr eviously, outsour cing was onl y one of a n umber of ‘ne w ways’ experiments f oster ed by the DfES in the r efor m of LEAs . Metaor ganisa tion is another mode and another le ver, the ‘reflexive redesign of or ganiza tions’ and the ‘cr eation of inter media ting or ganiza tions’ (Jessop 2002: 241). At the level of local go vernment and in educa tional institutions this tr ansla tes into

Economics and actors


endo genous pr ojects of pub lic sector r efor m and ‘contin uous impr ovement’ – tactics lik e mentoring, twinning, secondment and the use of boar ds and trusts as not-f or-pr ofit or insider solutions w ere sponsor ed or encour aged and w ere judged to ha ve been successful in r elation to a n umber of ‘w eak’ authorities . Pri vatisation ma y have a high pr ofile but in some ar eas of pub lic sector r efor m it is a mar ginal, or tempor ary, device or one among se veral policy de vices being used and one of man y experiments in the pr ocess of refor m. The signi ficance of pri vatisation should be neither o ver- nor under-estima ted. The outcome of r efor m is not a total tr ansfor mation b ut rather a v ersion of ‘w elfare mix’ or ‘welfare plur alism’ and a mix of endo genous and e xogenous pri vatisations, as well as some ne w for ms of sta te activity. Nonetheless , the sta te is a very acti ve mar ket-mak er. One r espondent noted tha t his compan y “started life sa ying we would not do it [interv ention contracts] . . . it’s only because w e got kind of b ullied into it b y the DfES tha t we feel ther e’s a kind of mor al ob ligation to kind of contin ue to do it”. Indeed some of the r espondents made the point tha t some of the interv ention contr acts awarded had gone to mar ket newcomers as a w ay of encour aging their participa tion in the mar ket; Atkins in Southw ark and Mouchel P arkman in NE Lincolnshir e were mentioned. When the go vernment w ere looking to gr ow the mar ket, and they did it fairly crudel y, they w ent to a n umber of or ganisa tions and said, y ou kno w those big go vernment contr acts you did on X, w ould y ou lik e to carry on winning them? Y es, please. Fine , go into educa tion; y ou need some people . The limits of the curr ent mar ket were also noted b y other r espondents: “it’s still, from man y, man y areas of educa tion services , a limited mar ketplace, or very much a de veloping one” (RA).

Box 4.7 Pushing back the boundaries Stubborn refusal to privatise Consultants tell ministers to w ork har der to sell bene fits of pri vate services to suspicious LEAs and schools . William Ste wart r eports . Ministers need to encour age schools and councils to tak e mor e risks if they w ant the mar ket for pri vate-sector educa tion services to gr ow, a government-commissioned r eport sa ys. Policy-mak ers have been disa ppointed b y the ‘pa tchy’ development of the mar ket in suppl ying services to educa tion authorities and schools , accor ding to the stud y by Bannock Consulting and Independent Business Consultants .


Economics and actors The r eport, w hich examines ne w ways of working in LEAs , says growth of pri vatised services has been held back b y inertia and reluctance b y schools and LEAs to enter the unfamiliar commercial world. ‘For people un used to commer cial negotia tion, dealing with pri vate pr oviders can intr oduce risks and, in some cases , lead to an unwillingness to participa te,’ it said. The consultants f ound legitima te fears among LEAs and schools tha t ther e was not enough competition in the schools’ services mar ket. The small n umber of firms competing f or b usiness might mean one-sided contr acts as w ell as high prices and deli very problems. Mo ves to encour age partnerships within the pub lic sector ma y deter LEAs fr om working with the pri vate sector in futur e – and firms ma y be less willing to in vest. ‘If it remains go vernment policy to stim ulate pri vate pr ovision, procur ers will need mor e encour agement to tak e the necessary risks and support in ho w to do this e ffectively,’ the stud y says. As the TES revealed last w eek, Serco is in negotia tions with a group of headteachers in Esse x to pr ovide ad vice services. A Department f or Educa tion and Skills spok eswoman said ther e was evidence tha t the educa tion services mar ket was still de veloping. East Susse x and Lincolnshir e had gi ven contr acts to CfBT f or school impr ovement and Surr ey was finalising a str ategic partnership with Vosper Thorney croft Educa tion. (TES, 6 June 2003)

Ther e is an a ppar ent contr adiction her e. On the one hand, the go vernment is ‘growing’ the educa tion b usiness, making a mar ket, but, on the other , has limits to its enthusiasm to pri vatise; “it’s dependent on the w hims of go vernment” (RA). Sel wyn and Fitz (2001: 140) r emind us tha t ‘government is not a homo genous actor’. The LEA ‘interv ention’ b usiness is a case in point. The initial flurry of such interv entions has almost stopped, the Isles of Scill y and North East Lincolnshir e (2005) being the onl y recent examples. One r espondent r eported being told b y a DfES o fficial tha t “interv ention is dead” b ut went on to sa y: Actuall y we’re now being told, “No , it isn’t”, and ther e will be mor e of the North East Lincolnshir e kind of pr oject. The mor e we get into joint area reviews and the ne xt round of CP A, and ann ual perf or mance assessments , all tha t kind of stu ff, is going to shak e out mor e and mor e and mor e. A 2005 report pub lished b y the CBI (2005) is v ery much a r esponse to w hat

Economics and actors


the ESI sees as the failur e of government to de velop and e xpand the educa tion services mar ket: Despite the initial success of the interv ention policy and the use of the private sector in impr oving educa tional a ttainment, the mar ket has failed to de velop beyond the initial interv ention pr ocess. The mar ket is set to decline when contr acts end during the ne xt four to six y ears, primaril y because the go vernment had no str ategy in place f or sustaining the mar ket beyond the initial interv ention pr ocess. (p. 23) The r eport aims to sho w tha t ‘outsour ced’ authorities pr oduce gr eater achievement impr ovements in e xamina tion r esults than do equi valent pub licly run authorities (cf . Farns worth 2004). Ho wever, the work of pri vate companies in outsour ced LEAs has a ttr acted a v ery mixed pr ess. The TES reported: Private sector fails to deliver PRIVATISATION has failed to impr ove weak council educa tion services, accor ding to a TES anal ysis of inspectors’ findings. Local educa tion authorities f orced to surr ender services to the pri vate sector ha ve impr oved less than those w ho failed an inspection b ut were allowed to retain contr ol . . . The lack of pr ogress in Hackney , east London, led to contr actors Nor d Anglia being r eplaced b y a not-f or-pr ofit trust. (Jon Sla ter, 4 April 2003) Rare bonus for Bradford firm Ian Harrison, mana ging dir ector of Ca pita SES , agrees the mar ket for outsour cing has changed. “The DfES has back ed away from the compulsory outsour cing model partl y because the contr acts were too in flexible and puniti ve. “Incr easingly, LEAs ar e going to the pri vate sector f or consultancy and str ategic planning f or interim mana gement and speci fic projects. Potentiall y this is still a massi ve business because lots of LEAs ar e struggling on their o wn.” (Michael Sha w, Jon Sla ter and Stephen Lucas r eport on the pr ogress of pri vate companies running educa tion services , TES, 30 January 2004) Nonetheless , as part of the f ollow-up to Every Child Matters (2003) the DfES commissioned a r eport fr om, y es, PWC on the futur e of childr en’s services, which identi fied 21 ar eas of work which could be pri vatised or outsour ced and “the majority of those ar eas had little in ter ms of non-local authority or non-health service in volvement” (RA). Se veral of the r espondents mentioned childr en’s services reorganisa tions (the cr eation of integr ated


Economics and actors

educa tion and child w elfare services) as a ne w mar ket opportunity of consider able promise. Bob Ho gg of Mouchel P arkman commented of the DfES tha t: inter estingly, in the childr en’s services mar ket they’r e being m uch mor e open. They called a bout five or six of us in to talk with them a bout ho w they made the mar ket and ho w they would e xpose their thinking a bout childr en’s services to the mar ket, so we jointl y planned a w hole series of seminars ar ound the country . Perha ps we can dr aw on J essop (2002) a gain her e to mak e some sense of what is going on. W hat is evident is a f or m of ‘rearticula tion and collibr ating’, tha t is weighing in comparison of ‘di fferent modes of go vernance’ and the mana gement of ‘the comple x plur ality’ of ‘tangled hier archies found in prevailing modes of coor dina tion’ (p. 242). Indeed, w e have a good e xample of what Jessop describes as ‘the judicious mixing of mar ket, hier archy and networks to achie ve the best possib le outcomes’ (p . 242). This is not a set of contr adictions or simple incoher ence but r ather a ‘str ategic selectivity’ – coher ent incoher ence, tha t is the use of di fferent policy le vers alongside each other and o ff-set against one another as e xperiments , possibilities or w ays of ‘unblocking’ b ureaucr atic systems or w eakening pr ofessional in fluence or contr ol, or dismantling entr enched structur es, but without an y guar antees of success. Within the ‘competition sta te’, single model r efor m str ategies like neo-liber alism ar e passé and danger ous. Alongside this , potential educa tion services clients , like local authorities , also vary in their enthusiasm or willingness to outsour ce or use educa tion services offered by educa tion b usinesses. As R ay Auvray of Pr ospects commented, “the main competition is not so m uch another pri vate compan y; it’s the possibility of a service being run in-house”. W hile a n umber of the active ‘outsour cing authorities’ ar e Conserv ative run, ther e is no simple r elationship betw een the politics of authorities and their willingness to enga ge with the pri vate sector (see Cha pter 6): “I met the other w eek with the T ory’s front bench spok esman and they w ere talking a bout their na tional policy line, but tha t isn’t necessaril y carried thr ough b y Tory local authorities” (RA). Best V alue and CP A reviews however do contin ue to w ork to gener ate new business and push mor e local services into outsour cing, but some local authorities ar e already moving quite quickl y towards a ‘commissioning’ rather than ‘deli very’ role. Some local authorities , like Bedfordshir e, did go down the pa th of br oad SSP (Str ategic Service Partnerships) encompassing a range of services outsour ced to one pr ovider, while others mak e limited use of outsour cing. It’s har d work and it’s risk y work. So our choice is nor mally we want to work with people tha t want to be good to gr eat, b ut it has to be funded b y them. So on the asset side , ther e’s a contin uing focus on contin uation of

Economics and actors


impr ovement. And y ou’ve got the r estatement in the ne xt round of CP As on Best Value. (BH) In this cha pter I ha ve both described some fea tur es of the ne w educa tion businesses involved in the pri vatisations of educa tion services and intr oduced some of the k ey actors within the e volving ESI and indica ted the r elationships they and their b usinesses ha ve with the pub lic sector and the sta te and their r ole within go vernance . I ad dress some aspects of their ‘pr oduct’ in Cha pter 6. R unning thr ough the account is an a ttempt to demonstr ate the comple xity – structur al, political, personal and ethical – of the ESI and ther efore the need to a void crude gener alisations. I ha ve char acterised them as hybrid or Thir d Way businesses. The importance of social r elations, trust and credibility in the embed ding of these b usinesses has been emphasised. The role of the sta te as mar ket-mak er is a crucial aspect of the w ay the ESI w orks and ho w it is evolving. Pri vatisation has to be seen, in part, as a tool of policy , a means of r efor m and modernisa tion of the pub lic sector. Mor e generally, as in the pr evious cha pter, the possibility of contin uing to use a simple pub lic sector/pri vate sector binary has been called into question. On the other hand, I ha ve sought to str ess the ways in which ESI actors , and others fr om business, ar e now ‘talking’ dir ectly to and a bout policy and ar e part of the construction and dissemina tion of policy ideas . The following cha pter f ollows on dir ectly to focus mor e specifically on the ‘work’ partnerships do in b lurring boundaries and dissemina ting pri vate practices and pr oviding points of entry f or ne w mar ket opportunities and to address mor e directly the issue of go vernance . It also e xplor es some other aspects of the r elationships in and with the sta te of the educa tion b usinesses, business philanthr opists and other r epresenta tives of and ‘her oes’ of business as new ‘policy comm unities’.


New governance, new communities, new philanthropy

Picking up themes intr oduced in Cha pters 1 and 2, in this cha pter I look mor e closely at the w ork of the educa tion b usinesses as part of governance or what is sometimes confusingl y called ‘new governance’ (Rhodes 1995) and mor e broadl y tr ace the participa tion of b usiness and the ‘ne w philanthr opists’ in new for ms of go vernance thr ough partnerships and social netw orks and identify some ‘policy comm unities’ which ar e evident within and ar ound current educa tion policies . I use the idea of netw orks her e in a descripti ve and anal ytic way, rather than in an y nor mative sense, to r efer to a f or m of go vernance tha t inter-w eaves and inter-r elates mar kets and hier archies – a kind of messy hinter land w hich supplements and sometimes sub verts these other for ms. ‘Governance’ is one of those fashiona ble ter ms which b y virtue of loose and pr omiscuous use is in danger of being r ender ed meaningless b ut it is also pr oducti vely malleable. Her e I use or try it out f or siz e rather than debate this and r elated concepts (see Ne wman 2001 and Clar ke 2004 for debate). I deplo y the ter m in a fair ly simple and str aightf orward way to mean the use of ‘socio-political inter actions , to encour age man y and v aried arr angements f or coping with pr oblems and to distrib ute services among several actors’ (Rhodes 1995: 5), tha t is a ‘catalyzing [of] all sectors – pub lic, private and v oluntary – into action to solv e their comm unity’s pr oblems’ (Osborne and Gae bler 1992: 20). In gener al ter ms this is the mo ve towards a ‘polycentric sta te’ or ‘new localism’ and ‘a shift in the centr e of gravity around w hich policy cy cles move’ (Jessop 1998b: 32).

New governance As signalled alr eady, I do not intend to suggest a kind of once-and-f or-all shift fr om old go vernment to ne w governance her e, but r ather the cr eation of an unsta ble hybridity w hich involves ‘different for ms of coor dina tion and contr ol’ (Newman 2001: 31) w hich inter act and ar e often in tension. So w e need to bear in mind tha t alongside pol ycentrism ther e has also been ‘an intensification of a “command and contr ol” style of go verning’ (Ne wman 2001: 163), a concentr ation of po wer at the centr e as well as a mo vement to localities (in some cases outside of democr atic local go vernment). In educa tion,

New governance, communities, philanthropy


for example, the Prime Minister’s P olicy Unit is no w a key site of policy initia tion. 1 Finall y, to be clear , I certainl y want to di vest the concept, as used here, of its nor mative connota tions – tha t is, the ar gument tha t governance is better than go vernment (see Rhodes 1995). Centr al to go vernance is the subsidiary concept of network. In m uch of the liter atur e a contr ast is dr awn wherein governance is accomplished thr ough netw orks, while government is done thr ough hier archies. Rhodes (1995: 9) uses ‘the ter m netw ork to describe the se veral inter dependent actors in volved in deli vering services . . . these netw orks ar e made up of organiza tions w hich need to e xchange r esour ces (money, infor mation, e xpertise) to achie ve their objecti ves’. He ad ds tha t ‘governance also suggests tha t netw orks ar e self-organizing’ (p. 10). Ne wman (2001: 108) ela bor ates, pointing out tha t the go vernance liter atur e views networks ‘in ter ms of plur al actors enga ged in a r eflexive process of dialo gue and inf or mation exchange’. Again ther e is a degr ee of misleading clarity a bout the concept of netw orks, as used in the go vernance liter atur e. It is either used v ery abstr actly or deplo yed to r efer to a v ery wide variety of r eal and pr actical social r elationships . Her e I want to a void tha t vaguery as best I can and explor e two sorts of netw orks which ‘catalyse’ business in the deli very of educa tion services and the r econfiguration and dissemina tion of policy discourses. The first is partnerships and the second is a set of social networks I shall call ‘policy comm unities’ – a particular v ersion of netw orks. ‘Policy comm unity’ is yet another trick y and slippery ter m which co vers a lot of ground. One w ay of tid ying it up is to think of a contin uum of social and ideolo gical cohesion. ‘At one end of this contin uum ar e policy comm unities, as integr ated, sta ble and e xclusive policy netw orks; at the other end ar e issue networks of loosel y connected, m ultiple, and often con flict-rid den members’ (Skogstad 2005 p . 5). My e xamples ar e closer to the f or mer than the la tter but ar e not as integr ated, sta ble and e xclusive as all tha t and they ar e institutionalised via the w ork of various linka ges devices (including k ey persons) and lead or ganisa tions. Helpfull y Newman (2001: 163) also distinguishes networks and partnerships quite car efully and asserts tha t ‘partnerships as a policy a ppr oach m ust be distinguished fr om netw ork for ms of go vernance’. ‘Networks ar e infor mal and fluid, with shifting membership and ambiguous relationships and accounta bilities’ (p. 108), whereas partnerships ‘ar e mor e stable groupings with de fined structur es and pr otocols’ (p . 108). 2 These la tter definitions fit the cases I pr esent fair ly well. In the first case the f ocus is almost entir ely on the educa tion b usinesses and some of their w ork pr actices and arr angements in and with the pri vate sector . In the second the f ocus is broader and e xplor es the participa tion of a v ariety of social actors and organisa tions fr om b usiness and ‘ne w philanthr opy’ as an emer ging ‘policy comm unity’.


New governance, communities, philanthropy

Partnerships – working with and in and on and for the public sector In ter ms of the anal ysis of curr ent r egulatory pr ocesses, governance partnerships ar e a key device in as m uch as they pr ovide ‘linka ges, coupling and congruence betw een actors and spaces’ (MacK enzie and Lucio 2005: 500) and ar e a way of delivering policy outcomes thr ough colla bor ative networks and di verse allegiances and commitments . They ar e fundamental to the ar chitectur e of governance and to the f ostering and mana gement of pub lic/private relationships and ar e a key featur e of Thir d Way political rhetoric. We will encour age partnerships betw een the educa tion service and all those w ho ha ve an inter est in its success . . . par ents, comm unities, the cultur al sector and b usiness. (DfES 2001: 17) 4Ps (Pub lic Private Partnerships Pr ogramme) is ‘the local go vernment pr ocurement e xpert’ (4Ps w ebsite) pr oviding pr ocur ement support f or local authorities . Partnerships f or Schools (PfS) is r esponsib le for deli vering the go vernment’s secondary school r enewal pr ogramme, Building Schools f or the Futur e (BSF). We work with local authorities and the pri vate sector to rebuild or r enew every one of England’s 3,500 sta te secondary schools . ( ) . . . partnership w orking based on m utual trust . . . successful workable solutions . . . Cambridge Educa tion’s contrib ution to each partnership is to pr ovide leading pr ofessional ad vice and pr actical solutions . ( ) Again the pr oviso has to be enter ed her e tha t ‘partnership’ is a b uzzword, ‘a favourite w ord in the le xicon of Ne w Labour’ (F alconer and Mclaughlin 2000: 121), and it cr osses over from rhetoric to anal ysis and carries dangers of being made meaningless b y over-use; ‘it is lar gely a rhetorical in vocation of a vague ideal’ (Powell and Glendinning 2002: 3). As F airclough (2000: 11) puts it, the rhetoric of partnerships is part of Ne w Labour’s denial of binaries which mak es possib le the tr eatment of r adicall y different ter ms as equi valent. Partnerships constantl y recur in Ne w Labour discourse and policies; almost any relationship betw een or ganisa tions or social a gents is a partnership . They are a classic Thir d Way trope which dissolv e important di fferences betw een pub lic sector, pri vate sector and v oluntary sector modes of w orking and obscur e the r ole of financial r elationships and po wer imbalances betw een ‘partners’. P artnerships ar e everywhere: ‘partnershipitis’ Huxham and V angen (2000: 303) call it. Ther e are a number of a gencies and anima teurs, both

New governance, communities, philanthropy


pub lic and pri vate, which foster, support and facilita te pub lic/private partnerships (see pa ge 81). The ter m encompasses a wide r ange of r elationships stretching fr om PFIs (w hich were re-conceptualised as a f or m of partnership by New Labour) a t one end to commer cial joint v entur es between pub lic and private at the other .3 Ho wever, the for mer ar e perha ps better described as ‘relational contr acting’ (Powell and Glendinning 2002: 7). R uane (2002: 205) contr asts the lack of e xperience of NHS negotia tors with the har d bar gaining skills of the pri vate sector in the making of PFI deals and the lack of dir ect discussions betw een hospital mana gers and pri vate sector design teams , as well as a fundamental ‘clash of philosoph y and v alues’ (p. 209), none of which suggests an ything m uch lik e a partnership . Grimsha w and He bson (2004: 124) report a similar finding and NHS mana gers’ ‘lack of expertise’ which ‘hinder ed their ca pacity to win a good deal f or the T rust’. The idea of partnerships , especially as deplo yed by New Labour politicians , carries a sense of a benign and purposeful r elationship betw een equals , ‘giving a favour able gloss to a r elationship w hich some w ould describe in mor e negative ter ms’ (Fairclough 2000: 129). The possibilities of ‘nega tive synergy’ are usuall y ignor ed. P artnerships ma y also be thought of as y et another f or m of policy ‘experiment’. The contr oversial r ecord of some of these [LEA interv ention] contr acts in the past y ear has cast doubt on their futur e both politicall y and financially. But an anal ysis by the TES reveals the Go vernment has learned lessons from the failur es, and a mor e co-oper ative relationship betw een the pub lic and pri vate sector is being de veloped. (TES archive, 30 January 2004) Her e the focus is on the mor e substanti ve aspects of such r elationships . Indeed, the langua ge of partnerships is one of the k ey ways tha t educa tion businesses oper ate and pr esent themselv es (see also Cha pter 4). This is also a mode of access to the pub lic sector and an ada pta tion to the limita tions of the pub lic sector mar ket but not al ways the pr eferred way of working of the educa tion b usinesses. In pr actice a gr eat deal of the w ork done b y the educa tion b usinesses is not done b y taking services out of pub lic sector contr ol but r ather thr ough collabor ations of v arious kinds with the pub lic sector, although a gain some are mor e meaningfull y collabor ative than others and not all r est on shar ed objecti ves. These partnerships open up v arious kinds of flows between the sectors, of people , ideas, langua ge, methods , values and cultur e: ‘states have a key role in pr omoting inno vative capacities, technical competence and technolo gy tr ansfer . . . often in volving extensive collabor ation’ (Jessop 2002: 121). They ar e a further aspect of the b lurrings betw een sectors . While within these r elationships ther e may be ambiguities and ‘di fferences in langua ge, cultur e and per ceptions of str ategic inter ests’ (Newman 2001: 121), partnerships can w ork to colonise local go vernment and pub lic bodies and


New governance, communities, philanthropy

re-interpola te pub lic sector actors as entr epreneurs. In some v ersions they involve ‘danger ous liaisons’ (T aylor 1998) ‘implying a pr ocess of incorpor ation into the v alues of the dominant partner’ (Ne wman 2001: 125–6). ‘The reconte xtualisa tion of discursi ve practices has the ca pacity to “set in motion” other pr actices under its o wn or der’ (Chouliar aki and F airclough 1999: 110). Partnerships can also be w hat Jessop calls a ‘linka ge device’. They encour age ‘a relative coher ence among di verse objecti ves’ (2002: 242). They bring a bout a for m of values and or ganisa tional con vergence and they r e-shape the context in which pub lic sector or ganisa tions w ork. Da vies and Hentschk e (2005: 11) describe partnerships as ‘a thir d for m of or ganiza tional acti vity’ tha t have ‘elements of both hier archies and mar kets as well as unique fea tur es’. Some for ms of partnership bring ‘the pri vate’ into the pub lic sector in the f or m of joint v entur es and pr ofit-sharing without wr esting ‘ownership’ entir ely from pub lic sector hands (se veral examples ha ve been noted alr eady and ther e are mor e below). Nonetheless , the r elations of po wer within partnerships v ary quickl y mar kedly. As Ne wman (2001: 166) points out, the langua ge of partnerships is often a ‘re-labelling’ of contr actual or outsour cing arr angements . Some partnerships are defensive moves by local authorities w hich within the curr ent policy regime they see as being in their best inter ests (Reed Recruitment, Lancashir e LEA and Edge Hill College). At the same time f or the pri vate sector these may be ‘ways in’ to ne w mar kets tha t ma y not be immedia tely amena ble to private sector participa tion – a kind of T rojan horse .4 Hampshir e and VT to gether took the f or mer Hampshir e careers services into the pri vate sector as a joint v entur e arr angement. Once tha t had happened with Hampshir e, West Sussex also wanted to do the same thing; so this w as a bit of the pub lic sector sa ying, “W ill you partner us , please, to secur e the futur e of our car eers services?” (DM) The pri vate sector is looking f or b usiness opportunities , a stead y funding stream and a good r eturn on its in vestment. (DfES Pub lic Private Partnership w ebsite, Ma y 2004) It’s always been a ma tter of during tha t period of time being a ble to develop other services . We’ve ended up being a kind of partnership , you kno w, often quite an inf or mal one , with the local authority concerned, tha t’s built up in ter ms of some kind of m utual r elationship . (RA) The other acquisition of the gr oup this y ear was an or ganisa tion called ‘Career Finder’, and tha t had been an o ffshoot of Conne xions Somerset. They had a series of tr aining and adult guidance contr acts in the W est Country . And it w as sitting incr easingly ill at ease with the Conne xions

New governance, communities, philanthropy


service ther e, for a v ariety of r easons. And w e basicall y took tha t on, set it up as a joint v entur e, with the Conne xions partnership f or Somerset still maintaining a minority inter est in it. It’s a majority Pr ospects-o wned compan y, and w e’re now bidding for ad ditional w ork from Jobcentr e Plus and so on. It’s a bout enterprise , tr aining and a w hole r ange of different sorts of tr aining and support f or adults , and acti vities. (RA) Of course partnerships also e xist among pub lic sector or ganisa tions, sometimes as an alterna tive to pri vatisation. Go-T eaching a consortium of 12 LEAs acr oss the south w est tha t pr ovides suppl y teachers and also helps schools find teachers f or per manent positions . Esta blished b y Devon in 1999 and in volving a pri vate partner (Teaching Associa tes) from 2002 as a stand alone v entur e. (http://www .britgo .org/teaching/teaching.html ) As we have seen some partnerships ar e forced upon authorities in the f or m of interv entions (see Bannock 2003) and begin a t least with suspicion and reluctant inter action (see Cha pter 7 on Atkins and Southw ark). But in other circumstances they w ork to f oster trust and consolida te netw ork relations between pub lic and pri vate. As Der ek Foreman describes in the case of CEA’s work with Islington LEA: We were forced do wn their thr oats [but] they trusted me . They certainl y gave us the opportunity [and] w e moved from gen uinely a very fierce and confr onta tional suspicion thr ough to partnerships . Tha t didn’t mean w e didn’t fall out fr om time to time . . . now we’re in the pr ocess initia ted b y the Bor ough and b y the DfES a bout sta ying with them. . . . we certainl y find tha t, if we’re involved in a particular local authority area, and tak e on one contr act, so far in nine y ears of oper ation, w e’ve never found a situa tion w here they’ve – we’ve come to the end of a contr act and they’v e said, “Right, thanks v ery much”, y ou kno w, “Cheerio .” It’s al ways been a ma tter of during tha t period of time being a ble to de velop other services too . We’ve ended up being a kind of partnership , you kno w, often quite an inf or mal one , with the local authority concerned, tha t’s built up in ter ms of some kind of m utual relationship . (Ray Auvray, Prospects) It is also important not to lose sight of the ‘opportunities’ and e xcitements tha t refor m technolo gies can engender among some pub lic services mana gers, as the ‘a gents and objects of cultur al change’ (Ne wman 2005: 730). Enthusiasm or initia tion is not limited to the pri vate sector (see Cha pter 6 on

120 New governance, communities, philanthropy Blackb urn with Darw en). Ne wman (2005: 726) quotes one local authority assistant chief e xecutive: We are using pub lic/private partnerships to dri ve down costs – w e can’t achieve this with the cultur e of this or ganisa tion. W e are using Best Value reviews as a tool or a r eason or an e xcuse for mo ving services out to the social econom y. Such local authority actors ar e what Leys (2001: 63) calls ‘a ne w pub lic sector social type’ who displa y ‘new personality tr aits’, with a concomitant shu ffling off of older ‘oper ating codes’. Some of the educa tion b usiness actors ma y fall into this ca tegory themselv es and ther e are other high-pr ofile examples in educa tion of pub lic sector entr epreneurs lik e Stanley Goodchild, co-f ounder of 3Es (ex-headteacher and chief educa tion o fficer) (3Es like VT works with Surr ey CC), and Sir K evin Satchwell, Headteacher of T elford CT C. “The government ha ve lubrica ted the mechanism. If people or or ganisa tions ar e up for it y ou can get on and do things” (K evin Satchwell, quoted in TES, ‘Businessman w ho would r escue schools’, 13 No vember 1998). As noted alr eady, some authorities ar e willing to outsour ce or to partner with the pri vate sector as w ays of pr eserving and dissemina ting and bene fiting from their in-house e xpertise and, as e xplor ed above, the pri vate sector has much to gain fr om the e xperience, expertise, credibility and social netw orks of pub lic sector actors . We are just a bout to enter into a joint v entur e with Surr ey County Council to cr eate a joint v entur e business, called VT4S , 4S standing for Surr ey School Support Services . . . Surr ey’s rationale f or this is to create a means of a ttr acting and r etaining good-quality people to w ork in Surr ey for Surr ey schools and f or the LEA and then to f or m a b usiness jointl y with the pri vate sector partner to mak e those services a vailable outside Surr ey to other LEAs and schools . So it’ll sell services to Surr ey schools and schools else where, and LEAs else where, on a consultancy basis. It’ll compete with HE consultancy in schools and LEA-r elated contr acts. (DM) Again in all of this it is important to temper an y pictur e of rampant and enforced pri vatisation as an ideolo gical sta te str ategy. Rather this is a sta te which r ecognises the v alue of m utual learning and negotia ted coor dina tion to enhance e fficiency and de velop competiti ve capacity. The pri vate sector is one of several devices deployed to r eorganise the local sta te and r efor m pub lic sector or ganisa tions, sometimes r eplacing them, b ut also v ery often w orking as a partner . Ther e is no simple , uni-dir ectional mo ve to pri vatise, although the scope of pri vatisation is e xpanding as the ob vious ‘solution’ to pub lic sector di fficulties, and the r ole of local authorities is mo ving mor e towards

New governance, communities, philanthropy


commissioning and monitoring r ather than deli very. Both points need to be registered. Mouchel P arkman is a compan y which mak es particular use of partnership arr angements with the pub lic sector. So in Li verpool 2020 and Kno wsley 2020 the council o wns 20 per cent of the compan y. It’s set up as a stand-alone , but they actuall y physically and legally own 20 per cent of it. So w hatever pr ofit tumb les out of tha t they get 20 per cent. And tha t’s a model tha t we’re finding local go vernment is really inter ested in. (BH) In limited w ays such r elationships ar e aspects of ‘entr epreneurial localities’ a t work (Jessop 2002: 189) (see Cha pter 6), w hich in some cases , like Liverpool, fit into a mosaic of other initia tives in pub lic services provision and economic regeneration. Other partnerships , depending on the ‘pr oblem’ at hand, can involve a variety of di fferent participa tions and di fferent for ms of working relationships and r elations of po wer. Nottingham, w e, in two years, helped them to r aise their GCSE five A star to Cs b y 5 per cent, a gainst a na tional benchmar k of 0.5 per cent. And w e wouldn’t claim cr edit for doing it. W e’d claim the cr edit for ad ding the ca pacity, the ca pability and, m uch mor e importantl y, getting them to belie ve tha t they could do it. And w e did tha t with a huge partnership: Tim Brighouse came in as an independent chair of it. (BH) Her e the compan y see themselves working alongside the pub lic sector, ‘adding capacity’ as they put it, r ather than w orking ‘with’ or de veloping ca pacity. In other cir cumstances the in volvement of a pri vate sector contr actor can actuall y mean the ‘br okering’ of a v ariety of r esour ces rather than dir ect involvement, and a gain this is in part a bout the cr edibility and accepta bility of ‘services’. So although w e had our teams of people in ther e we also had some advisers and some heads fr om Bir mingham. W e created a b uddying system for all of the secondary school headteachers as a starting point; but we said, “Tha t shouldn’t be our people . Tha t needs to be a curr ent, serving, successful secondary head w ho understands w orking in challenging urban en vironments and ha ve cut their teeth in ter ms of contin uous impr ovement”, and tha t just w orked like a dr eam. P eople said, “W ell, actuall y this isn’t a bout the pri vate sector coming in. This is a bout the private sector br okering all kinds of stu ff for us , which actuall y is what we would ha ve liked our local educa tion authority to do .” (BH)


New governance, communities, philanthropy

Partnerships ar e a major part of the pr oject of the r efor m and ‘modernising’ of local go vernment and pub lic bodies b y ‘cultur al re-engineering’. This is the smiling face of interv ention, change without pain. The discourses of business and b usiness mana gement and entr epreneurism ar e relocated and reconte xtualised thr ough the medium of partnerships as ‘ima ginary pr actices involving ima ginary subjects’ (Chouliar aki and F airclough 1999: 110) making and r ealising r elationships in ne w ways which suppr ess or select out k ey aspects of pri vate pr actice. Partnerships ar e part of a ne w landsca pe of pub lic sector pr ovision. They ar e also one of the w ays tha t pri vatisation w orks as a policy de vice, on and in the pub lic sector, ad dressing social pr oblems in new ways, establishing ne w relationships and r e-distrib uting decision-making (see Cha pter 6). Locall y and within institutions thr ough partnerships of man y kinds the pri vate sector becomes part of the policy pr ocess. I no w want to tak e up this final point in a mor e general way and a t the national le vel (extending the anal ysis of pri vate sector participa tion in policy begun in Cha pter 4) and will r eturn to the local and institutional le vels in the following cha pter.

New philanthropy and new ‘policy communities’ ‘For every epoch and f or every social structur e, we must work out an ans wer to the question of the po wer elite’ (Wright-Mills 1959: 23) and ‘its composition, its unity , its po wer’ (p. 23). The educa tion b usinesses ad dressed above are not, as indica ted pr eviously, the onl y new participants in the social netw orks of policy and service deli very. Other social actors with v arious r elationships to b usiness ar e now ‘inside’ policy, in a n umber of senses . Ne w policy comm unities ar e developing within educa tion policy w hich ar e routes of in fluence and access f or b usiness voices and a t the same time ne w ways of realising, dissemina ting and enacting policy .5 These ne w policy comm unities both cir cumvent and incorpor ate, overlay or extend bey ond r ather than r eplace entir ely established policy actors . Coleman and Sk ogstad (1990) use the ter m ‘policy comm unity’ to r efer to the set of actors , pub lic and pri vate, tha t coalesce ar ound an issue ar ea and shar e a common inter est in sha ping its de velopment. Tha t common inter est ma y be both self-inter ested and altruistic her e. Put another w ay, these comm unities consist of ‘personal r elationships with a shar ed framework’ (Rhodes and Marsh 1992: 17). They ha ve their o wn ‘internal r elationships of trust and deference’ (McPherson and R aab 1988: 405) and bring di fferent members of the ‘power elite’ into a v ery specific relation to sta te educa tion and educa tion policy. Incr easingly it is in ‘these decentr alized, and mor e or less r egulariz ed and coor dina ted, inter actions betw een sta te and societal actors tha t policy making unf olds’ (Coleman and Sk ogstad 1990: 4). They also in volve the import of American-style corpor ate philanthr opy and the use of ‘positional investments’ b y business or ganisa tions and the ‘acting out’ of corpor ate social responsibility (CSR) (see also Cha pter 6). Ther e is a comple x overlapping of

New governance, communities, philanthropy



philanthr opy, influence and b usiness inter ests. Thr ough these kinds of social relationships , trust is esta blished and ‘socia bility, appr oval, sta tus and po wer’ (Gr ano vetter 1985: 506) ar e achieved. As we shall see, finance ca pital is particular ly strongly represented in these comm unities b ut so too ar e various entr epreneurial and policy ‘her oes’. This is, as Wright-Mills calls it, a ne w for m of ‘institutional mechanics’ (1959: 20) or a gain in r elation to go vernance ‘b y examining netw orks we are looking at the institutionaliza tion of po wer relations’ (Marsh and Smith 2000: 6). Such in fluences and r elationships ar e of course not entir ely new; it is their specificity, ob viousness and dir ectness which ar e different. Despite the substanti ve differences this policy comm unity is v ery similar to tha t described b y McPherson and R aab (1988). These ne w networks ar e also ‘discourse comm unities’. They bring into pla y new policy narr atives, specifically the ‘enterprise narr ative’ (see SIFE, NFTE, and Academ y for Enterprise), a ne w hegemonic vision w hich inserts competition, entr epreneurialism and enterprise into the heart of the pr oject of state educa tion and modi fies the political r elations of educa tion and r eorients political str ategies – both e xemplified in the Academies pr ogramme (see Cha pter 7). These modernising narr atives become authorised and sensib le and accum ulate ‘value and w orth’ (Mills 1997) thr ough their associa tion with and articula tion b y ‘significant’ social actors . Concomitantl y such narr atives serve to r e-popula te the field of policy, legitima ting ne w actors and r e-working the possibilities of pub lic sector deli very by identifying ne w heroes and villains, and esta blish new key ideas and ne w logics. These comm unities work to change the w ay policies ar e thought and pr oduce a closed cir cle of thinking and articula te ‘new modes of calcula tion and str ategic concepts’ (Jessop 2002: 9). Ther e is a comple x multi-dimensional inter-penetr ation of educa tion and business in and thr ough policy w hich de velops and maintains and legitima tes particular policy visions w ell beyond the policy comm unity itself . These ar e in Jessop’s ter ms the bear ers of a ne w accum ulation str ategy and he notes their ‘increasing participa tion . . . in sha ping educa tion mission sta tements’ (2002: 167). Saltman (2005: 49) describes similar de velopments in the United Sta tes: The field of educa tion has been gr eatly remade thr ough corpor ate influence as b usiness ter ms of accounta bility, perfor mance, efficiency, up ward mobility, and economic competition ha ve become omnipr esent in educational policy rhetoric and journals displacing tr aditional discussion of the r ole of schools in making people w ho can understand and impr ove the world or li ve a full life or participa te in civic life. In this section I w ant to tr ace some of the r elationships and identify some of the participants (indi vidual and corpor ate) who mak e up these new comm unities b ut this will ha ve to be a partial and indica tive exercise. The in volvements and connections tr aced her e are by no means e xhausti ve

124 New governance, communities, philanthropy (reader : you could try filling them in further y ourself). Further mor e, some of the speci fic links sho wn ma y be fair ly tenuous in ter ms of personal inter actions b ut do sho w the ‘joining up’ of or ganisa tions and actors and the re-spatialisa tion of policy , tha t is the ‘territory of in fluence’ (MacK enzie and Lucio 2005) is e xpanded and a t the same time dissipa ted. I am seeking primaril y to describe and r egister the e xistence of these comm unities. (Farns worth 2004: 132–45 does similar w ork on ‘social policy networks’ – and inf or mal personal associa tions – a t the local le vel, looking at the constitution of w elfare service boar ds in Bristol.) W e will see here the inter-linking of b usiness, philanthr opy, quangos and non-go vernmental agencies and pub lic and pri vate sector entr epreneurs and ther e is a recurr ence of particular companies and people , related to particular kinds of policies . These comm unities also illustr ate what is perha ps an incr easing inter dependence of sta te, pri vate sector and v oluntary sector and the comple x inter actions between them and a gain the e xporting of ‘sta te work’. They also dr aw in and upon the ‘ener gies’ of social entr epreneurs. One of the interpr etive problems involved in thinking a bout ho w these netw orks work is tha t of deciding, a t least in the case of some participants , where business ends and philanthr opy begins and w hat philanthr opy is for and w hat is influence or self-seeking. Perha ps it is pointless to a ttempt to pin do wn the moti ves involved her e or to try to separ ate out di fferent elements , and it m ust be accepted tha t moti ves are contr adictory and mix ed. Nonetheless , as pub lic sector b usiness becomes mor e attr active and mor e lucrative for the pri vate sector, ‘giving’ is a way of registering a pr esence and making r elationships with contr actors and opinion-mak ers; for example, McKinsey (a consultancy compan y) crops up several times in w hat follows: “they’ve actuall y got a gr owing business no w at McKinsey in the pub lic sector. So . . . it’s another e xample, in a way, of profitable business mo ving to wards the pub lic sector . . . they’re flowing towards where the money is”, as one of m y respondents e xplained. These comm unities esta blish pr oducti ve and potentiall y profitable relationships within the sta te and they pr ovide access to v alua ble insider kno wledge, but they ar e also, in effect, another policy de vice, another w ay of trying things out, getting things done , changing things , and a voiding esta blished pub lic sector lob bies and inter ests – part of Ne w Labour’s pr agmatism. They are a means of interjecting inno vation into ar eas of social policy tha t ar e seen as resistant and risk-a verse. They ena ble social issues and pr oblems to be addressed without r ecourse to tr aditional pr ocedur es and structur es. They bring ne w ideas and ne w ways of thinking into pla y in relation to policy problems and the mana gement of the social (see Bo x 5.1). Part of the ne w philanthr opy which is r epresented in these comm unities is related to a post-Tha tcherite , post-Enr on (see wp-dyn/business/specials/ener gy/enron/ ) resurgence of corpor ate social r esponsibility w hich interpla ys with the a ttempts b y New Labour to intr oduce an a genda of mor al responsibility into ci vil society. As noted alr eady, ther e is also an importa tion of American-style corpor ate philanthr opy, e.g.

New governance, communities, philanthropy


Box 5.1 McKinsey: J esuits of ca pitalism 11 June 2005 No. 10 risks row to hire new policy boss from ‘Jesuits of capitalism’ The decision to bring Da vid Bennett, a f or mer McKinsey e xecutive with no pr evious experience of politics or links with the party , into such a senior r ole was alr eady attr acting criticism fr om La bour backbenchers and tr ade unions y esterday. They belie ve tha t the appointment symbolises the gr owing ascendancy within W hitehall of pri vate sector consultants , on w hom the Go vernment spent mor e than £1 billion last y ear. Mr Bennett, w ho is said to ha ve started w ork and is being paid a six- figure salary, was recruited as part of a major shak e-up of No . 10 after the election. He is pr eviously thought to ha ve advised on the m ultibillion-pound contr act for a ne w NHS computer system. But Mr Bennett’s 20-y ear connection with McKinsey , a global or ganisa tion described as the “Jesuits of ca pitalism” [see also http://ne chives/2005/06/post_125.html ] that has earned contr acts worth tens of millions of pounds fr om the Go vernment in recent years, is particular ly incendiary . Last night Jim Cousins , the La bour MP f or Ne wcastle Centr al, said: “This is part of a wider pr oblem in which the Go vernment is incr easingly run b y people w ho do not understand the political impact of w hat they propose. These pri vate sector consultants a ppear to be impa tient with the vie ws of the party and they aliena te the ci vil servants w ho have an ethos and commitment to pub lic service. Too m uch policy is being made in test tubes .” (Tom Bald win and J on Ashw orth, http://www .guar .uk/ guar dianpolitics/story/0,,1505186,00.html )

Goldman Sachs is w ell presented in the netw orks outlined. “In the Sta tes in particular charita ble giving is part of life: it’s m uch mor e a way of life over ther e than it is her e” (ESt). On the other hand, ther e is a re-emergence of the Victorian, colonial philanthr opic tr adition, ‘outsiders beha ving as if they were missionaries’ (Ea gle 2003: 33), represented for instance b y the United Learning T rust, and other r eligious impulses (V ardy, Edmiston, P ayne, and the Oasis T rust, w hich also carry undertones of e vangelism), as w ell as a civic version of this thr ough the inter ested philanthr opy of self-made b usiness millionair es (Kalms, Harris , Petchey, Garr ard, Lampl, etc.). At an indi vidual level the Ne w Labour discourse of ‘ci vic responsibility’, w hich is another w ay of thinking a bout these philanthr opic impulses , may also be articula ting a reaction to the Tha tcherite v alues of indi vidualism and self-inter est – another


New governance, communities, philanthropy

aspect of post-neo-liber alism. “And ob viously under Blair it’s been educa tion, educa tion, educa tion, and it has r aised people’s a wareness of what’s going on in the system and ho w it’s everybod y’s problem not just the go vernment’s” (ESt). The la tter is another f or m of b usiness philanthr opy manifest in the pr o bono w ork and v olunteering of w orkers in companies lik e McKinsey’s and programmes lik e Teach America and T each First (see pa ge 132). For some companies this is no w a way of retaining and moti vating sta ff as well as playing its part in making up ‘portf olios of philanthr opic investments’ w hich may contrib ute to the pr omotion or legitima tion of corpor ate br ands: “it creates a nice w ar m feeling amongst their customers , the r ecognition of their name . . . and team-b uilding” (ESt), and corpor ate giving is of course ‘tax efficient’. In various w ays – Academies , specialist schools , Teach First – philanthr opy is increasingly incorpor ated into sta te policy and is an a voidance of both bureaucr atic and mar ket difficulties. It pr ovides a for m of ‘fast’ and often very personal policy action. P ersonal ‘dona tions’ ar e solicited thr ough the personal r elationships of people lik e Tony Blair and Andr ew Adonis . Some of the participants in this ne w philanthr opy constitute a philanthr opic elite which is enga ged with go vernment, party and sta te in a n umber of w ays: thr ough b usiness links , making party dona tions, in the r eceipt of a wards and honours and positions in and ar ound the sta te itself. (Thr ee Academ y sponsors w ere also involving in making loans to the La bour P arty, and an adviser to the ASST r esigned after indica ting to an under cover reporter tha t sponsorship of an Academ y would deli ver an honour – http://educa tion .Guar .uk/ne wschools/story/0,,1703426,00.html. ) Again I am not suggesting tha t all of this is totall y new. The City of London institutions (str etching back thr ough the li very companies) ha ve a long history of philanthr opic engagement (see Gr een 2005: 43–4). What is different is the dir ect relation of ‘giving’ to policy and the mor e appar ent in volvement of gi vers in policy comm unities and a mor e ‘hands on’ a ppr oach to the use of dona tions: “they want to be in volved in the w ay the pr oject is mana ged, for example” (ESt) (see page 131 on Arpad Busson). This is w hat Peter Lampl (see Bo x 5.2) calls ‘strategic philanthr opy’ (http://www .philanthr opyuk.or g/guideto giving/ personal4_main.asp ). What is emer ging her e is a new ‘architectur e of regulation’ based on inter locking r elationships betw een dispar ate sites in and bey ond the sta te. Policy is being ‘done’ in a m ultiplicity of ne w sites ‘tied to gether on the basis of alliance and the pursuit of economic and social outcomes’ (MacK enzie and Lucio 2005: 500), although the str ength of such an alliance should not be over-sta ted. These comm unities contain some ‘str ange bedfello ws’ and contain actors w hose contin uing allegiance is to the Conserv ative Party, as well as others w ho ha ve made political dona tions to both La bour and the Conserv atives. Some of the people in Netw ork 1 (Figur e 5.1) ar e ‘survivors’ or carry-o vers from the policy netw orks of the Conserv ative governments: Paul J udge,7 Stanley K alms and Cyril T aylor.

New governance, communities, philanthropy


Box 5.2 Peter Lampl Peter Lampl is the prime e xample of a ne w and in fluential beast: the m ulti-millionair e educa tion philanthr opist. Dona tions to schools ha ve multiplied since the la te Eighties w hen Mar garet Tha tcher’s government intr oduced city technolo gy colleges – giving business the chance to fund ne w schools and in fluence the w ay they oper ated. Ther e are now 365 specialist schools , which ar e the successors of the original CT Cs, and funding the sta te system seems to be incr easingly popular among the v ery rich. Sir Stanley K alms, chair man of the Dix ons Gr oup , Peter Vardy, chair man of R eg Vardy plc, Lor d Harris , chair man of CarpetRight plc, pub lisher Lor d Haml yn, and r etailer Lor d Sainsb ury ar e all pr ominent gi vers. But Mr Lampl, w ho made his f ortune in in vestment, has set the pace in recent years. His summer camps gi ving under-pri vileged youngsters a taste of top uni versities ha ve provided the model f or cop y-cat government schemes and a flagship scheme to fund poor pupils a t a private school, w hich is putting a sledgehammer thr ough tr aditional independent–sta te divisions. Mr Lampl will be pa ying up to £850,000 a year to ensur e tha t The Belv edere School in Li verpool has a 100 per cent ‘needs-b lind’ admissions policy . All pupils in the school will be selected on merit (unlik e the Assisted Places Scheme and the old dir ect-grant schools pr ogramme) with those una ble to pay the fees getting Lampl money . (TES, 28 January 2000)

As these ne w sites within the conte xts of in fluence and te xt pr oduction proliferate ther e is a concomitant incr ease in the opacity of policy-making. It becomes e ven less clear as to w hat ma y have been said to w hom, w here, with what effect and in e xchange f or what (see Cohen 2004). The f ocus or starting points of the netw orks (Figur es 5.1 and 5.2) ar e fairly arbitr ary (the AST in the case of Netw ork 1 and GEMS in the case of Netw ork 2) and, as will become a ppar ent, the di fferent examples ar e also inter-link ed. As well as being based ar ound inter-personal r elationships , and personal commitments to pub lic service in some cases and access to positions of some influence, these comm unities ar e important as discourse netw orks, and I w ant to r eiterate tha t importance; discourse flows thr ough them, gains cr edibility and becomes na tur al (see Cha pter 1). They structur e and constr ain and enable the cir culation of ideas and gi ve ‘institutional f orce’ to policy utter ances, ensuring w hat can count as policy and limiting the possibilities of policy. Some members of these policy comm unities ha ve multiple r oles (within


New governance, communities, philanthropy

Figure 5.1 Netw ork 1.

agencies, pub lic service and philanthr opy) and, as noted alr eady, multiple purposes and lo yalties. They ar e at di fferent times , or sometimes sim ultaneousl y, representa tives of business, ad visers to the sta te, philanthr opists, mor al entr epreneurs or doing pub lic service – and these ambiguities do their own work and ar e yet another kind of b lurring of pub lic and pri vate. Some may even be thought of as ‘tr ansactors’ ha ving both ‘shar ed’ and ‘ad ditional goals’ (Wedel 2001: 130) – tha t is pub lic and personal moti ves together. Others ar e obviously occasional participants and ha ve no positions or r oles as

New governance, communities, philanthropy


such. P eople mo ve across and within such netw orks and as w e have seen between the pri vate and pub lic sectors, and ther e are new kinds of car eers which can be constructed within them. Some people w ho occup y multiple positions join things up . They ar e catalysts or syner gisers (for example, Mary Richar dson, Dir ector of the HSBC Educa tion T rust, an e x-state school head and educa tion dame; Sir Cyril T aylor, Chair man of the Specialist Schools and Academies T rust; and V alerie Br agg, Headteacher of Kingshurst CT C, co-founder of 3Es and Chief Ex ecutive of the Be xley Academ y). Women ar e much mor e in evidence her e than w as the case in the senior positions of the educa tion b usinesses. The netw orks also contain flows of influence as w ell as flows of people and, as w e have seen, influence is carried back and f orth across the boundaries betw een the old pub lic and pri vate sectors . Resour ces


New governance, communities, philanthropy

Figure 5.2 Netw ork 2.

are exchanged, inter ests ar e served and r ewards ar e achieved. Tony Cann CBE (600th on the Sunday Times Rich List in 1999) is an inter esting example: founder and no w Vice-Chair man of Pr omethean T echnolo gies Gr oup (a whiteboar d compan y with turno ver in 2003 in e xcess of £38 million – compan y website), he is Chair man of the U fi (Uni versity for Industry) boar d, member of N ACETT and f or mer member of FEFC , and also sits on FE college and uni versity boar ds. Promethean is also a ‘partner’ of T each First and the Specialist Schools T rust. 8 Tony Cann has also r aised the possibility of sponsoring an Academ y in Blackb urn w here his compan y is based and w as a sponsor of the Blackb urn EAZ. Some Academies , like Sand well and Be xley,

New governance, communities, philanthropy


thr ough their sponsors , supporters and pr oject mana gers, re-occur and ar e the focus of se veral linka ges in the netw orks. In Netw ork 1 what is particular ly noticea ble is the participa tion of r epresenta tives of finance ca pital: Goldman Sachs in particular , and the Man Gr oup and HSBC (HSBC is a member of the PPP F orum and acti ve in the PFI mar ket with equity inter ests in a n umber of schools pr ojects). P aul Dunning of HSBC is a dir ector and trustee of ARK, as is Stanley Fink of the Man Gr oup and J ennifer Moses of Goldman Sachs . ARK f ounder Arpad Busson is senior partner of EIM fund mana gement compan y (with assets reported as r anging fr om £5 billion to £10 billion). He describes educa tion as “in crisis” and “the biggest issue go vernment face toda y” and ar gues tha t “Charities m ust tr eat donors as if they w ere shar eholders” ( Observer, 29 Ma y 2005). Jon Aisbitt, once of Goldman Sachs , now of the Man Gr oup , is the pr oposed sponsor of an Academ y in Brighton (in 2003 he w as 406th on the Sunday Times Rich List with a personal f ortune of £80 million and he dona ted £250,000 to the La bour P arty election campaign of 2001); with Harv ey McGr ath of the Man Gr oup (351st on the 2004 Sunday Times Rich List with £112 million) and Ga vyn Da vies (ex-Chair man of the BBC) of Goldman Sachs he is a trustee of Ne w Philanthr opy Capital, w hich ad vises companies on philanthr opic investments , including ad vice on participa tion in the Academies pr ogramme. As well as trusts , other kinds of pub lic sector or ganisa tions ar e integr ated into these netw orks; the Institute of Educa tion, Uni versity of London no w has an HSBC iNet 9 Chair in Interna tional Educa tion Leadership , held b y David Hopkins , pr eviously Dir ector of the DfES Standar ds and E ffectiveness Unit, and in 2004 Goldman Sachs sponsor ed a UK/US Urban Educa tion Confer ence at the Institute . The IOE is also a shar eholder in Educa tion Digital w hich runs T eachers’ TV, teaches T each First students and has had collabor ations with CEA. Brunel Uni versity is a co-sponsor with HSBC of a 16–19 Academ y, and the Uni versities of Li verpool and the W est of England are also Academ y sponsors . In Netw ork 2 ther e are also cr oss-over actors r epresented – Mik e Tomlinson, ex-Chief Inspector of Schools , Chair of the Hackney Learning T rust, V iceChair man and sometime Chair of the Ad visory Boar d of GEMS , Elizabeth Passmor e, ex-Dir ector of Inspection of Ofsted, and Schools’ Adjudica tor, who was also a member of the GEMS Ad visory Boar d, as ar e Sir Gar eth Roberts , ex-Vice Chancellor , Dir ector of HEFCE and DfES ad viser, and Nick Stuart, e x-DfES senior o fficial. Such people bridge betw een pub lic sector educa tion policy and pri vate schooling and bring their cr edibility and contacts to bear . Also ther e are various ‘her oes’ of refor m from the pub lic sector, models of good pr actice of ‘what works’, or tr aders in ‘good ad vice’ – ex-headteachers Dame Mary Richar dson and Dame Shar on Hallo ws (member of the Standar ds Task F orce – see Box 5.3) and serving heads Sir K evin Satchwell and De xter Hutt. De bor ah Knight, a go vernor of Ha berdashers Askes CTC, moved to become Dir ector of P olicy at the AST . These mor e


New governance, communities, philanthropy

Box 5.3 Shar on Hallo ws Consultancy Limited Shar on Hallo ws is also a cr oss-over example in a di fferent sense, re-investing her r eputa tion as an outstanding headteacher and her honour in a consulting compan y – Shar on Hallo ws Consultancy Limited. ‘We are creative and str ategic think ers with a passion f or ena bling educational and or ganiza tional impr ovement . . . As well as work in the United Kingdom, she has ad vised governments of n umer ous countries including J apan, Canada, Ne w Zealand and F rance. Other countries have expressed a str ong inter est in working with the Compan y’ (compan y website). In 2000 Dame Shar on gave a speech to the Inaugur al Gar field Weston Outstanding Principal A wards (the Gar field Weston Founda tion ar e also Academ y sponsors). The speech w as pub lished on the F raser Institute w ebsite. (The F raser Institute ‘w as founded in 1974 to r edirect pub lic attention to the r ole mar kets can pla y on pr oviding for the economic and social w ell being of Canadians’.) Dame Shar on demonstr ates again the por osity of the pub lic/private divide. ‘ordinary’ actors serv e an important discursi ve purpose . They demonstr ate tha t refor m is possib le, tha t it works. They sho w tha t pub lic sector actors can mak e a difference and can contrib ute to policy . In a sense they embod y ‘what works’. Then ther e are policy car eerists like Sir Cyril T aylor and R ona Kiley , wife of Bob Kiley , London’s Commissioner f or Transport. R ona Kiley w as Dir ector of Educa tion and Business in the Comm unity a t London First (which ‘works to mak e London a better city f or Business’ – website) before becoming f ounding trustee of T each First, in w hich sta ff from McKinsey’s were involved in pr o bono acti vities. She then became Chief Ex ecutive of the Academies Sponsors T rust. She had pr eviously worked in the US as Ex ecutive Dir ector of the Edison Pr eservation F ounda tion (partners in the Y oung Entr epreneurs Inno vation A wards) and w as Dir ector of the Ne w York City Office of Na tur e Conserv ancy. She is also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Gr oup on the London Challenge (DfES) and on the Ad visory Boar d of Imperial College Business School. Such actors mo ve across and between sites of policy or in fluence and inf or mation. They collect and carry with them fr agments of discourse . They join up and fill in bits of the ne w policy narr atives. Some participants ha ve philanthr opic ‘car eers’ of a di fferent kind within personal charities and causes , and thr ough service on boar ds and committees , and in pub lic service positions – the ‘gr eat and the good’ as they ar e sometimes called, lik e Paul J udge, Lor d Harris , Da vid Garr ard and Michael Snyder. Again they mo ve between policy ‘sites’ and accum ulate kno wledge and cr edibility and social r elations. They ar e able to bring a f or m of ‘mor al capital’ to bear upon their pr onouncements and participa tions, ultima tely

New governance, communities, philanthropy


dependent on b ut separ ate from the po wer of their w ealth, although as noted alr eady they ar e also a ble to speak fr om the v anta ge point of their entr epreneurial successes and to speak kno wingly about and identify ‘pr oblems’ and ‘b locka ges’ and what needs to be done (see also Cha pter 7 on Academies and Alec R eed). They ar e a new kind of pr actical intellectual. They pla y a role in narr ating and pr opping up ne w compr omises within policy and consolida ting unsta ble alliances ar ound policy solutions . These then ar e not ‘political’ netw orks in the tr aditional sense . Linka ge devices like the AST and NPC bring to gether b usinesses and people of dif ferent sorts with charity and educa tion policy . They anima te, infor m and encour age the participa tion of ‘others lik e us’. These netw orks and communities ar e in part a t least, as I suggested w as the case with the educa tion businesses, a policy de vice. They ar e also the pr oduct of ‘e xperimenta tion’ and ad hocery b y the sta te; they clear ly have a ten uousness and shift and change o ver time; memberships , purposes , boundaries and r elationships change. They ha ve elements of both go vernment and go vernance b ut work outside of or ar ound the r ational-b ureaucr atic aspects of go vernment and bring commer cial and social entr epreneurship 10 to bear upon policy pr oblems. Once a gain these indi viduals r epresent a ne w chronotopic of policy , as people w ho ‘get things done’ – they bring passion, dri ve and d ynamism to the tackling of social pr oblems. Netw ork 2 sho ws a further set of r elationships among Academies thr ough the pr oject mana gement w ork of 3Es , which also runs a CT C and tw o sta te schools and is no w owned b y GEMS (see Cha pter 3). GEMS and Co gnita, which both o wn pri vate schools , have indir ect links of v arious sorts with the DfES , and Co gnita thr ough Chris W oodhead has r elationships with the pri vate Uni versity of Buckingham and CT C sponsor Stanley K alms – these ar e vestiges of a ‘Tha tcherite’ educa tion policy netw ork. GEMS also has indir ect links to the Academies pr ogramme and indeed had pr oposed to fund tw o Academies itself; this plan w as abandoned (see Cha pter 3). Ther e are other ‘cross-over’ actors her e. Da vid Trigg, Head of Gr eensward College, a sta te school w hich has tak en very seriousl y the b usiness opportunities opened up by the 2002 Educa tion Act, has had ad visory r oles with tw o Academies and with GEMS . Jim Hudson, an e x-primary head, no w works with Co gnita and the Uni versity of Buckingham. As noted alr eady, these netw orks ‘enlar ge the r ange of actors in volved in shaping and deli vering policy’ (Ne wman 2001: 125) and constitute ‘ne w kinds of educa tional alliance’ (J ones 2003: 160) which ‘Ne w Labour seeks to cr eate’ around ‘its pr oject of tr ansfor mation’ (p. 160). Ho wever, in ways tha t most governance writers ignor e, networks exclude as w ell as extend. Some potential or pr evious participants ar e made pariah – tr ade unions , for example. And challenges fr om outside the shar ed basis of discourse ‘ma y be easily deflected or incorpor ated’ (Ne wman 2001: 172). These ar e exclusive networks based partl y on prior r elationships and special criteria of membership – wealth being one , being ‘on-side’ ideolo gically being another (Cyril T aylor,


New governance, communities, philanthropy

Stanley Goodchild, Mary Richar dson) and personal r elationships within government being a thir d.

Conclusion This cha pter and the pr evious one ha ve sought to do a n umber of things: in part to put a social face to pri vatisation; to popula te the d ynamics of ca pital and the b lurring of the pub lic/private divide with r eal social actors; also to illustr ate the comple xity of moti ves, rationales and v alues invested in the educa tion b usiness and in educa tion partnerships and in ‘service’ to the sta te which r ange fr om for ms of ‘giving’ to for ms of ‘investment’ and f or ms of influence; further and importantl y, to demonstr ate the r ole of the educa tion businesses and the ne w educa tion policy comm unities as ‘policy de vices’, as means of go vernance , as ne w ways of getting social mana gement and policy work done and pub lic sector institutions r e-cultur ed. Ne w voices ar e given space within policy talk, and the spaces of policy ar e diversified and dissociated. Ne w narr atives about w hat counts as a ‘good’ educa tion ar e articula ted and v alida ted. (This is ad dressed mor e directly in Cha pter 7.) Ne w linka ge devices are being cr eated o ver and a gainst e xisting ones , excluding or cir cumventing b ut not al ways obliterating mor e traditional sites and v oices. I ha ve also tried to sho w how the pub lic sector gener ally is worked on and in b y privatisations of di fferent kinds , from the outside in and the inside out and to mak e the point tha t new policy discourses articula te enthusiasm f or pri vatisation fr om positions inside the pub lic sector not just fr om the pri vate sector itself. Linka ges and alliances ar ound policy concerns and ne w policy narr atives cross betw een the tw o. I ha ve indica ted the w ays in which pri vatisations rely on the ener gy, experience and social r elations of speci fic social actors who ha ve had success within the pri vate sector and the w ork done thr ough and b y private/pub lic partnerships of di fferent kinds and ne w kinds of ‘cr ossover’ organisa tions with char acteristics dr awn from both sides of the old divide. Alto gether, at this point in time , I am ar guing tha t pri vatisation as a material and discursi ve process is partial and v ery diverse, sometimes faltering but of massi ve and incr easing importance within and o ver and a gainst pub lic sector educa tion. I ha ve also suggested tha t the w ork of educa tion businesses and of the ne w policy comm unities is indica tive of new kinds of state modalities .


Selling improvement/selling policy/selling localities An econom y of inno vation

Competiti veness depends on de veloping the indi vidual and collecti ve capacities to enga ge in per manent inno vation – w hether in sour cing, technolo gies, products , organiza tion or mar keting. (Jessop 2002: 121)

In this cha pter I ad dress issues of inno vation and change and the in volvement of the pri vate sector in pub lic sector educa tion in tw o different ways: first, b y looking a t the ‘impr ovement pr oducts’ w hich ar e mar keted to educa tional institutions b y educa tion services companies and their r ole in r e-working and surveilling those institutions; second, and r ather di fferently, by considering the r ole of educa tion as part of the ‘place mar keting’ of and a ttempt to establish competiti ve advanta ge within particular ‘entr epreneurial localities’ and the w ays tha t this ‘joins up’ schools to the competiti veness pr oject. Some of the companies mentioned pr eviously re-appear in these localities as participants in ‘place-speci fic development str ategies’ (Parkinson and Har ding 1995: 67). Further aspects of inno vation and change , in the f or m of the Academies policy , ar e discussed in Cha pter 7.

Innovation and change I ar gued in the pr evious cha pter tha t the pri vate educa tion services companies are part of a r e-worked system of go vernance . The selling of their services is linked to the Ne w Labour pr oject of ‘tr ansfor mation’ thr ough the r emodelling of schools , colleges and uni versities, the instilling of ne w capacities and the mana gement of change . These ‘services’ and the w ork they do on and in schools ar e part of the ‘r ecalibr ation’ of sta te or ganisa tions and their ‘organisa tional ecolo gies’ (Jessop 2002: 241), which also in volves the modi fication of ‘the self-understanding of identities , str ategic capacities and inter est of indi vidual and collecti ve actors’ (J essop 2002: 242–3) – tha t is the pr oduction of ne w kinds of pub lic sector subjecti vities. Inno vation is not mer ely technolo gical but also in volves ‘changes in the social r elations of pr oduction . . . the demand f or di fferent types of skills and indeed changes in ho w we understand inno vation’ (Br own et al. 2001: 163), for example ne w ways of


An economy of innovation

organising time and space and their r elationships in and to educa tion. In other w ords, this is part of a pr ocess of ena bling or ganisa tions and their actors to think a bout themselv es, and w hat they do , differently. I also suggest, and I r eturn to this in the f ollowing cha pter, tha t ‘impr ovement’, ‘remodelling’ and ‘r ecalibr ation’ ar e part of the pr omotion of economic gr owth and competiti veness in and thr ough educa tion thr ough ‘almost per manent institutional and or ganiza tional inno vation’ (Jessop 2002: 242). This is r epresented b y and intended to achie ve what Tony Blair calls ‘a modern educa tion system’, one tha t is “open, di verse, flexible, able to adjust and ada pt to the changing w orld” (Speech to par ents, 10 Do wning Str eet, 24 October 2005). The r e-narr ation of schooling and learning thr ough inno vation and enterprise is part of an ada pta tion to a particular v ersion of the economic and social conte xt of globalisa tion and post-modern society based on w hat Watson and Ha y (2003: 295) call ‘the logic of no alterna tive’, through w hich ‘globalisa tion has itself become a conditioning in fluence on policy’ and competiti veness ‘a danger ous obsession’ (Krugman 1994), with the e ffect of making the contingent necessary (this w as outlined in Cha pter 2). In r esponse to the ‘thr eats’ of globalisa tion, ‘La bour has a ttempted to f orward a competiti veness str ategy tha t would tr ansla te macr oeconomic pr ecepts into microeconomic imper atives’ (Watson and Ha y 2003: 299). In this sense w e must see the r ole of the pri vate sector as str ategic to the r efor m pr ocess and not simpl y substanti ve to it – not e verything ha ppens in the inter ests of the private sector and neither is pri vatisation the onl y method of r efor m, tha t is privatisation is a means of r efor m and of go verning r ather than an end in itself. Nonetheless , the pri vate sector is incr easingly important as a media tor of policy betw een the centr al sta te and local institutions , in the f or m of technical r ather than political solutions to the ‘pr oblems’ of schools. The chapter also illustr ates a second manifesta tion of inno vation as r elated to entr epreneurism and competition, tha t is the ‘pr oduct’ inno vations of the companies themselv es. Using compan y brochur es and w ebsites and intervie ws with pr oviders, I explor e some aspects of the embed ding of the imper atives of competition within schools thr ough the w ork of ‘school impr ovement’. I f ocus first on the te xts, discourses and pr actices of inno vation and change w hich ‘sell’ the private sector to sta te institutions and ar e sold by them to sta te institutions , and second on the r e-articula tion of local schooling within the discourses and techniques of local economic and social r egeneration. As ar gued in Cha pter 2, a great deal of the w ork of impr ovement in volves the deplo yment of ‘the firm’ as the model f or pub lic sector or ganisa tion, a point I shall r eturn to later.

Selling improvement/mediating policy1 One aspect of inno vation and entr epreneurship displa yed her e is the r esponse to the pr ocesses of ‘modernisa tion’ of the pub lic sector b y private service

An economy of innovation


providers in sear ch of ne w mar kets. For pri vate pr oviders, Ne w Labour educa tion policies and r efor ms ar e specific opportunities f or pr ofit in tw o senses. First, policies w hich announce ‘z ero toler ance of underperf or mance’ and interv ention in underperf or ming schools ( Excellence in Schools, Internet summary , 1998) provide opportunities f or r eplacement and/or r emedia tion of ‘failing’ or ‘weak’ pub lic sector institutions . The educa tion b usinesses can sell school impr ovement – o ffering schools w ays of accommoda ting themselv es to the demands of perf or mativity and pr oducing ne w organisa tional identities and ‘turnar ound services’ to those schools and colleges w hich ar e ‘struggling’ to r espond to the r equir ements of perf or mativity. Second, taking up spaces ‘v acated’ by LEAs and other sta te or ganisa tions, these companies media te betw een policy and institutions , making policy mana geable and sensible to schools and to teachers . On behalf of the sta te, in effect, they dissemina te the discourses of r efor m, of impr ovement and of competition. This is just one part of ‘the r e-agenting of schooling’ (J ones 2003: 159). These services ar e represented in the compan y’s improvement br ands: Cocentr a offers ‘futur eproo fing’; Tribal will mak e you into ‘Pupils’ Champions’; Edison Schools UK sells the ‘Edison Design’, w hich includes coaching and perf or mance mana gement systems; Mouchel P arkman deals in ‘ena bling impr ovement’ and ‘colla bor ative development’; Eduno va has ‘Learning Led Design’ and str esses tha t ‘Inno vation can onl y be effective as part of a pr ocess of school tr ansfor mation if it arises na tur ally from a cultur e tha t accepts change and contin uous impr ovement as a w ay of life’ (www.edno ); Prospects offers Perfor mance Life Coaching; and CEA can pr ovide ‘Leading School Impr ovement Solutions’. The companies pr esent themselv es in ter ms of commitments to the pub lic good and to bringing the pub lic sector into ‘the new’ – saving it fr om itself and solving its pr oblems. ‘Place Gr oup w hich is part-o wned b y Mace, is a specialist educa tion compan y tha t works in partnership with its clients to tr ansfor m educa tion and r aise standar ds in schools’ ( ). These te xts ar e ‘breathlessly enthusiastic’ (P arker 2000: 9), energetic and bold; they pr omise to solv e school pr oblems. HBS Educa tion has a mission to support all parties enga ged in r aising standar ds and tr ansfor ming the w ay we learn . . . Intr oducing a bold change str ategy to tr ansfor m the w ay we teach and learn in this century , requir es new ways of looking a t pr oblems and ho w we solve them . . . HBS is one of a ne w breed of solution pr oviders in educa tion. Her e again we have the langua ge and ima gery of d ynamism w hich was noted in Cha pter 2 as a fea tur e of Ne w Labour pub lic sector policy , tr ansla ted into action pr ogrammes for schools , liter ally a re-articula tion of school or ganisa tion. P art of this is w hat Fullan (2001) calls ‘r eculturing’ – which dr aws its langua ge and methods fr om b usiness models of change mana gement and which P arker (2000: 11) sees as a shift fr om b ureaucr acy and its ine fficiencies to ‘caring about customers , being inno vatory, focusing on quality and so on’.


An economy of innovation

What is being sold is the ur gencies of change , a ne w langua ge and a kind of self-belief and self-e fficacy. This is the r etail end of the ESI. Ther e are man y small packa ges of work and one-o ff events and consultancies: “ther e’s a relatively small amount of pr ofit; the mar gins ar e pretty small” (R G). These companies o ffer ‘solutions’, ‘holistic change’, ‘vision’, ‘customised change’, ‘values-led a ppr oaches’, ‘creative challenges’ and r epeatedly ‘transfor mation’. The langua ge and especiall y the verbs they deplo y convey a sense of ur gency and speed: they w ork ‘swiftly and e fficiently’ and ar e ‘focused’; they deli ver ‘streamlining’ and ‘mana geability’. They tr ade in pr ofessional expertise and trust and w ork in partnership with the pub lic sector client. ‘Edison Schools UK pr ovides school impr ovement services to schools in Gr eat Britain. The pr ogramme is implemented in partnership with schools , and tailor ed to each school’s r equir ements’ (br ochur e). Eduno va ‘is focused on working with pr actitioners , businesses and others intent on helping bring about a step change in the educa tional achie vement of students in our schools and colleges’ (w ebsite). The Place Gr oup assert tha t: ‘For r eal educa tion tr ansfor mation to be achie ved, we need to dri ve authority-wide initia tives and change mana gement pr ogrammes, working in partnership with agencies focused on joining-up pub lic services’ (website). This is the discourse of the competition sta te at work within pub lic sector or ganisa tions, modernising and r e-designing or ganisa tional ecolo gies (and the ‘ecolo gies of learning’), changing w orkplace r elationships and cr eating flexibility and ada pta bility, making them mor e like those in other pub lic and pri vate sector organisa tions, mor e like ‘the firm’. In e ffect these pr ogrammes dissemina te the discourses of r efor m and modernisa tion and w ork to embed them within institutional cultur es. They pr ovide authorita tive readings and enactments of policy or ‘r eadings of r eadings’ (Ball 1994). The companies also w ork in partnerships of change with par asta tal a gencies – LEAs , Ofsted, TD A, NCSL – to ‘dri ve’ the ‘project of tr ansfor mation’ thr ough ‘corpor ate vision’ (Place Gr oup) and as noted a bove sell their ‘assistance’ and ‘e xpertise’ abroad – ‘The UK e xperience has serv ed as the under lying model f or m uch of the development interna tionall y of SBM’ ( ). All of this narr ows and f ocuses b ut does not necessaril y close do wn entir ely the space of interpretation within policy . Nor ar e the ur gency and enthusiasm f or change or the ‘products’ al ways shar ed by the audiences of impr ovement a t the chalk face. Nor is inno vation or best pr actice the pr erogative of the pri vate sector ; ther e are plenty of endo genous inno vators. These ar e generic discourses w hich a t the or ganisa tional le vel have no specificity to educa tion or schools . The compan y consultants ar e ‘carriers of global institutionaliz ed mana gement concepts’ (Hansen and Lairidsen 2004: 515) and these ar e, as indica ted a bove, framed within the imper atives of inevitability, uncertainty and thr eat. ‘As LEA and school leaders y ou ar e faced with tr emendous challenges . In a changing w orld full of ne w ideas and inno vations, we can help y ou de velop tr ansfor mational learning or ganisa tions’ (Cocentr a ad vert, TES). The tr ansfor mation discourse imposes ne w

An economy of innovation


limits on w hat is recognisable as a ‘good school’ and w hat effectivity is, leadership is and pr ofessionalism is . ‘All of these mechanisms f or the structuring, constr aining and cir culation of inf or mation [ideas] ha ve a similar effect: they bring a bout the pr oduction of discourse , but onl y certain types of discourse’ (Mills 1997: 75).

The imperatives of continuous change These impr ovement services ar e produced within a comple x of ‘requir ed and f orbid den en uncia tions’ (F oucault 1980: 100) and ‘discursi ve fragments’, what Thrupp and W illmott (2003) call ‘eclectic quasi-theor etical soundbites’, which mak e up a ne w grammar and le xicon of or ganisa tion life. They articula te a for m of ‘scar emongering’ w hich asserts tha t ‘schools ha ve to change and quick’ (Thrupp and W illmott 2003: 186). They m ust learn, ada pt and tr ansfor m. They m ust r espond to a changing econom y and to social and economic insta bility. Perha ps the most signi ficant of the br and names is Cocentr a’s ‘Futur e Proof’, ‘a programme of school support transformation using sta te-of-the art systems f or self-r eview and e valua tion’ (see pa ge 143). What this suggests is a kind of systemic r esponsi veness and an insur ance against the uncertainties and risks of contingent and policy changes . Thr ough their service o fferings these companies r e-distrib ute policy discourses w hich origina te within gener al economic and social policy in and thr ough institutions . As suggested pr eviously, the discourses of competition and r efor m mo ve between levels as na tional, pub lic sector and institutional policies ar e re-articula ted and r eoriented to ward a common purpose (see Table 6.1). Ho wever, these services ar e not, in most cases , an imposition or a requir ement – they w ork ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ – but neither ar e they exactly procur ed freely by the ‘client’. R ather they ar e made necessary in or der to accommoda te to the disciplines and r equir ements of policy . Thus the companies str ess tha t they ‘work in partnership r ather than impose solutions’ (CEA) and claim to be bolstering autonom y. They ‘emphasiz e sustaina bility. We help clients to gr ow so tha t they can learn and de velop’ (Prospects website). A utonom y is a means b y which pub lic sector institutions deli ver Table 6.1 Levels of discourse Economic, social and welfare policy Educa tion policies Institutions and persons

Competiti veness, kno wledge econom y, flexibility, responsi veness, modernisa tion, entr epreneurship , enterprise . Impr ovement, tr ansfor mation, r efor m, diversity and choice, excellence, inno vation. Change mana gement, or ganisa tional r e-culturing, personalised learning, best pr actice, benchmar ks, leadership .


An economy of innovation

themselv es up to policy . Cocentr a aims ‘to be centr al to our customers’ needs’ and, accor ding to HBS , ‘Through our e xisting partnerships w e help LEAs and schools to deli ver local and na tional str ategies, whilst planning f or the futur e and embr acing change .’ The ‘needs’ of the or ganisa tion ar e rearticula ted thr ough policy . Edison is ‘w orking with schools in challenging circumstances’ and cr eating ‘a fr amework of colla bor ation betw een schools’ (brochur e). New kinds of or ganisa tional subjecti vities ar e produced. Place ‘supports’ headteachers and go vernors to become mor e ‘intelligent clients’. These k ey actors ar e ‘agents and objects of cultur al change’ (Ne wman 2005: 730). As in the ear lier discussion of partnership , part of w hat is going on here is a pr ocess of induction, a r e-modelling of social actors and their langua ge and pr actices, needs and objecti ves. ‘Eduno va is working to pr omote change b y bringing to gether gr oups of schools in collecti ve partnerships and feder ated structur es’. These new partnerships and feder ations r eplace those pr eviously mana ged by and thr ough LEAs . But generic solutions ar e also r e-worked to local speci ficities – a kind of totalising and indi vidualising. Each client is unique within a pr e-defined policy fr amework. ‘We can tailor courses to ad vance your speci fic school impr ovement pr ogramme’ (Pr ospects). “Tha t particular college is b uying 40 da ys, so tha t’s a lot, tha t’s 320 hours of our time , to ad dress its bespok e needs” (R G). The work of impr ovement is done b y ‘consultants’ and ‘ad visers’. It is a for m of what Har dt and Negri (2000: 290) call ‘imma terial la bour’ – ‘the exchange of inf or mation and kno wledges’. As discussed in Cha pter 4, pub lic sector e xpertise is deplo yed to achie ve credibility and trust. Pr ospects consultants ‘draw on their o wn pr actical e xperience and listen to their clients’ (compan y brochur e). They support schools into ‘the ne w’ by ‘supporting inno vation and r esearch, developing ne w ways of working, di versifying into new areas’ (Prospects w ebsite). The ad visers and consultants bring to bear ‘expertise in change mana gement and educa tion’ (Place Gr oup w ebsite). Aptly, Rose (1996: 54) describes such e xpertise as ‘modest and omniscient’ and ‘limited yet appar ently limitless in their a pplica tion to pr oblems’. The services and pr oducts on o ffer in the educa tion services mar ket purv ey a set of ‘practical truths’ – what works! We “model best pr actice . . . it’s about showing the w ay, demonstr ating it . . . we’re an interv ention str ategy” (Tribal consultant). Experience and r esearch combine to pr ovide ‘critical insight to deliver successful, workable solutions’ (CEA), as in the ‘One school176 appr oach de veloped fr om r esearch into e ffective schools’ (Cocentr a). The Place Gr oup sear ches ‘for best pr actice and service e xcellence’ (website). “Lik e all of m y consultants , we go thr ough higher degr ees on a r egular basis – not as letter collecting: it’s a v ery important intellectual pr ocess, and w e re-engage at a higher le vel with our pr ofession” (PD). Inno vation is a r ecurring theme (see Cha pter 7), b ut in r elation to the need for holistic change , to r e-mak e schools di fferently, to r e-engineer them f or the new social conte xt of post-modernity – w hich is fast, comple x, compr essed and uncertain. ‘Inno vation can onl y be effective as part of a pr ocess of school

An economy of innovation


tr ansfor mation if it arises na tur ally from a cultur e tha t accepts change and contin uous impr ovement as a w ay of life . . . Inno vation f or whole school tr ansfor mation m ust be systemic’ (Eduno va). ‘Raising Achie vement thr ough inno vative school design’ (Edison). Inno vation is made a sta te of mind and an imper ative – ther e is nothing tha t might not be changed: ‘w e work with schools w ho ar e not content to stand still . . . provide schools with potent educa tional tools . . . consultancy , professional de velopment and coaching support’ (Edison). The w ebsites and br ochur es of these companies r eiterate a set of discursi ve touchstones – inno vation, modernisa tion, contin uous impr ovement – w hich desta bilise modernist notions of school and of teaching and learning, learners and teachers , organisa tion and space . ‘The Edison Design is based on the findings of e xtensive educa tional r esearch from the US , UK and else where . . . This pr ogramme r emodels and r efines the school learning en vironment.’ Ne w kinds of learning ar e promised, and the tr aditional classr oom and school ar e positioned as thor oughl y out-moded. 2 Learning is a t the centr e of the impr ovement pr ocess and is talk ed about in new ways: as a ‘learning skills fr amework’, as about ‘learning to learn’ and ‘schools as or ganisa tions f or learning’, and ther e is a need to esta blish ‘values and cultur e for learning’ (Edison). Learning is str ategically linked to the use of new technolo gies; ‘the full tr ansfor mational bene fits of technolo gy in the classr oom ha ve yet to be r ealised’ (Edison). ‘Softw are tools ar e being developed tha t will facilita te an open e xchange of opinions and pr ovide a channel f or the student v oice’ (Edison). Ther e is ‘Learning Led T echnolo gy’, ‘Learning Led Design’ and ‘Learning P artnerships’. HBS ‘r ecognizes the learning institution as the hub of a learning comm unity’. Edison w orks at ‘creating small schools within the lar ger school . . . creating an en vironment which is mor e conduci ve to students taking mor e responsibility f or their learning’. HBS will ‘ad dress individual needs , including pr ovision for gifted and talented pupils and SEN’. The personalisa tion (Leadbea ter 2004), indi vidualisa tion (Beck 1992) and r esponsibilitisa tion (R ose 1996) of learning ar e one of the k ey ecological changes w hich tr ansfor mation is deli vering. This is a new kind of technolo gy-based child-centr edness. “At the heart of school impr ovement is the child in the classr oom” (R G). Change is ar duous and demanding b ut it is, as noted alr eady, a joint enterprise, a partnership . ‘A tribe is a gr oup of families or comm unities with a common langua ge and cultur e, and a shar ed set of v alues and tr aditions’ (Tribal br ochur e). Partnership is a w ay of getting things done , a means of reorienta tion. ‘Our partnership with Edison will ensur e tha t the school continues to impr ove standar ds because the emphasis is v ery much on putting childr en’s learning a t the cor e of everything w e do’ – Ma yflower Primary (press release). Partnerships ar e based upon ‘v alues’ as a ‘tr aded good’ and values ar e also a basis f or change . Edison tak es a ‘value-based a ppr oach . . . intentionall y and e xplicitly implemented in e very aspect of the school’s life’. Cocentr a starts with ‘people principles’. Di fficult distinctions and a wkward binaries ar e avoided. At T ribal ‘We place a high v alue on combining


An economy of innovation

inno vation and entr epreneurism with the aims and v alues of pub lic service delivery’ (website). These te xts ‘are processes in which political w ork is done’ (Fairclough 2000: 158). As F airclough points out, thr ough the r econte xtualisation of b usiness and mana gement langua ge the work of go vernance is achieved. Politics and b usiness get ‘into the te xtur e of texts’ (p. 158) and change e veryday social r elations in schools , colleges and uni versities. The challenges of speci fic bits of policy ar e often used, dir ectly or indir ectly, as a selling point f or impr ovement services: ‘It is a fundamental part of go vernment policy f or schools to become mor e collabor ative and Eduno va has de veloped str ategic pr ocesses to help schools mak e a reality of such a vision.’ Ne w policy ideas lik e ‘personalised learning’ ar e quickl y tak en up: ‘Edison’s pr actical a ppr oach to the challenge of personalised learning’ and ‘through a learning skills a ppr oach to the curriculum a t K ey Stage 3’. ‘Place provides str ategies for k ey curriculum initia tives such as K ey Stage 3, ICT, Enterprise , Personalised Learning and 14–19. W e were commissioned b y the DfES to in vestigate Personalised Learning fr om the pupils’ perspecti ve’ – another kind of claim to pr actical e xpertise. Policy documents ar e incorpor ated into pr omotional ma terials: ‘Edison Design and the Fi ve Year Str ategy for Childr en and Learners’; ‘A clear syner gy exists betw een Edison’s pr oven appr oach and the principles set out in the Fi ve Year Str ategy’; ‘implementa tion of W orkforce Refor m Agr eement’ (Edison). These companies ar e linkage devices between sta te and pub lic sector or ganisa tions – making change sensible and mana geable, by “O ffering an educa tional vision link ed to the delivery of the go vernment’s five-year a genda” (PD). The r ecent W hite P aper for schools sets out the Go vernment’s vision f or educa tion, including an ambitious a genda f or high standar ds thr oughout the whole sector . Tribal’s r ange of school impr ovement services is continuing to gr ow to meet incr easing demand f or both consultancy and mana ged services. (Brochur e) The br ochur es and w ebsites pr esent the companies as facing both sta te and schools and as ha ving ready-made or bespok e ‘solutions’ to the pr oblems of policy – helping schools in ‘r aising achie vement’ and ‘tr ansfor ming’ themselves and contrib uting to the r aising of na tional standar ds. Edison’s consultants ar e called ‘Achievement Ad visers’ who o ffer ‘consultancy , coaching and inno vation, to pr ovide a complete packa ge of services and technolo gies to assist with r aising achie vement’. This is making oper ant the discourse and vision of the competition sta te. Failur e and Ofsted inspections ar e other policy opportunities . The companies ar e firmly imbrica ted in the pr oduction of a grid of visibility (R ose 1996: 55) within schools – making them and those w ho inha bit them accessib le and audita ble. The sta te acts upon schools thr ough the langua ge of mana gement and b usiness, among other w ays, to sha pe and utilise their fr eedoms

An economy of innovation


thr ough ne w for ms of expertise – b udget disciplines , audits , mana gement coaching – to gener ate a r egime of critical self-scrutin y. The ‘sciences’ of numer ation, calcula tion and monitoring w hich ar e embed ded in and legitimate the w ork of these companies w ork to ensur e the ‘responsibility and fidelity of agents who r emain for mal[ly] autonomous’ (R ose 1996: 55). They construct new diagrams of f orce and fr eedom linking measur ement to mana gement. Cocentr a pr ovides: a ‘distincti ve focus on e valua ting the schools’ or ganiza tional cultur e’ and ‘an audit pr ocess tha t models best pr actice in school self-review – primary £1800–2500 and secondary £2800–3500 f or first year of full audit’ and ‘school self r eview, pr e and post Ofsted ad vice for schools and LEAs’. HBS o ffers ‘effective self-evalua tion’ and audits of ‘subjects , departments and other aspects of pr ovision’ and sells ‘ad vice and support’ to ‘prepar e for Ofsted Inspection’. 3 Edison ha ve ‘Team cultur e measur ement systems’ (see Box 6.1). CEA ha ve a ‘perfor mance mana gement consultancy’. All of this dr aws on the ‘disciplines’ of b usiness, mana gement and social science and contrib utes to the pr oduction of kno wledge about schools and teachers – exams, tests, audits , appr aisals, inspections , evalua tions, reviews and perf or mance mana gement. These tactics of measur ement ar e techniques for the go verning of subjects and the mana gement of the social.

Box 6.1 Edison Design By combining elements of Edison’s school impr ovement pr ogramme with McLar en’s range of perf or mance mana gement tools , the partnership pr ovides an all-encompassing and e ffective environment f or building leadership ca pacity in schools .

Needs ar e anal ysed, coaching and mentoring ar e offered, ‘scoping’ is undertak en and v arious f or ms of ‘confession’ ar e elicited, an opening up as a way of recognising weakness and r ealising the desir es produced b y policy. The willingness of the or ganisa tion to e xpose and to o wn and ackno wledge its weaknesses is used as a basis f or working to gether to be di fferent and better . The or ganisa tion is ena bled to achie ve, to impr ove, to better itself and to de velop its ca pacities. These ar e ‘soft’ and r esponsi ve disciplinary de vices, which r est on ‘partnership w orking based on m utual trust’ (CEA). They bring a bout a f or m of self-subjection (although not in e very case). Schools ‘bind themselv es to expert ad vice as a ma tter of their o wn freedom’ (Rose 1996: 58). They ar e active agents in their o wn disciplining, r ecuper ation and re-making. We go in and w e have a very detailed scoping meeting w hich is the needs anal ysis . . . and w e starting talking then a bout ho w we might deli ver it. You kno w what the needs ar e. What we can o ffer is try to ma tch those up


An economy of innovation . . . it ma y well be its academic mentoring; indi vidual w ork; it ma y be help with English as an ad ditional langua ge; it may well be tha t they w ant some leadership de velopment . . . and then w e say ther e is a menu of activity da ys and prices . . . it ma y well be tha t the school is using some of its school impr ovement money , its standar ds fund money , and it b uys us in because they see the w ay forward. (RG) . . . we’re saying tha t tha t we’ve got a coher ent, holistic design w hich is research based, w hich is going to ha ve a real impact in y our school. But we’re not a bout selling y ou bits and pieces . We’re not a bout doing a bit of tr aining and w alking a way. We’re about ha ving a thr ee-year contr act with you and putting a team of thr ee advisers with a mix of e xpertise working with you on a w eekly basis . . . tha t means it’s costing a lot mor e than they’re used to spending . . . typicall y a primary school might be pa ying £20,000 a year and a secondary school could be spending an ywhere between £50,000 and £75,000 a y ear. (PL)

Re-culturing instils a ne w sense of self-worth and esteem in r elation to the gaz e of standar ds and achie vement. The school is made r esponsib le for policy and the educa tion b usinesses will suppl y and support f or ms of selforganisa tion, b ut set within a w ell-defined fr amework of educa tional possibilities.4 The commitment to contin uous impr ovement ‘entails a r elation to authority in the v ery moment it pr onounces itself the outcome of fr ee choice’ (Rose 1996: 59). Not all of the w ork of impr ovement and self-surv eillance is done b y the private sector . Partnerships and colla bor ations betw een schools bring into play a for m of peer discipline , a subservience of equals . A comple x logic of disciplines is embed ded in pr ocesses of tr ansfor mation. . . . we had quite an inter esting time with the DfES and London Challenge over Battersea and w e’re quite pleased with the w ay tha t’s gone. We set up an impr ovement partnership betw een Battersea and tw o other schools and got them out of special measur es and no w the partnership is actuall y really very, very inter esting indeed as a w ay forward. And w e set it up in, I mean the principle behind it w as tha t we weren’t putting jump leads on Battersea b ut tha t we were setting it up in a w ay in which all thr ee schools would be a ble to learn fr om the e xperience of w orking to gether. And tha t’s worked surprisingl y well. (PDg) The DfES facilita tes ‘excellence clusters’ which pair LEAs to ena ble ‘self and peer’ r eview. This is not a system, not a single net of po wer, but a ‘proliferation of little r egulatory instances’ (R ose 1996: 61).

An economy of innovation


The discourse(s) of impr ovement and tr ansfor mation pr ovide new systems of meaning f or school or ganisa tion and a ne w narr ative for schools , tha t is new ways of expressing themselv es to themselv es and to others , new ways of constructing plausib le perfor mances and to be tak en seriousl y and to be seen as succeeding. The impr ovement and ‘turnar ound’ packa ges constitute a methodolo gy for schools to ‘think’ a bout themselv es differently and w ork on themselv es. They can learn to ‘sa y’ themselves in ways tha t ar e recognisable and ‘sensib le’ to evalua tors , ‘clients’ and ‘customers’. Schools ar e thus reconstituted as generic or isomorphic or ganisa tions w hich ‘fit’ with (in a variety of w ays) and can be ‘joined up’ to other services and to b usiness. In this sense they ar e made a meaningful part of the kno wledge econom y (see Cha pter 7 on Academies). Ho wever, as the ter m suggests, ther e is an interface here, an e xchange w hich is not onl y one-way. Business is also learning ne w ways to speak to and within educa tion, to talk a bout itself and its pr oducts in ways tha t ar e meaningful to schools and to policy (see pa ges 155–6 on Fujitsu). Within the discourse of impr ovement ther e is a set of other sub-te xts or specificities – mana gement and leadership , ‘learning’ and inclusion, among others – which a gain dr aw upon and acti vate the le xicons of policy , giving force to semantics . Keywords ar e brought into a tight and seamless r elationship of possibilities and perfections f or which schools should stri ve; ‘we help LEAs and schools to deli ver local and na tional str ategies, whilst planning for the futur e and embr acing change’ (HBS) – schools can become a t the same time impr oved, creative, mana geable, inclusive, learner-centr ed and federated. Her e is a multiplicity of discursi ve fragments with di fferent histories , connota tions and e ffects out of w hich ‘modernisa tion’ and ‘r ecalibr ation’ ar e constituted. The discourse is all-embr acing and unencumber ed with tensions and incompa tibilities: ‘our solutions and services ar e designed to help those responsib le for educa tion and tr aining to impr ove learner services and mana gement contr ol’ (Tribal). Edison will ‘f oster mana geability and cr eativity in all aspects of school life’; change is ‘holistic’ and r ests upon ‘maximising Leadership ca pacity’ (Edison) – in the impr oved school almost an ything is possib le. Inclusion is mar ginally present. Pr ospects ‘delivers Ofsted tr aining co vering key topics such as “Ho w inclusive is your school?” ’, and indeed Cocentr a brings the tw o to gether to o ffer an a ppr oach w hich ‘helps r econcile the tensions tha t exist betw een the standar ds agenda and the dri ve for inclusion’ – an unusuall y straightf orward recognition tha t not all of the elements of the discourse of tr ansfor mation fit seamlessly together. Some companies also see the pr essures of policy and of contin uous change as another mar ket opportunity – Icp (Pr ospects) o ffers ‘Stress Mana gement’ tr aining and ‘moti vational and w ell-being’ programmes – ‘You can do it!’ Courses on emotional liter acy ar e available. This was about childr en’s behaviour, it was about childr en having a sense of worth and esteem and v alue, and none of tha t would ha ppen unless

146 An economy of innovation you could get this right. And emotional liter acy gave us an opportunity of having a soft measur ement ar ound this , which would dri ve everything else. And I had an uphill ba ttle with the DfES a bout it, b ut in the end they accepted it. (BH) The a ppeal to an emotional r egister is, as Hartley (1999: 317) suggests , part of the ‘r e-enchantment’ of the school w orkplace, for teachers and students , and a r ecognition tha t the ‘turb ulence, ambiguities and ambi valences which frame and su ffuse schools . . . cannot be dealt with b y mere appeals to hierarchy and authority’. The pri vate sector ar e the ne w experts in school or ganisa tion, with e xpertise to sell (although as w e have seen much of this e xpertise actuall y comes from the pub lic sector), v alida ted b y the truths of r esearch and tested in the crucible of pr actice, in the f or m of a ne w science of impr ovement. W ithin their brochur es, websites and intervie ws is a plausib le and systema tic discourse which works to modify the institutional ma teriality of schools and within which schooling can be r e-narr ated as a post-modern enterprise . Ho wever, it is important to r eiterate tha t ‘The a ppar ently finished discourse is in fact a dense r econstruction of all the bits of other discourses fr om which it w as made’ (McGee 1990: 278). It is a composite of rhetorics , claims, allusions , promises, and jar gon borr owed from b usiness, educa tional r esearch and political and policy ideas . The po wer and meaning of the discourse ar e accounted for b y the fears and desir es of the audience w hich ar e ‘called up’ from policy. It is a sa viour discourse tha t pr omises to sa ve schools, leaders and teachers and students fr om failur e, from the terr ors of uncertainty , from the confusions of policy and fr om themselv es – their w eaknesses. All of this mak es it extremely difficult to r esist its claims. It pr esupposes and r ecycles a set of imper atives about the ur gency and necessity of change w hich in a v ariety of subtle and not-so-subtle w ays ties educa tional pr actices to the needs of the econom y and competiti veness. The te xts and pr actices of school impr ovement onl y really mak e sense and tak e on their mor e general significance in these ter ms. Undoubtedl y some things change f or the better in all of this . Some schools do become better places to learn, mor e inclusive, thoughtfull y inno vative, relevantl y and authenticall y creative and healthil y reflexive. Impr ovement is not simpl y a rhetorical flourish or ideolo gical fiction (R ose 1996: 61). If I can par aphr ase Rose her e, I am not making an y simple judgements a bout these new programmes of impr ovement and tr ansfor mation b ut r ather I am seeking to disturb the political lo gics within w hich they ar e set and interr ogate the discourse of impr ovement and begin to understand some of the w ork it does on schools .

An economy of innovation


Education, transformation and entrepreneurial localities No w I want to tak e up some di fferent aspects of inno vation and tr ansfor mation, although la tter ly some very ma terial r ealisations of the impr ovement discourse ar e appar ent, and e xplor e some di fferent kinds and scales of pri vate sector in volvement in pub lic sector educa tion. I will also r eturn to se veral aspects of the anal ysis of pri vatisation so far . One simple point tha t needs to be r epeated is tha t pri vatisation initia tives are unevenly spread or to put it another w ay are concentr ated in particular localities – inno vation hot spots . This is part of a r e-scaling of policy in volving dena tionalisa tion, r egional v aria tion and e xperimenta tion 5 and sta te support for and sponsorship of speci fic inno vative capacities. Jessop (2002: 129) tak es this to be centr al to the economic pr oject of the Schumpeterian sta te, the ‘refocusing of economic str ategies ar ound the fea tur es of specific economic spaces’. A second issue is the w ay in which for ms of educa tional pri vatisation ‘join up’ with other educa tional de velopments and with local r egeneration schemes and economic and b usiness de velopment pr ogrammes as pr oacti ve strategies to achie ve dynamic and sustaina ble competiti ve advanta ge. This picks up fr om Cha pter 4 the issue of go vernance . Again the point is tha t privatisation is m ulti-faceted, and pri vate involvements in local educa tional initia tives inter-penetr ate with other a gendas and other sorts of economic and political r elationships . What we see is an often be wildering combina tion of policy levers and mechanisms – b usiness, mar kets, agencies, trusts , partnerships, philanthr opy, infor mal netw orks, ‘local her oes’ and other f or ms of coor dina tion and colla bor ation – w hich ar e mobilised into ‘local gr owth alliances’ (Hub bar d and Hall 1998: 3) and conceptuall y reorient (b ut do not totall y displace) the ‘discr edited’ and ‘out-moded’ political-b ureaucr atic local state (see for example McF adyean and R owland 2002 and Ne wcastle City Council T rade Unions 2002). The local sta te ‘is both a pr oduct and a gent of regulation’ her e (Hub bar d and Hall 1998: 17). Some ‘or dinary cities’ 6 (Amin and Gr aham 1997) ar e re-imaged and r e-imagined as ‘entr epreneurial localities’ drawing on ‘place m yths’ and a ‘ “new combina tion” of economic and/ or extr a-economic factors’ (J essop 1997: 31) including educa tion. Others simply remain or dinary. This is a ne w kind of ‘specula tive’ governance (Jewson and Macgr egor 1997: 8), the construction of ne w urban r egimes which ha ve ‘the po wer to act’ and thr ough v arious economic, political and social inno vations seek to ad dress the de velopment of structur al competiti veness. This in volves, as signalled in Cha pter 4, b ut this time a t the local level, the legitima tion of ne w policy actors and v oices, and these ne w actors are often both the f ocus of local or r egional netw ork relations and sometimes participants in na tional policy netw orks. The local str ategies and stances of growth and boosterism bring to gether ‘pr operty inter ests, rentiers, utility groups , uni versities, business groups , tr ade unions and local media’ (Hub bar d and Hall 1998: 9) and ha ve appeal to local go vernments of di fferent political persuasions . All of the localities pr esented belo w are Labour contr olled.


An economy of innovation

In these entr epreneurial localities , educa tion is dr awn into a speci fic relationship to the economic and to entr epreneurism and competiti veness as part of urban r egeneration and local la bour mar ket str ategies and as part of the mar keting of place (see pa ge 149). Educa tion is made part of narr atives of local failur e and r ecovery. The narr ative of enterprise and entr epreneurism is appar ent and r elevant in a n umber of w ays, for example the setting up of Academies; the r ole of Academies and other initia tives in the teaching and pr omotion of enterprise in schools (see Cha pter 7); the f ostering of technolo gical inno vations in schools; the links betw een schooling and local economic r egeneration; and the r ole of local entr epreneurs and companies in the tr ansfor mation and r e-culturing of schools . Within all this , schools ar e drawn into di fferent policy netw orks oper ating on di fferent scales – both local and distant – ‘multi-level governance’ (J essop 2004: 6). Academies , as we shall see, ar e embed ded in local partnerships with sponsors and other b usiness inter ests; in some cases (UL T, Vardy, Oasis) they are part of ‘virtual’ feder ations run b y sponsors , or local feder ations of schools, or combina tions of these (Educa tion Action Zones). They also ha ve dependence on and r esponsibilities to the centr e (DfES Academies di vision, Ofsted, ASST). Some specialist schools also ha ve ongoing r elationships with other schools via their sponsors (HSBC sponsors 100 schools , Alec R eed 27 schools and Thomas T elford CT C 63 – see Cha pter 7). This is a ne w but fluid socio-spa tial fix for school go vernance . In this w ay educa tion is made part of w hat is called ‘new localism’, another New Labour condensa te which pr omises ‘cost-e ffective pub lic services . . . equity . . . and gr eater choice’ and to ad dress the ‘pr essing ur gency to r everse the long-ter m disenga gement of people fr om tr aditional politics’ not b y ‘greater centr alisation – they will onl y come fr om decentr alisation and devolution of po wer’ (Haz el Blears, MP f or Salf ord and Minister of Sta te at the Home O ffice, Foreword to the NL GN pub lication New Localism in Action, 2004: 8). Lastl y, the cases pr esented belo w are exemplars in another sense . They ar e working a t the leading edge of ne w policy de velopments . They ar e ‘Pathfinders’, test-beds f or ne w policy ideas , willing inno vators , acti ve disseminators of ‘good pr actice’ and ‘what works’, ‘centres of excellence’ and e ffective in bid ding for ne w initia tives, often pick ed out f or pr aise by government ministers and a gencies. In this w ay they ar e an acti ve facet of the e xperimental sta te; they ar e the r ecipients of ‘tar geted’ initia tives; they ar e ‘beacons’ but also sometimes failur es. The important point is tha t ‘entr epreneurial localities’ have ‘institutional and or ganisa tional fea tur es tha t can sustain a flow of inno vations, what is involved her e is a spa tialised comple x of institutions, nor ms, conventions , networks, organisa tions, procedur es and modes of economic and social calcula tion tha t encour age entr epreneurship’ (J essop 2002: 189). I identify belo w thr ee ‘entrepreneurial localities’ within w hich educa tion is a component of the spa tialised comple x of social and economic

An economy of innovation


regeneration – Sand well, Blackb urn with Darw en, and Mid dlesbr ough – b ut the exemplars will be necessaril y super ficial. I will sketch in some of the w ays in which these councils ar e engaged in ‘place mar keting’, re-imagineering themselv es as ‘new types of place or space f or living, working’ (Jessop 2002: 188) and highl y ‘proacti ve in pr omoting the competiti veness of their r espective economic spaces’ (J essop 2002: 124). These localities ar e by no means unique b ut they ar e not necessaril y typical. They ar e par adigm cases of interurban competiti veness in which educa tion has a signi ficant r ole in their ‘space economies’. They ma y also be ‘politicall y favour ed’ localities. Sandwell Sand well is in the West Midlands , and the Bor ough Council is ‘T ransfor ming Sand well’. In place-mar keting langua ge, ‘The bor ough is on a journey of tr ansfor mation with our destina tion – as set out in the 2020 vision of the Sand well Plan – “a thri ving, sustaina ble, optimistic and f orward-looking comm unity” in w hich ph ysical, social and economic conditions ha ve been radicall y impr oved and r emodelled’ (all quota tions fr om the SMBC w ebsite). Sand well will be ‘better, smarter , healthier , stronger and safer’. The journey is ‘powered’ by a regeneration compan y (RegenCo – the ‘ first in the W est Midlands’, in w hich the Council is a partner with English P artnerships and Advanta ge West Midlands), a housing mar ket renewal Path finder ar ea and a New Deal f or Comm unities ar ea – Gr eets Gr een. Of str ategic significance our k ey relationships with Sand well MBC and Sand well Partnership ha ve ensur ed tha t NDC policies ar e written into Borough-wide policies . This has ena bled us to de velop a housing str ategy tha t will out li ve the NDC pr ogramme, influence futur e planning of W est Bromwich to wn centr e and ha ve a major impact on emplo yment in Gr eets Gr een. We are also working with Sand well College to ensur e tha t their plans fit with the educa tional needs and aspir ations of Gr eets Gr een. (Ally Allerson, Ex ecutive Dir ector of Gr eets Gr een Partnership , ODPM w ebsite) In 2000 Sand well LEA r eceived interim mana gement support fr om Nor d Anglia in a nine-month contr act. P art of the Sand well journey in volves “investing in our y oung people” – five primary schools ha ve been r ebuilt by Total Schools (V inci/Norw est Holst/P ell Frischmann/In vestec) in a £17 million PFI scheme (in w hich PW C acted as the Bor ough’s ad viser) and tw o CL Cs ar e open as part of the EiC initia tive, one specialising in music and digital video and the other langua ge and comm unica tion, art and design and digital media. T est perf or mance has been ‘boosted b y a pioneering £4 million “T eacher of the Futur e” pr ogramme, aimed a t tr ansfor ming teaching and learning . . . in partnership is the Uni versity of Wolverhampton’.

150 An economy of innovation The langua ge here represents the themes of change , recovery, inno vation, re-design, ener gy and integr ation harnessed to achie ve social and economic regeneration. A £300 million in vestment via the go vernment’s Building Schools for the Futur e programme is set to r ebuild or r efurbish all the Borough’s r emaining secondary schools , ‘equipping them f or 21st century learning’. In a speech in 2002, T ony Blair pick ed out one Sand well school for special praise: Shireland Langua ge College in Sand well, under the leadership of Mar k Grund y and with str ong support fr om its sponsors HSBC , has virtuall y doub led the pr oportion of students gaining five good GCSE passes since becoming a specialist school in 1998, up fr om 28 per cent to 52 per cent. They teach Chinese and J apanese as w ell as Panja bi, Ar abic and Ur du, and they ar e now a leading langua ge college. (Tony Blair’s speech to T echnolo gy Colleges Trust, 2002) The Sand well Academ y is scheduled to open in 2006 and is k ey to the Borough’s wholesale r egeneration plans – it fea tur es as a major plank within the pr oposed W est Bromwich Cultur al and Learning Quarter . It is crucial to one of the council’s k ey priorities ‘of boosting educa tional perf or mance and supporting other schools in climbing the na tionwide e xam lea gue ta bles’ (Sand well MBC w ebsite). The Academ y also has a wider brief to mak e its facilities available to local comm unities bey ond the school da y. The Academ y is sponsor ed by a consortium tha t is led b y Sir K evin Satchwell, Head of the Thomas T elford School in Shr opshir e (a CT C), and includes the Mer cers Compan y, HSBC Bank, T ar mac plc and W est Bromwich Albion FC . Loca ted on the site of the f or mer Thomas T elford school in Half ords Lane on the West Bromwich/Smethwick bor der, the Academ y will cater for o ver 1,200 pupils. The Council sold the land to the sponsors f or £1. The funding contribution fr om Thomas T elford Online deri ves from the surplus earned fr om the Telford Online ICT course . The school is sponsoring tw o Academies , one in Sand well and the other in W alsall (an outsour ced LEA run b y Serco), as w ell as 63 specialist schools . Not onl y have these schools been helped with financial support, b ut they ar e also r eceiving ad vice and support on ho w to r aise their academic standar ds. Sir K evin Satchwell is one of Ne w Labour’s entr epreneurial, standar d-raising, educa tion her oes, and is acting as pr oject manager for the Sand well scheme. The Academ y is in an ar ea of the Bor ough designa ted for b usiness acti vity and is also part of an e xisting PFI contr act. Futur e plans f or the school site include the b uilding of a b usiness centr e and swimming pool. It will specialise in sport and b usiness studies and will adopt the Thomas T elford curriculum arr angements w hereby teaching tak es place in thr ee-hour sessions with an after-school session f or learning and cultur al, sporting, m usical and comm unity acti vities. The post of headteacher w as advertised a t a salary of £100,000.

An economy of innovation


West Bromwich b usinessman Eric P ayne (612th in the 2003 Sunday Times Rich List with £65 million) is to sponsor a second Academ y, based on Christian principles . Jubilant schools and educa tion chiefs in Sand well are welcoming a Ministerial decision to gi ve the go ahead to further de velopment of plans f or a sta te-of-the-art Design and Enterprise Academ y to be b uilt on the Dartmouth High School site in Gr eat Barr . The Minister’s decision f ollows proposals fr om industrial sponsor , Eric P ayne OBE and his wife , Gr ace, who were both educa ted in West Bromwich bef ore moving to North W ales when the famil y business r elocated. The Academ y, which will have a sho wcase centr e for young designers , will develop a high profile in the cr eative arts. Sponsor Mr P ayne said: “F amilies deserv e the best possib le schools for their childr en and w e have a lot of har d work to do to ensur e tha t the students get the best deal possib le and achie ve high standar ds. Over the coming months I look f orward to the opportunity for dialo gue with par ents, sta ff and the comm unity as w e forge ahead with b uilding a ‘world bea ter’ Academ y. The Academ y will be a major player in the r egeneration of Sand well and w e expect to tak e our place alongside other local partners in b uilding a positi ve futur e for the bor ough.” The Academ y also has the backing of the Uni versity of Wolverhampton, w hich has a greed to become its lead educa tion partner and work with the sponsors . Professor Sir Geo ff Hampton – Dean of the School of Educa tion and Dir ector of the Midlands Leadership Centr e at the uni versity – said: “The Uni versity oper ates on a w orldwide basis. We are working with schools in China and Mala ysia to de velop tomorr ow’s generation of ‘smart’ schools .” (http://www .laws.sand well/news/) Sand well’s third pr oposed health and citiz enship Academ y on the site of Willingsworth High School has been clear ed to mo ve to the feasibility sta ge and is planned to open in the autumn of 2008. This Academ y is to be sponsored by the RSA. It is a good e xample of the w ays educa tion is joined up with r egeneration and competition str ategies involving di verse agencies and partners . The Academ y already has str ong local support fr om the Council, the Primary Car e Trust and the Uni versity of Wolverhampton – the lead educa tion partner . The pr oposed £20 million sta te-of-the-art Academ y will have man y inno vative featur es, such as a local health ‘one stop shop’, a fire safety centr e and comm unity access facilities . The Academ y will cater for 900 students a ged 11–16 and will ha ve a sixth f or m of 200. It will also pr ovide skills tr aining and de velopment f or local people , and will ha ve the potential to o ffer specialist v ocational pr ogrammes for health and car e professionals . Academ y proposals ar e also being

152 An economy of innovation consider ed for con verting Geor ge Salter High, W est Bromwich, and Shireland Langua ge College, Smethwick. (http://www .laws.sand councilgener al/pr essreleases/pr essreleasesmar2006/ new-step-forward-for-academ y.en) Sand well also r eceived funding f or tw o Educa tion Action Zones (W ednesbury and Blackhea th and R owley). It has an Educa tion Business P artnership , ‘the principal a gency for br okering educa tion b usiness links acr oss Sand well’ (pdpdir and is part of Black Country Educa tion Business Links (info@blackcountry Other things w e might note her e are tha t: both Sand well and Darw en (see pa ge 153) are among nine P ath finder ar eas for a £1.2 billion housing demolition pr ogramme; 7 Sand well with Bir mingham made a £62 million bid f or mar ket renewal funding; Sand well ‘is now working with CABE and English P artnerships on a housing ga p funding mechanism’ (Market Renewal: Birmingham Sandwell Pathfinder, Audit Commission Scrutiny Report, J une 2004); and in 2004 Sand well agreed a £300,000 contr act with Capita to r eview the authority’s centr al support services – ‘Unison belie ves Capita will simpl y recommend mor e services being outsour ced to the pri vate sector’ (r eport in Birmingham Evening Mail, 18 June 2004). Blackburn with Darwen Blackb urn with Darw en is referred to b y the Guardian as a ‘pr ogressive council’ – in 2004 it was overall winner of the Guardian pub lic service award (supported b y Ha ys Pub lic Services) for its ‘Charter f or Belonging’, childr en’s centr es and local Str ategic Partnership , and in 2002 it w as ‘council of the year’. It w as rank ed ‘excellent’ by the Audit Commission f or thr ee years in a row and is in volved in pioneering local Pub lic Service Boar ds. Based upon the refor ms in the Gr een Paper Every Child Matters, the Council w as among the first wave of 35 ‘Path finder’ local authorities to set up childr en’s trusts . It is also a member of the local go vernment ‘Inno vations F orum’ (Ma y 2003). The F orum, w hich is made up of council leaders and chief e xecutives of the 22 local authorities gr aded ‘excellent’ in the CP A plus ministers and ci vil servants , began with a f ocus on f our themes , one of w hich was ‘school impr ovement’. Again using the langua ge of place mar keting and inter-urban competition, ‘Blackburn and Darw en is kno wn thr oughout the UK as an area tha t fosters enterprise and job cr eation’ (B&DBC w ebsite) and the council ‘are working in partnership with its citiz ens, businesses, and v oluntary and sta tutory a gencies to b uild a sustaina ble environment in w hich businesses want to tr ade and in vest’. In 2002, following a ‘scoping’ exercise conducted b y Capita, the Council signed a £190 million 15-y ear Str ategic Partnership a greement with Ca pita, the longest such a greement so far and w orth £15 million a y ear to the compan y, and 450 emplo yees were transferr ed. As part of the deal, the Ca pita

An economy of innovation


group has opened one of se ven regional ‘b usiness centr es of excellence’ in Blackb urn (w hich deals with TV licence fees , CRB w ork and Housing Bene fit applica tions, including those fr om some London bor oughs). A tar get of 500 new jobs was agreed, with w hite-collar jobs to r eplace declining man ufacturing work; by 2003, 700 had alr eady been cr eated. As part of the £500 million housing mar ket renewal Path finder pr ogramme (ODPM, F ebruary 2004), the Blackb urn with Darw en Council has pr oposed the demolition of 151 houses next to the to wn centr e. The demolitions will mak e way for an Academ y school (see belo w). ‘The valua tions of houses in the R ed Earth T riangle ar ea were carried out b y . . . Ca pita’ (Corporate Watch Newsletter, 23, April/Ma y 2005, p. 6).

Figure 6.1 Capita in Blackb urn.


An economy of innovation

Four of the nine Blackb urn with Darw en secondary schools ar e specialist schools (2006) and R od Aldridge , Chief Ex ecutive of Ca pita, is sponsoring a £27 million Academ y in a personal ca pacity, thr ough his charita ble trust, b ut the Head of the DfES Academies di vision noted tha t “ther e were difficulties in his sponsoring an academ y in the ar ea because of his r elationship with the council” ( TES, 18 Mar ch 2005). Tony Cann, f ounder and Chair man of Promethean, the w hiteboar d compan y (see Cha pter 5), also pr oposed to sponsor a ma ths and science Academ y in Blackb urn w here the TDS gr oup (of which Pr omethean is a part) is based. “Educa tion is the k ey to the futur e for indi viduals and the country , and unless w e impr ove the level of educa tion we will have a second class na tion” (T ony Cann, quoted in Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 25 No vember 2004). Blackb urn with Darw en was granted EAZ funding in the first r ound of a wards. Middlesbrough Mid dlesbr ough is in the north-east of England and has a high-pr ofile, Independent elected Ma yor, Ray Mallon. Accor ding to the Council w ebsite, Mid dlesbr ough is ‘mo ving forward’ and the Council ‘is Open f or Business’. Again, in an e ffort to assert a unique identity and str ess compar ative advantages, the Council sa ys: ‘Our role is to mak e the ar ea as b usiness friendl y as possib le’ and ‘to help local people to meet the needs of local emplo yers, suppl ying a workforce tha t meets changing b usiness needs . . . We are specifically task ed with r evitalising the to wn econom y, helping to cr eate wealth for local b usinesses.’ As part of this , Mid dlesbr ough o ffers ‘superb tr aining and educa tion. The Uni versity of T eesside . . . is developing a leading-edge reputa tion in digital technolo gies. Further educa tion colleges shar e a local commitment to de veloping tr aining and enterprise .’ There is an ‘Enterprise Academ y’, a project which ‘helps 11–19 y ear olds acr oss the T ees Valley to learn a bout the w orld of b usiness and self emplo yment’. In 2001 Mid dlesbr ough BC enter ed into a ten-y ear, £260 million PPP with HBS to pr ovide front-line and back o ffice services via a ne w ‘onestop’ customer service centr e. One thousand sta ff were transferr ed to HBS and up to 500 ne w jobs were anticipa ted. The Centr e for Pub lic Services (2003) describes Mid dlesbr ough as ‘Contr act Ca pital of the W orld’. In 2005 the Audit Commission announced tha t Mid dlesbr ough Council had been rated as an ‘e xcellent’ local authority under the CP A framework (http:// www.mid dlesbr ough.go ws/middlesbr ough-council-pr essreleases/compr ehensive-perfor mance-assessment-gi ves-excellent-r esult.en ). Mid dlesbr ough LEA ‘embr aced the Go vernment’s City academies initia tive’ (‘Provision of Secondary Educa tion in South Mid dlesbr ough’, LEA document) and is home to thr ee Academies , one of w hich, the Macmillan (sponsor ed by the Macmillan T rust), a Beacon and Leading Edge school, is transferring fr om an esta blished City T echnolo gy College sta tus. The first ne w Academ y, opened in 2002, has been r eferred to a bove, the Unity

An economy of innovation


Academ y (see page 70), and is sponsor ed by construction and mana gement firm Amey plc, w hich is very acti ve in the PFI mar ket (see pa ge 49). The Chief Ex ecutive of Amey said this w as Amey’s “opportunity to contrib ute to inno vation and leadership in learning – and a str ong commitment to supporting pub lic services in Mid dlesbr ough and the North East” (NUT website). The Academ y, either the b uilding or online , was planned to open 24/ 7, 365 days a year, and has comm unity facilities including a learning r esour ce centr e with an Internet café. The curriculum is w ork-focused, with str ong links to b usiness. The a vant-gar de building w as designed b y Hickton Madeley & Partners and b uilt b y M J Gleeson (a PFI specialist) and includes internal balconies ‘modelled on a T uscan mountain villa ge’. It has been criticised. Ofsted commented tha t ‘while impr essive at first sight . . . some students do not feel safe or secur e. The la yout of corridors is confusing’ (quoted in Guardian, 20 Mar ch 2006) (and see ‘Sunder land Building Schools f or the Futur e: stak eholders visits to schools’, Sunder land City Council, 2005). Fujitsu is providing a mana ged IT C service for the school under a 15-y ear contr act and is responsib le for ‘identifying needs , providing technical support, mana ging refreshing and de veloping inno vation’. An account of the school and its relationships with Fujitsu, on the Fujitsu w ebsite ( casestudies/fs_unity .htm – see Box 6.2), captur es man y of the essential

Box 6.2 Unity Academ y The Academ y identi fied IT as one of the fundamental tools f or change . “IT helps to de velop clarity of thinking and the a bility to learn both b y oneself and in colla bor ation with others” said Der ek Gri ffiths, Str ategic Leader . To mar k this change , Unity Academ y opened with 18 inter active whiteboar ds to demonstr ate ho w technolo gy can support learning . . . An icon f or the ar ea, the w hole of the structur e is designed around flexible learning. It is full of audio-visual facilities , including 10 plasma scr eens. It has a sta te-of-the-art lectur e thea tre with surr ound sound and a digital r ecording studio . As Der ek Gri ffiths explained: “W e are not simpl y relocating. Our aim is to achie ve a mind shift in a depri ved comm unity with lo w expecta tions and little v alue for tr aditional educa tion. W e want to enga ge with the comm unity in or der to change w ays of thinking. Our long ter m vision is to cr eate independent young people w ho can mak e judgments a bout their futur e.” The T rust had a clear vision f or learning. Every room has an inter active whiteboar d and is a complete digital environment. Ther e are near ly 2000 data points . Each floor has br eakout spaces tha t ar e technolo gically rich. Learning r ooms ar e available for colla bor ative learning sessions . Mobile la ptop tr olleys ar e available to each learning ar ea to pr ovide IT access to an y learning situa tion. The school has a mix of desktops , laptops and ta blets: 600 devices for 1200


An economy of innovation

students . Ther e is lots of wir eless technolo gy; a key featur e of flexible connecti vity and access . “Mo ving from a tr aditional school to a highl y rich technolo gical environment is a challenge f or members of sta ff and students” r eported Der ek Gri ffiths. “It’s a bout flexibility and learning.” Students will ha ve 24/7 access to their online learning spaces and so will be a ble to r eview lesson ma terials a t their o wn pace, using the learning method tha t best suits them. T eachers will be a ble to utiliz e various teaching styles . The school plans to intr oduce peer mentoring and encour age older students to set up pr ojects to help primary school students . “We are trying to establish new models for learning and the deli very of educa tion. W e can provide softw are for mind ma pping and online learning. W e also intend to de velop our o wn online learning ma terials.” Working in partnership with Cisco and HP-Compaq, Fujitsu is suppl ying consultancy advice, design, con figuration, installa tion and netw ork services, and user support. It is part of Unity City Academ y’s remit to e xplor e commer cial possibilities. To sustain its vision in the long ter m and contin ue to inno vate, it needs to gener ate revenue str eams. The partnership aims to de velop a go-to-mar ket model tha t demonstr ates its vision a bout learning environments . Both parties ar e thinking of ne w ways in which to utiliz e the mana ged service, one option is to sell support to other schools . (From the Fujitsu w ebsite)

featur es of the Academ y strategy and v arious w ays in which educa tionall y and substanti vely schools ar e enveloped within narr atives of competition, business and enterprise w hich r eorient the rh ythms and te xtur e of school life. The linking of learning to ne w technolo gy and to pr epar ation f or work is also very evident her e. Ne w for ms of inno vative peda gogy are envisioned using ne w technolo gies and ne w architectur e to tr ansfor m ‘learning en vironments’ b ut also as ‘pr oducts’ w hich can be sold in colla bor ation with the IT C partner in the educa tion mar ketplace. Educa tion is r epresented her e in a new kind of langua ge but ma y not be e xperienced as ne w. Unity is also , as noted a bove, a ‘failur e’ of sorts. It failed its Ofsted inspection in 2005 (http://www .ofsted.go eports/manr eports/2661.pdf ) and identi fied a £500,000 year-on-y ear b udget de ficit (http://educa tion.guar .uk/ ofsted/story/0,,1485081,00.html ). Experimenta tion begets some failur es but they ar e relatively unimportant politicall y within a mor e general str ategy of tr ansfor mation. The thir d Academ y, the King’s Academ y, has a b usiness and enterprise specialism and is sponsor ed by the Vardy Founda tion, the personal charitable founda tion of Sir P eter Vardy, owner of the R eg Vardy car dealership and a de vout Christian ( http://www .dir ector-ma vardy.html ; x.php/Emman uel_Schools_F ounda tion ;

An economy of innovation


http://www .angel ). Vardy has o ffered to sponsor six Academies in the North-East and so far thr ee are open or planned. These Academies ha ve proba bly attr acted mor e pub lic and pr ess attention than an y others b ut for their r eligious values r ather than their inno vative appr oaches to teaching and learning. Mid dlesbr ough w as also a warded EAZ funding in the first r ound, and 22 Teesside schools ha ve specialist school sta tus.

Discussion Educa tion within these ‘entr epreneurial localities’ and ‘economic spaces’ can be thought a bout in the same ter ms tha t Jessop uses to char acterise the econom y: ‘an ima ginatively narr ated system tha t is accor ded speci fic boundaries , conditions of e xistence, typical economic a gents, tendencies and counter-tendencies , and a distincti ve overall dynamic’ (Jessop 2002: 7). Ima ginative narr ation is v ery evident (see Bo x 6.2). Within the pr ocesses of modernisa tion and tr ansfor mation the boundaries and spa tial horizons and flows of influence and enga gement ar ound educa tion ar e being str etched and reconfigured in a w hole variety of w ays – the time and space of educa tion and the school ar e changed, thr ough e xtended da ys, distance and ‘virtual’ learning, technolo gy transfer, local and na tional f ora, netw orks, partnerships and feder ations. This ena bles a fostering of ‘collecti ve intelligence’ to service the na tional competiti ve inter est but also in volves competing f or ad vanta ge with other localities and other institutions . Learning no w has no limits in time and space; w e are all life-long learners , but ne w sorts of learning outcomes , particular ly those r elated to b usiness and enterprise and to ne w technolo gies, are ‘asymmetricall y privileged’ within the r efor m pr ocess and local hegemonies. Ther e is an emphasis on the ‘digital econom y’ and inf or mation and comm unica tion technolo gies and f or ms of ‘imma terial la bour’ (Har dt and Negri 2000). Cr eativity, enterprise and entr epreneurism ar e given priority as new educa tional specialisms and technolo gical inno vations ar e foregrounded (see also Cha pter 7). As bela bour ed above, the designa tion of pub lic and private is also shifted on a n umber of dimensions and tasks ar e re-alloca ted. The pri vate is ‘in’ the schools and in school go vernance . Educa tion is ‘in’ business and in the comm unity and joined up with other services as part of strategies of local r egeneration link ed closely with local b usiness needs and local competiti veness, new local ‘social fixes’ (Jessop 2004: 6). The ‘economic spher e’ is redefined to incorpor ate educa tion in a v ariety of w ays. This is achieved thr ough a discourse of de volution, decentr alisation and autonom y – new localism. The conditions of e xistence of educa tion ar e also r e-set in ter ms of the ne w disciplines and demands of competiti veness, inno vation and the kno wledge econom y, to gether with an inclusi ve conception of educa bility and learning – ‘autonom y is being exercised in the conte xt of the hegemon y of the kno wledge-based accum ulation str ategy’ (Jessop 2002: 167) and this is both coer cive and empo wering. The ne w economic a gents of educa tion r ange

158 An economy of innovation from consumer par ents, self-organising learners acquiring the flexible skills requir ed in the changing or ima gined local econom y, entr epreneurial teachers and mana gers selling their curricular inno vations to others , and pri vate providers eking out pr ofits from running or pr oviding support services f or state schools or pr oviding educa tional services f or young people . Local her oes of enterprise (see also Cha pters 5 and 7) ar e making philanthr opic contrib utions, ‘giving back’ to ‘their’ locality , but they also stand f or and speak f or the discourse of entr epreneurism – they ar e new Victorians! Ne w techniques of governing ar e inscribed in these visions of educa tion and its futur e (Dean 1999). These entr epreneurial spaces ar e material settings in w hich di fferent multi-scalar in fluences come to gether in tangled hier archies and f or di verse ends and purposes . Ne w actors , social pa tterns , relationships and f or ms of or ganisa tion and comm unica tion ar e being esta blished. Ne w voices ar e hear d and others mar ginalised. The e xisting tendencies within the system, as portr ayed within policy te xts, ar e to under-achie vement, failur e and low standar ds, and the counter-tendencies ar e excellence, impr ovement and rising standar ds. The distincti ve overall dynamic is tr ansfor mation, a change of educa tional f or m and an ea ger responsi veness to the demands of competiti veness. Change – contin uous inno vation – is the ne w nor mal, and adaptability, flexibility and activation are strategic policy concepts . A set of Schumpeterian political, economic and social narr atives coalesce her e which give meaning to a set of ‘past failur es and futur e possibilities’ (Jessop 2002: 92) and constitute ‘ne w economic ima ginaries’ (Jessop 2004: 4) and ne w modes of r egulation within these distr essed localities. The telos of educa tion (Dean 1999) becomes tha t of an uncertain social and economic futur e. These new for ms of go verning and the local economies of inno vation become means of r eaching or r esponding to this futur e and the thr eat of economic uncompetiti veness. This is a f or m of go verning in the name of uncertainty and of competition.


Policy controversies Failur es, ethics and e xperiments

The best competition policy is not to r estrict monopol y but to pr omote inno vation. (Leadbea ter 2000)

In this cha pter, as a complement to the f ocus in Cha pters 4 and 5 on educa tion b usinesses, attention is dir ected to the in volvement of b usiness ‘outsiders’ in educa tion services of v arious kinds – J arvis and WS Atkins in particular and Academies sponsors in gener al. Companies lik e Jarvis and Atkins come fr om the ‘har d’ end of the ESI and thr ough e xpansion and horizontal integr ation shifted fr om construction and engineering into managed services and thence ha ve sought or been encour aged to enter the ‘soft’ services end of the mar ket. Other companies lik e VTES ha ve made this mo ve mor e successfully perha ps because their substanti ve business and e xpansion tr ajectory has a co gnate relation to the educa tional services w ork they ha ve tak en on. In the final section of the cha pter (‘Academies’, pa ge 170) other educa tional ‘outsiders’ w ho ar e now agents of policy (see Cha pter 5) thr ough the Academies pr ogramme in particular will be discussed. As a v ehicle for the discussion I f ocus on thr ee specific privatisation policies of v ery different kinds w hich ha ve given rise to con flicts and contr oversies over the in volvement of the pri vate sector in the deli very of pub lic education services . They are: PFIs , the running and mana gement of LEAs thr ough contr acts with private pr oviders, and the Academies pr ogramme. In r elation to PFIs , the main issues ar e profit and r esponsibility and mar ket failur e. Jarvis plc pr ovides a case stud y. In r elation to LEA contr acts, profit and r esponsibility ar e issues again, and Atkins’s in volvement with Southw ark LEA is the main case in point. Mor e generally these examples under line the importance of r ecognising the di versity among pri vate sector educa tion service suppliers , the str ategic beha viour of the companies in volved and the need to a ttend to the br oader financial conte xt and longer-ter m business pr ospects which r elate to speci fic privatisations. The ad hoc and e xperimental na tur e of these pri vatisation policies is a gain evident. The discussion of the Academies pr ogramme brings to gether man y of the main themes and issues identi fied in the r est of the book. Mor e specifically it


Policy controversies

will be used to ena ble a further e xamina tion of e xperimenta tion and inno vation as k ey aspects of and goals of educa tion r efor m and as the bases of ne w langua ge and pr actices – a systema ticity – in ter ms of which the pub lic sector is being r efor med. The Academies pr ogramme is a condensate of sta te competition policy with all its tensions and contr adictions r epresented in microcosm. Centr al to the pr ogramme is a concern with ‘mobilizing social as well as economic sour ces of flexibility and entr epreneurism’ (J essop 2001: 295–6). The Academies pr ogramme is made up of a comple x of policy impulses and in fluences and e xemplifies some of the ne w kinds of ‘pri vate’ participa tion within policy ad dressed in Cha pter 5. This participa tion is illustr ated b y examples of some ‘her oes of enterprise’.

PFIs ‘According to the T reasury, PFI tr ansactions with a total ca pital v alue of £35.5bn ha ve been signed since A pril 2003’ (Unison 2004). PFI schemes , as outlined in Cha pter 3, ha ve produced a m uch needed injection of cash into the pub lic sector ca pital b uilding pr ogramme and ha ve the dual a ttr action to government of deli vering ne w infrastructur e appar ently risk-fr ee and ‘o ff the books’ of go vernment de bt. Tha t in itself r aises inter esting questions a bout the ethics of sta te accounting during a period w hen the pri vate sector, especially in the US , but also to a lesser e xtent in the UK, has been beset with accounting scandals . Ho wever, the v arious inter ested parties in the field of go vernment accounting seem to ha ve agreed to disa gree about the e fficacy and integrity of the government’s position on PFIs . The Treasury on the w hole seems to tak e a much r osier view of PFIs than the N AO (http://www .nao ), local authorities , unions , ACCA, ASB (Sir Da vid Tweedie), PAC or the House of Commons Select Committee on Educa tion and Skills , but the technical debates involved her e obscur e some mor e basic political issues . Ironicall y in 2000 Arthur Andersen (w hich had been banned fr om pub lic sector work by the Conserv atives for their complicity in the DeLor ean scandal b ut r einsta ted by Labour in 1997 – see Cohen 2004) w as commissioned to mak e a report on the PFI pr ogramme and w as enthusiastic a bout its ad vanta ges and claimed to have found an a verage 17 per cent sa ving for the taxpa yer. In 2001 Mott MacDonald, w hich has a v ariety of in volvements in PFI w orks, was commissioned b y the Treasury to write a r eport comparing costs and o ver-runs between PFI and pub lic works pr ojects (Review of Large Public Procurement in the UK, June 2002), which found PFIs to be superior (see Unison 2005 f or a critique of the stud y). The whole set of issues ar ound cost, risk tr ansfer, financial tr anspar ency and pr ofit-taking fr om PFIs is beset b y confusion. Unison ar gues tha t ‘systema tic examina tion of the r ationale f or and costs of PFI policy ar e long o verdue’ (2004: 37) and the Pub lic Accounts Committee has twice noted its concern o ver the paucity of da ta on the r elationship between risk and the cost of pri vate finance. The IPPR (2000: 43) mak e the

Policy controversies


point tha t ‘A lar ge number of PFI pr ojects ha ve been a greed, yet ho w these decisions w ere made and w hat effects they ha ve on services o ffered ar e unclear .’ Two other aspects of PFI financing need noting her e. These ha ve been written a bout e xtensively by others and they ar e also the r eason w hy the Investors Chronicle described PFI shar eholdings as ‘hid den gems’. First, refinancing of completed pr ojects often gener ates substantial windfall pr ofits (see Box 7.1).

Box 7.1 PFI pr ofits A select group of City banks and b uilding firms have reaped mor e than £170 million in windfall pr ofits from b uilding four flagship hospitals under the go vernment’s contr oversial Pub lic Finance Initia tive policy . . . An Observer investigation has disco vered tha t while new hospitals struggle with mounting de bts and b uilding faults , pri vate contr actors r eap huge financial r ewards using sophistica ted methods to ‘r efinance’ the original PFI deals . A little-kno wn London in vestment firm run b y Laboursupporting South African b usinessman Da vid Metter has made £50m in just o ver two years fr om r enegotia ting the ter ms of loans on thr ee hospitals it helped to b uild for the NHS . Metter’s firm, Innisfr ee Gr oup , recently clinched a deal to refinance the Princess R oyal Uni versity Hospital in Br omley, south London, w hich was built in Mar ch 2003. Less than 12 months after the hospital opened its doors , Metter’s firm, to gether with b uilding group T aylor Woodr ow, renegotia ted the funding of the pr oject and pock eted £43m in clear pr ofit betw een the m . . . It was intended tha t hospitals w ould r eceive at least 30 per cent of the ‘r efinancing’ spoils , but in r eality this can be as little as 10 per cent. Last month, the Observer revealed ho w Innisfr ee, Laing and Ser co split a £100m pr ofit from r enegotia ting the deal on Labour’s flagship Norf olk and Norwich Uni versity Hospital. While the companies demanded their pr ofits in a lump sum, the hospital trust w as awarded a r eduction in its r ental costs of £3.5m a year o ver the ne xt 32 years. (Anton y Barnett, Observer, 4 July 2004) The House of Commons Committee of Pub lic Accounts R eport, on which this article dr aws, The Refinancing of the Norfolk and Norwich PFI Hospital, Thirty-fifth Report of Session 2005–06, notes , among other criticisms , tha t:


Policy controversies Octa gon’s investors’ internal r ate of r eturn mor e than tr ebled following the r efinancing. The total cash w hich investors e xpect to receive from the pr oject r educed fr om £464 million to £335 million following the r efinancing, b ut they ha ve now got a lar ge part of it much ear lier. As a r esult, their internal r ate of r eturn, r eflecting the value of getting bene fits sooner r ather than la ter, soar ed from 19% when the contr act was let to 60% . . . This r efinancing pr oduced a balance of risks and r ewards betw een the pub lic and pri vate sectors which, even for an ear ly PFI deal, is unaccepta ble. (http://www .pppf PAC%20N&N%20MA Y%202006.htm )

Second, as noted in Cha pter 3, ther e is now a very acti ve and lucr ative mar ket in the ‘selling on’ of PFI contr acts. Multi-million pound shar eholdings in educa tion, health and tr ansport projects no w change hands in secr etive deals betw een contr actors and financiers , releasing some immense cash windfalls f or b usinesses – at the taxpa yer’s expense. (BBC File on 4, July 2004) . . . they might be concerned tha t by selling their in vestments , it might be interpr eted tha t they w ere about to e xit the mar ket and cr eate the wr ong impr ession in go vernment f or winning futur e work, so for tha t reason they ma y well decide, you kno w, not to pub licise such a sale. (Paul Cleal, PW C, BBC File on 4, July 2004) The go vernment is r eluctant to impose windfall tax es or pr ofit-sharing agreements on PFI contr acts; r ather a v oluntary code has been a greed. This reluctance has to be seen in r elation to the go vernment’s r ole (again) as a mar ket-mak er. It does not w ant to discour age potential PFI contr actors . In or der to get the r apid gr owth it w ants in PFI, the go vernment openl y dangled bef ore the city the pr ospect of huge sums of pub lic money guar anteed in long ter m contr acts. (BBC File on 4, 4 July 2004) . . . the go vernment has al ways been very clear with PFI tha t they w ould never seek to shar e the gains in disposals of equity in PFI pr ojects. (David Metter , Chair of the PPPF , BBC File on 4, July 2004) The position her e is tha t the lur e of pr ofit works to ensur e cost-efficient, low-risk, timel y project deli very. As quoted in Cha pter 1, Gor don Br own sees the pri vate sector gener ally as better a t financial mana gement and

Policy controversies


service delivery than the pub lic sector. Let us look a t tha t claim b y focusing on J arvis plc – ‘We want to be a leading pr ovider of outsour ced services across a r ange of mar kets, curr ently including the r ail industry , roads , educa tion and other local go vernment sectors’ (Ann ual R eport 2004). J arvis lik e other major PFI pla yers, Amey and Mo wlem for example, has found the ‘business opportunity’ of PFIs v ery attr active but has faced financial di fficulties arising fr om losses on contr acts (see http://ne topics.cfm?tid=571&id=1194522004 and http://educa tion.guar .uk/ schools/story/0,,945233,00.html ) (see also Bo x 7.2 – a selection of J arvis’s mar ket acti vities).

Box 7.2 Jarvis and PFIs 2000: PWC resign as Jarvis’s auditors after a clash o ver accounting policy (http://www vells/MediaCentr e/Articles/ar chive/ 2005/Caution+r equir ed.htm ). 5 Ma y 2002: Nottingham T rent Uni versity chose J arvis to mana ge and oper ate eight halls of r esidence for 33 years; the contr act is valued a t £295 million; 104 emplo yees will TUPE fr om the uni versity to Jarvis. 6 June 2002: Jarvis shar es fall 10 per cent to six-month lo w following Potters Bar der ailment ( ws/ArchiveByMonth.aspx?da y=13&month=5&y ear=2002 ). 10 No vember 2002: Da vid Milliband, School Standar ds Minister , orders an ur gent r eport into the compan y’s activities in Kir klees, Yorkshir e, after complaints fr om heads a bout dela ys in refurbishments ( adio4/ne ws/fileon4/inde x_20021119.shtml ). 10 January 2003: J arvis r eached financial close of £97 million contr act for England’s first PFI amb ulatory car e centr e. 28 April 2003: Jarvis a ppointed pr eferred bid der for r oom pr oject a t Nottingham Uni versity. 24 Mar ch 2003: Jarvis secur es financial close on £54 million special schools pr oject in Salf ord. 22 April 2003: Jarvis to pr ovide a further 400 r ooms a t Uni versity of Reading. ‘Headteacher [Kir klees] tells of Jarvis r ebuilding woe and believes things can onl y get worse . . . another head, Christine Spencer of Salendine Nook high school said “This is a v ery good school, b ut this year the r esults ha ve dropped b y 2% – I think because of the amount of disruption” ’ (Guardian, 29 Ma y 2003). 12 June 2003: Jarvis to pr ovide new learning villa ge in South London. 5 September 2003: Ne w school y ear, new school look – Richmond, Bridlington, Kir klees, Liverpool, Haringey . 20 October 2003: J arvis secur es the UK’s lar gest-ever student accommoda tion pr oject.

164 Policy controversies 28 No vember 2003: J arvis will secur e major special schools PPP project. 3 December 2003: J arvis wins £263 million schools PFI pr oject. 12 December 2003: J arvis accused b y MP F rank Field of ‘not deli vering’ on its W irral school PFI w hich has been dela yed by disputes o ver payments betw een Jarvis and its sub-contr actors . Schools w ere prevented fr om r e-opening f or autumn ter m (, 11 No vember 2003). 25 April 2004: Jarvis and the Miller-led Emb lem schools gr oup are competing f or Fife council’s £53 million PFI deal. J arvis issues thir d pr ofit warning of the y ear ( findarticles .com/p/articles/mi_kmafp/ is_200407/ai_n6845264). 28 Ma y 2004: Jarvis announces it has been a warded a PFI contr act for tw o schools in Manchester and tw o in Rhond da and a deal to b uild 1,500 student r ooms f or UEL. These contr acts ha ve a whole life value of £516 million. 28 June 2004: Jarvis rising de bts levels thr eaten to br each a greements with its tw o main lenders , Bar clays and the R oyal Bank of Scotland ( usiness/3938661.stm). Goldman Sachs acquir es 4 per cent of J arvis (their holding had risen to 23 per cent b y No vember 2005) (http://in vesting.r eyDevelopments .aspx? ticker=JR VS.L). Jarvis is to pa y Uni versity of Lancaster students £304 each in compensa tion f or dela ys in hall of r esidence buildings. 11 July 2004: Treasury ad vised local authorities with J arvis contr acts to draw up contingency plans . 12 July 2004: ‘Schools could be left with r efurbishment and b uilding schemes in ta tters because of the financial crisis facing PFI contr actor Jarvis’ (Times). 30 July 2004: ‘Jarvis will sell o ff PFI units to sta y afloat. It has already stated it intends to sell its stak e in Tubelines, the partprivatisation consortium f or the London under ground’ ( Guardian). 29 August 2004: J arvis’s bank ers made £25 million a vailable to compan y until Mar ch 2005. K Ca pital P artners b uy mor e shar es in Jarvis (12.7 per cent in Ma y @ 70p – stak e raised to 22.3 per cent @ 23p) (politics .guar .uk/elections2004/story/0,,1222623,00.html). K Ca pital disposed of its J arvis shar es in No vember 2004 ( http:// www.da taexplor ws.aspx?id=97&service= ). 29 August 2004: ‘Shar es in Jarvis contin ue to fall b y first 50% and then 36% in f our da ys. Jarvis is trying to co ver its £230m de bt by selling contr acts. Wirral council w here Jarvis has £55m schools PFI is considering options to ensur e the work is finished. Cumbria county council ha ve delayed its decision to out-sour ce ICT services to Agilsys (40 per cent o wned b y Jarvis)’ (www.unison.or gaining/ doc_view.asp?did=1473&pid=73 ).

Policy controversies


21 October 2004: J arvis pa ys bon uses totall y £807,000 to dir ectors which had been withheld after fa tal P otters Bar r ail crash (scotlandonsunda x.cfm?id=735112002). Accommoda tion services division is put up f or sale and sells its Uni versity P artnership Programme bid ding and administr ation team to Alma Ma ter, a joint ventur e between 3i and Bar clays Private Equity P artnership ( www. unison.or gaining/doc_vie w.asp?did=1589&pid=752 ). 29 October 2004: J arvis loses £200 million contr act to maintain r oads in Cheshir e and is dr opped as pr eferred bid der for Fife schools PFI. J arvis sells its stak e in Ultr amast f or £10 million ( www.ukb usinesspar ). 30 October 2004: J arvis loses school PFI Deal: the ‘Engineering group lost out on a contr act to b uild schools f or a local authority f or the second time in 2 months’ ( Guardian). 28 No vember 2004: J arvis a grees to sell its PFI acti vities to F rench construction gr oup V inci, including its contr act to design and b uild two schools in Manchester ( http://ne .cfm?tid =571&id=1194522004 ). Norf olk CC is to r e-advertise its PFI contr act for 37 schools after r ejecting the plan put f orward by Jarvis and V inci. The construction will be dela yed for tw o years. 6 December 2004: T wickenham MP asks questions a bout J arvis’s obligations in the House of Commons ( http://www .pub lications. par d/vo041206/debtext/41206–34.htm ). 12 December 2004: J arvis shar es fall 60 per cent after further warning of losses . Jarvis no w agrees to sell its PFI bid ding oper ations to Ger man compan y Hochtief Pr ojektenwicklung f or £1.2 million (www.projectfinancema ge=7&PubID=4&ISS =14410 &SID=496130 ). 12 January 2005: J arvis shar e price doub les to 37p. A further cut of 300 sta ff is announced; the w orkforce has been r educed fr om 6,000 to 2,700 in one y ear ( www.unison.or gaining/doc_vie w. asp?did=1727 ). Jarvis will contin ue to w ork on 14 PFI construction projects. Jarvis sells its Tubelines stak e to Amey f or £146.8 million (www.tubelines .com/ne ws/releases/200602/20050131.aspx ). Richmond Council tak es legal ad vice over dela ys to a school w hich is part of an £80 million contr act with J arvis, and essential w orks in Haringey schools ar e stopped ( www.unison.or gaining/doc_vie w.asp? did=1727&pid=785 ). 17 January 2005: ‘Hud dersfield’s MP has a ttack ed for mer Kir klees school compan y Jarvis’ (Huddersfield Daily Examiner). 13 February 2005: J arvis is valued a t £39.2 million, do wn from £827 million in 2002. Star ca pital is to b uy the equity shar e on Jarvis’s PFI contr act with Kir klees Council, w orth a bout £1.6 million. 14 Mar ch 2005: Alan Lo vell, Jarvis Chief Ex ecutive, is to r eceive a


Policy controversies

£450,000 bon us for completing J arvis’s rescue (business.timesonline,,9073–1750026,00.html). (In 2006 he left J arvis to join private equity firm Terra Fir ma.) 25 April 2005: Jarvis considers a name change f or its r ail engineering business (www.skyscraperne ws.php?r ef=49 ). 29 April 2005: ‘High school pr aised b ut b uilding is inadequa te: inspectors said the b uildings w ere inadequa te to meet the needs of pupils despite the fact they ha ve been r efurbished o ver the past tw o years under a pri vate pub lic partnership with J arvis. In Mar ch 2003 Jarvis sold its 35% shar e in KSSL, set up to mana ge the pr oject to in vestment compan y Secondary Mar ket Infr astructur e Fund’ ( Huddersfield Daily Examiner). 12 Ma y 2005: ‘Date is set for work at new Kir klees schools – b uilding will start ne xt month on a ne w school w hich has been do gged by cash problems . . . after months of wr angling, the school – w hich was scheduled to be finished in September this y ear will be b uilt b y Waites Construction’ ( Huddersfield Daily Examiner). 24 Ma y 2005: ‘Dismay at school firm’s shak e up . . . Jarvis which emplo ys caretaking sta ff at 19 Kir klees schools . . . shar e price stood at just 7 pence y esterday . . . and has de bts estima ted a t £280m’ (Huddersfield Daily Examiner). (Unless otherwise indica ted, the ma terial her e comes from the J arvis compan y website and compan y press releases.)

The full pub lic sector costs , dir ect and indir ect, caused b y Jarvis’s pr oblems will never be kno wn and ar e simply not tak en into account in the o verall costing of PFI schemes . The social and educa tional impact of the dela ys and difficulties caused is incalcula ble. Nonetheless , these ar e costs tha t the pub lic sector has to bear (e .g. see ‘Educa tion, disruption, and m ultiplica tion’, http:// educa tion.guar .uk/schools/story/0,,945581,00.html , and Huddersfield Daily Examiner).1 On the other hand, J arvis’s difficulties pr oduced ne w profit opportunities f or other pri vate companies and in vestment gr oups (SMIF , Amey, Vinci, etc.). One of the other issues her e is tha t PFI clients , local authorities and health trusts ar e unlik e other sorts of clients in tha t their po wers in r elation to service providers seem v ery limited – in part because in some cases they ar e reluctant participants in PFI arr angements . Ruane (2002: 210) also notes , echoing m y point a bout ‘insider/outsider’ v alues, the particularity of w hat she ter ms the ‘construction industry cultur e’ as well as ‘major discr epancies in the v alues and goals of r espective partners’. Like other engineering and mana gement services companies such as Amey, VT and Atkins , Jarvis also a ttempted to e xpand its b usiness into

Policy controversies


educa tion services and, in 2003, soon after the P otters Bar r ail crash (www.guar .uk/pottersbar/0,11994,713526,00.html ), was awarded a programme contr act b y the DfES (a gain a mar ket-making mo ve to encour age a new supplier into the ESI). Fury as Jarvis wins contract Teachers’ leaders r eacted angril y to the ne ws tha t Jarvis, which has no record of running schools , will be paid £1.9 million to help r aise standar ds in 700 of the w orst perf or ming secondaries in England and W ales. Jarvis will oper ate a support netw ork to help local authorities and dissemina te good pr actice to under-perf or ming schools . This will include selecting examples of good pr actice, running a w ebsite and or ganising confer ences. It is the first contr act of this type w on b y the compan y, whose educa tion acti vity has pr eviously centr ed on pri vate finance initia tive building work. Jarvis is believed to be inter ested in the contr act to run educa tion services in Southw ark following the withdr awal of ri val WS Atkins from the south London bor ough. T wo of the k ey personnel in J arvis Educa tion Services f or merly worked for Atkins – including Ste ve Davies, ex-director of educa tion services in Southw ark. (Jon Sla ter, Guardian, 2 Ma y 2003) The J arvis story also points up another generic issue arising fr om pri vate sector participa tion and some of the inher ent pr oblems or limita tions, from the pub lic sector side , of contr acting. In particular , shifts in o wnership , the ‘selling on’ of contr acts, can gi ve rise to disputes o ver responsibility , slippa ge or evasion, and compliance con flicts (which involve further costs to the pub lic sector, e.g. SMIF and Kir klees). It w ould seem tha t for companies lik e Jarvis, despite their flirta tion with educa tion services b usiness, the pub lic sector is just another pr ofit opportunity and, w hen financial necessity dicta tes, they sell off or disin vest and mo ve on, leaving others to think a bout and deal with the social consequences .

LEA contracts In 2001 another engineering and facilities services compan y, Atkins , moved to enter the educa tion services b usiness b y bidding to run Southw ark LEA services. The Atkins 2003 Ann ual R eport noted tha t: Educa tion is led b y a new Mana ging Dir ector and k ey senior sta ff appointed in Mar ch 2002 who ar e harnessing the Gr oup’s IT, design, facilities mana gement and pr ofessional services ca pabilities to pr ovide integr ated educa tion support services . The Go vernment’s W hite P aper on Educa tion R efor m will be a ca talyst for gr owth within the sector .


Policy controversies

The compan y had esta blished itself in the PFI mar ket and had de veloped a school design team, and educa tion services seemed lik e a sensib le next mo ve for their Go vernment Services di vision. The Ann ual R eport goes on: Our £100m, five-year educa tion outsour cing contr act with the London Borough of Southw ark is the lar gest issued to da te, covering mor e than 100 schools and 35,000 childr en. Accor ding to Ofsted, it has delivered significant impr ovements during its first year . . . Educa tion has great potential – and the Southw ark PPP sho ws we can meet the challenge. Ha ving esta blished our cr edentials , we are now seeking ne w contr acts and partnerships in w hich we can sell ad ditional, v alue-ad ded services. Atkins’s turno ver in 2002–3 was £806.3 million b ut it posted pr e-tax losses of £32.8 million, w hich put the compan y under pr essure to r estructur e, and a possib le tak eover was rumour ed (http://www ws/ NewsArticle.aspx?VersionID=49546&Men uK ey=Ne ws.Ar chive). In F ebruary 2003 when it w as announced tha t it was talking to potential b uyers, compan y shar es fell 7 per cent to 111p . In A pril, WS Atkins announced it w as pulling out of the Southw ark contr act tw o years into a five-year ter m. Their shar e price rose. Essentiall y, the compan y admitted, the contr act had been changed in such a w ay tha t not enough pr ofit could be made . Council leader Nick Stanton said: “W e were paying everything due under the contr act and mor e on top . This y ear Atkins w as told to pa y mor e to schools .” Firm finds a private hell Raised eyebrows at the ‘Educa tion P artnerships’ confer ence last w eek when WS Atkins , the pri vate contr actor running educa tion in Southw ark and the e vent’s sponsor , decided to pull out its speak er. Da vid Monger , the compan y’s director of LEA partnerships , had been due to talk on ‘Learning fr om experience’. Why the sud den a ttack of sh yness from the nor mally volub le privatisation people? All became clear on T uesda y when Atkins announced it had learned fr om experience . . . and w as pulling out of Southw ark after negotia tions with the local council collea gues. (Helen Ward, TES, 4 April 2003) One headteacher , who did not w ant to be named, w as quoted in the TES saying: “F or tw o years we have been used as a go vernment e xperiment w hich has failed. Atkins should ha ve made the jobs of heads and teachers easier b ut it made them mor e difficult” (W illiam Ste wart, 6 J une 2003). ‘The go vernment’s r efusal to co ver the costs of the withdr awal left Southw ark with a £1.5m shortfall in its educa tion b udget’ (W illiam Ste wart, TES, 6 June 2003). ‘Despite the Southw ark setback, Atkins has insisted tha t it will contin ue to expand in PFI v entur es’ (TES archive, 30 January 2004). ‘The contr act was

Policy controversies


handed o ver into the safer hands of CEA; although some Southw ark Headteachers w ere not pleased to be facing a further period of pri vate sector involvement’ (Rosie Waterhouse , TES, 30 January 2004). The Unison Companies Upda te website mak es a crucial point her e, tha t is the WS Atkins story illustr ates the importance of: Fluctua tions in the stock mar ket which char acterise and in fluence pri vate companies’ perf or mance and via bility. This mak es their clients , which now include schools and LEAs , vulner able. Private companies ha ve no statutory r esponsibility nor pub lic duty to pr ovide educa tion services nor are they democr atically accounta ble to their comm unities. The point is tha t: ‘Corpor ate goals ma y or ma y not coincide with pub lic inter ests at an y moment in time’ (Hall and Lubina 2004: 274). One of m y respondents described the a ward of the Southw ark contr act to Atkins as ‘bizarr e’ and suggested tha t things had changed ‘no w ther e’s more providers in the mar ket and they [the DfES and the T reasury] want to see or ganisa tions tha t they feel are low risk’. These mar ket failur es and failur es in mar ket-making ar e further examples of the fumb lings and e xperimental uses of pri vatisation as a policy device but also indica te the financial insta bility of the ESI. The withdr awal of Atkins and the implosion of J arvis were failur es in a number of senses . They w ere policy failur es, in the sense of failur e to ‘grow’ the educa tion services mar ket. They w ere also r elationship failur es in as m uch as they pointed up , especially in the case of Atkins , the limits to the ‘embed dedness’ of v alues within the ESI. In R uane’s (2002: 210) account of health service PFIs , health service mana gers she intervie wed regarded a ppeals to ‘trust’ or ‘partnership’ as part of their r elationship with PFI contr actors ‘with scornful incr edulity’ (p. 210). As a PFI contr actor Atkins a ppears to ha ve brought its ‘construction industry cultur e’ with it into the Southw ark contr act. Ther e were also mar ket failur es as indica ted, and they demonstr ate the role of ‘bottom-line’ issues of pr ofitability in pri vate sector decision-making. One r espondent commented tha t ‘they were pretty crude and they w ere certainl y a lot mor e focused on the bottom line than w e are’. This is a further example of the w ay in which the ‘educa tion b usinesses’ differentia te themselves from ‘outsiders’. Elaine Simpson, r eflecting on Ser co’s difficulties with the Br adford LEA contr act, said “the DfES ha ve been concerned tha t it would end up lik e Southw ark and w e would w alk away. And Ser co have said, ‘No, we’re not going to w alk away. We’re going to sta y ther e and mak e it work.’ ” The pr oblems which ha ve emerged also indica te technical failur es in the oper ationalisa tion of LEA outsour cing contr acts. Some a t least of the contr oversy and di fficulty tha t have accompanied some of these contr acts derives from the inadequacies or peculiarities of the contr acts themselv es and the pr ocesses of mutual learning, ada pta tion and negotia tion betw een the parties in volved at both local and na tional le vel. The companies , the local authorities and the DfES and their ad visers were all learning as


Policy controversies

they went along ho w this ne w kind of mar ket might w ork. One of m y interviewees talk ed of “the b lind leading the b lind” and another r eflected tha t his compan y “didn’t ha ve the foggiest idea w hen the contr acts were written, w hat they were taking on”. A thir d commented on the “phenomenal tr ansaction costs”. CEA in Islington f ound themselv es agreeing to a list of 415 tar gets and a monthl y reporting schedule . This list w as eventuall y reduced to 60. Nonetheless , the penalties le vied were given extensive media co verage. One head of service talk ed about “an a ppallingl y negotia ted contr act” and, as noted pr eviously, consider able criticism in some cases w as dir ected to the consultants . “They didn’t understand educa tion b udgets and b udgets streams”, one r espondent e xplained. Another r eported tha t “the consultants were per manentl y camped in the A uthority [b ut] people didn’t kno w what they were doing. This w as bonk ers stu ff.” This w as a pr ocess of ‘trying out f or size’ on both sides , state and ca pital. Clear ly, most of the participant companies, Atkins aside , did not e xpect to mak e significant money out of these contr acts fr om the outset. The companies had “to tak e it on the chin”, as one respondent put it, talking a bout losses made . They w ere testing the w ater, making friends , demonstr ating good will and b uilding trust with centr al and local go vernment. The consultants made consider able amounts of money . The thir d ar ea of contr oversy, the Academies pr ogramme, is rather di fferent. It ad dresses a different kind of pri vate sector in volvement in sta te educa tion, partl y, as discussed in Cha pter 5, thr ough philanthr opy. Ho wever, it is also a policy e xperiment and it in volves a kind of substanti ve interface between educa tion and b usiness, as discussed in Cha pter 6. Also in this section I look a t some of the Academies’ actors , mor e businessmen, and this picks up on the importance noted in Cha pter 1 and 2 of the r ole of ‘new intellectuals’ and a gents of educa tion policy .

Academies I want teachers a ble to comm unica te the virtues of entr epreneurship and wealth cr eation. And just as b usiness ty coons ha ve become the pop idols of the b usiness world, I want our local b usiness leaders to become r ole models for toda y’s young. (Gor don Br own speech, December 2003) The model is , quite deliber ately, the independent sector : unifor ms, strong independent leadership , a distincti ve ethos and fr eedom fr om bureaucr acy. (M. Bak er, TES, 30 September 2005) In economic and political institutions the corpor ate rich no w wield enor mous po wer, but they ha ve never had to win the mor al consent of those o ver whom they hold this po wer. (Wright-Mills 1959: 344)

Policy controversies


Why is the Academies pr ogramme inter esting? It b uilds on the CT C programme, which was itself infor med b y the de velopment and e xperience of Charter schools in the US (PW C 2005) (and ther e are nota ble par allels between the Academies policy and its rhetoric and some of the rhetoric of the Edison School Corpor ation – see Saltman 2005). It is e xpensive (the HCESSE, 2005, estima tes a cost of £5 billion), an e xample of the str ategic alloca tion of r esour ces, but not v ery lar ge; ther e is a tar get of 400 such schools b y 2010, 60 of these in the London bor oughs. It is nonetheless signi ficant and r elevant in tha t it stands as a condensate of the educa tion policies of the competition sta te. Academies ar e an experiment in and a symbol of education policy bey ond the w elfare state and an e xample and indica tor of shifts taking place in go vernance and r egulatory structur es and they enact a set of metaor ganisa tional changes . The pr ogramme signals a discursi ve-strategic shift to wards a ne w kind of r egulatory r egime. It also constitutes a ne w set of potential r elations betw een educa tion and the econom y within w hich schools are requir ed to tak e much mor e responsibility f or fostering ‘kno wledge cultur es’ (Peters and Besley 2006). Inno vation, inclusion and r egeneration are tied to gether in r elation to the r equir ements of the digital w orkplace. Academies indica te a r e-articula tion and r e-scaling of the sta te; they ar e part of a ne w localism and a ne w centr alism; they encompass ne w kinds of autonom y and ne w for ms of contr ol: contr olled decontr ol. Further mor e, they in volve a self-conscious a ttempt to pr omote entr epreneurism and competiti veness – as well as a commitment to ad dress social pr oblems and inequalities . They r epresent and contain all the uncertainties and tensions created b y the unsta ble duality of empo werment and contr ol and the di verse and competing elements of La bour’s r efor m agenda, b ut also the r eal but limited possibilities tha t ar e available to subtl y re-work the ‘or der of dominance’ (Ne wman 2005: 729) within this a genda, although not so m uch in the examples I use her e. They dr asticall y blur the w elfare state demar cations between sta te and mar ket, pub lic and pri vate, government and b usiness, and (as ar gued in Cha pter 5) they intr oduce and v alida te new agents and ne w voices within policy itself and in pr ocesses of governance and pla y a key role in bringing schools policy ‘m uch closer to the b usiness a genda than it has been a t an y time in the past’ (F arns worth 2004: 104). Let me try to be mor e specific about the signi ficance of Academies within the anal ytical fr amework I ha ve adumbr ated b y itemising the di fferent policy imper atives which ar e embed ded within the pr ogramme (these ar e summarised in Figur e 7.1). •

The k eyword which enca psula tes the Academies pr ogramme, and w hich is a centr al tenet of the Ne w Labour competition sta te, is innovation. It is envisaged tha t their ‘independent sta tus allo ws them the flexibility to be inno vative and cr eative in their curriculum, sta ffing and go vernance . . . [and work] in different ways to tr aditional Local A uthority (LEA) schools’ and ‘leaders in inno vation’ (DfES 2005a); they ha ve ‘the freedom


Policy controversies

Figure 7.1 Academies as a ‘policy condensa te’.

to mana ge and inno vate, with minim um interfer ence from the outside’ (Thomas T elford school w ebsite, 31 Ma y 2005), as Sir K evin Satchwell described Academies in his AST Ann ual Lectur e, or ‘flexibility to succeed’ as the AST Pr ospectus (2005) puts it. An important part of their remit is to think and act ‘otherwise’ a bout learning and or ganisa tional practice and to esca pe from the ‘limita tions’ of tr aditional or ganisa tional ecologies. They liter ally stand f or and r epresent, in their b uildings and infrastructur e, new, bold and di fferent thinking – mor e of the d ynamic rhetoric of Ne w Labour . The Be xley Business Academ y is described b y its ar chitects F oster and P artners (w ebsite) as ‘an icon f or the community’ and ‘hailed as an inno vative building tha t str etches the boundaries of educa tion’. As te xts the Academ y buildings ar e enactments of a new ‘imaginary’ econom y. They also embod y the enterprise and v alues of their sponsors . In most cases the Academ y buildings ar e new or major refurbishments . The sponsors can choose the ar chitect, and some leading British ar chitects ha ve been involved. Ho wever, the second e valua tion report on the Academies pr ogramme b y PricewaterhouseCoopers (2005) noted tha t, while the futuristic b uildings look ed impr essive, too m uch emphasis had been placed on ‘cr eating a bold sta tement . . . at the expense of some of the mor e practical r equir ements of modern teaching and learning’. Inno vation is w oven into an a bstr act discursi ve ensemb le

Policy controversies


which constitutes the pr ogramme and its policy conte xt. This incorpor ates technolo gical ad vance and skills , the kno wledge econom y and international economic competiti veness. ‘Skills and inno vation ar e critical in the dri ve to r aise pr oducti vity, and with it the tr end of gr owth in the econom y on which our futur e prosperity will be based’ (‘Colleges f or excellence and inno vation’, sta tement b y Secretary of Sta te for Educa tion and Skills on the futur e of FE in England, p . 6). ‘Our secondary str ategy is similar ly anchor ed in the achie vements of the best schools toda y and in the r equir ements of a good secondary educa tion in the kno wledge economy and modern society’ (DfES 2001: 4). A v ariety of inno vations is being attempted in the Academies (see pa ge 176 on Bexley and pa ge 180 on West London) within and acr oss what K enway et al. (1993: 122) call the ‘educa tion/mar kets/infor mation technolo gy triad’. Learning and or ganisa tional processes ar e re-articula ted in a ne w hybrid langua ge of sta ging posts , piping, acti vity str eams, rough cuts , oper ational imper atives, conte xt-rich learning, technolo gy-enabled learning, stak eholder comm unica tions and tr ansitional mana gement. These ar e rhetorical de vices, man y of which ar e imported fr om b usiness or mana gement-speak, w hich assert the ne w and the di fferent and the integr ation of educa tion into the discourse of the econom y or r e-word existing pr actices b ut they also ha ve semantic f orce. Man y of these schools begin to look and sound lik e firms. The Unity City Academ y Development T eam (2003: 28) r eports the: piloting of incuba tor acti vities to impr ove the use and deplo yment of ICT [evidenced b y the] creation of tw o learning hubs to sim ulate and experiment with the ne w learning technolo gies and pr actices tha t ar e to be centr al to the ne w learning model and ne w learning environment. 2 •

They ar e also for ms of partnership. Academies come into being via ‘partnerships betw een sponsors and local educa tion partners to ena ble them and the DfES to assess their indi vidual cir cumstances and decide if a ne w Academ y is the right solution f or their needs’ (DfES Standar ds website). A good deal of this partnership acti vity is behind the scenes and goes on between the DfES , AST, the Ca binet O ffice and LEA o fficers and councillors – another indica tion of the pr oliferation of spa tial scales of educa tion policy 3 – but is also part of the da y-to-da y life of the schools (see Cha pter 6 on Unity Academ y). Ne w agents and actors ar e playing a part in the r econstitution of learning and or ganisa tion thr ough ‘partnerships’. This gives voice to ne w educa tionalists . As noted alr eady, partnerships are a key device in the r e-making of the ar chitectur e of governance in as much as they pr ovide ‘linka ges, coupling and congruence betw een actors and spaces’ (MacK enzie and Lucio 2005: 500) and ar e a way of delivering policy outcomes thr ough colla bor ative networks and di verse allegiances and commitments . They ar e also an opportunity to do b usiness.


Policy controversies In all these senses they ar e an extension of generic r efor m models (trust hospitals , fund-holding GPs) and pr ovide exemplars f or the further extension of these models , as in the cr eation of T rust schools: ‘selfgoverning . . . Independent non-fee pa ying sta te schools’ (DfES 2005b: 8), which will ‘contr ol their o wn assets’ (p. 25) and w hich ma y be esta blished ‘by a wide r ange of or ganiza tions’ (p. 27). These ar e further mo ves in the br eak-up of the pub lic sector monopol y of sta te educa tion, what Pollack (2004: vii) calls the ‘dismantling pr ocess’ and asserts to be ‘profoundl y anti-democr atic and opaque’. As another aspect of partnership , Academies ar e also intended to contrib ute to local r egeneration and ar e part of an a ttempt a t this le vel to construct ‘joined-up’ policies (see Newman 2001: 161), both to help ‘break the cy cle of under achievement’ and ‘acting as a signi ficant f ocus for learning f or pupils , families and other local people and, in time , shar[ing] their expertise with other schools and the wider comm unity’. They ‘serve the local comm unity’, ‘building partnerships with the local community and b usinesses’, and ar e ‘intended to tr ansfor m educa tion in areas where the sta tus quo is simpl y not good enough’ (all fr om AST Prospectus 2005). They ar e open systems with por ous boundaries . Educational pr oblems and educa tive impulses ar e ‘joined up’ to social and economic str ategies of r egeneration. As noted alr eady, several Academies are located or cluster ed 4 in pr oacti ve ‘entrepreneurial localities’ and f or m part of a portf olio of local economic assets and ima ges and a r e-focusing of economic str ategies ‘around the fea tur es of specific economic spaces . . . in the face of competiti ve pressures at home and a broad’ (J essop 2002: 129). They ar e thor oughl y incorpor ated into ‘modes of economic and social calcula tion tha t encour age entr epreneurship’ (J essop 2002: 189). Mor e specifically they ar e to “ challenge the culture of educational under-attainment and pr oduce impr ovements in standar ds” (David Blunk ett speech to the La bour P arty Ann ual Confer ence 2000). The City Academ y programme w as launched in Mar ch 2000 by David Blunk ett, then Educa tion Secr etary, as ‘a r adical a ppr oach to pr omote greater di versity and br eak the cy cle of failing schools in inner cities’. (The ‘city’ has since been dr opped, to allo w for the cr eation of Academies outside cities .) ‘Academies ar e now addressing entr enched school failur e in our most depri ved ar eas and ar e starting to tr ansfor m educational opportunity f or thousands of our y oung people w ho need it most’ (DfES 2005b: 15). Academies ar e a good e xample, at least rhetoricall y, of what Hodgson (1999: 24) calls an ‘e votopia’, a ‘system tha t can foster learning, enhance human ca pacities, systema tically incorpor ate growing kno wledge, and ada pt to changing cir cumstances’, and, as Hodgson also notes , ‘the learning econom y is necessarily an inclusi ve econom y’ (p. 251). Opportunity , meritocr acy and inclusion ar e logical concomitants of policies intended to pr omote competiti veness. But the Academies also both denote a mo ve beyond the ‘failur e’ of pub lic sector,

Policy controversies


welfare solutions to educa tional under-achie vement and o ffer an alterna tive delivered in the f or m of the qualities and a ttrib utes they seek to instil. They instantia te a no vel combina tion of opportunity and choice , and enterprise and inno vation. The Academies pr ogramme intr oduces a w hole new set of social and political actors into educa tion policy – philanthr opic entr epreneurs (Garr ard, P etchey, Payne, etc.), corpor ations (e.g. ARK, HSBC), social entr epreneurs (Lampl, R eed), charities (Grieg, etc.) and faith gr oups (UTL, Oasis and V ardy), a further b lurring of the economic and e xtraeconomic. The pr ogramme is a v ehicle thr ough w hich the opinions and v oices of her oes of enterprise can be hear d. Acr oss the pr ogramme ther e is an inter-linking of b usiness, philanthr opy, quangos and nongovernmental a gencies and the r ecurr ence of particular companies and people within ne w networks of policy. Some of the participants in this new philanthr opy constitute a philanthr opic elite which is enga ged with government, party and sta te in a n umbers of w ays.5 Not all of this is ne w. What is different is the dir ect relation of ‘gi ving’ to policy and the mor e appar ent in volvement of gi vers in policy netw orks and a mor e ‘hands on’ appr oach to the use of dona tions tha t is evident within the Academies in particular . These netw orks ar e a circumvention of esta blished in fluences on and conduits f or ne w policy. They ar e also in themselv es an experiment in go vernance and a f or m of policy ad hocery b y the sta te. ‘Enterprise is ha ving ener gy, creativity and a can-do a ttitude dir ected to wards achieving purpose’ (Academ y of Enterprise w ebsite). The pr ogramme gi ves particular emphasis and pr ominence to tw o master narr atives of Ne w Labour educa tion policy – enterprise and responsibility – which ar e key tropes of the Thir d Way. These narr atives are represented substanti vely within the schools themselv es and symbolicall y in their sponsors . In some cases enterprise is to the f ore (Garr ard, De Haan, Lowe, Reed) and in others r esponsibility or mor e broadl y ‘values’ or ethos is pr ominent (UL T and Oasis , Chur ch of England and R C Chur ch) but in some the tw o ar e combined in the ima ge and commitments of the sponsor (V ardy, Edmiston, P ayne) or in colla bor ative sponsorship (the Manchester Academ y is co-sponsor ed by ULT and Manchester Science Park Ltd). W oods , Woods and Gunter (f orthcoming) note tha t, as of autumn 2005, 29 (56 per cent) of the Academies w here the specialism is kno wn have or plan a b usiness and enterprise specialism, in 14 cases combined with another specialism. The Academies also demonstrate ‘corpor ate responsibility’ and the caring face of ca pitalism and of ‘self-made men’ (sic) who want to gi ve something back. These her o entr epreneurs embod y the values of Ne w Labour : the possibilities of meritocr acy, of achie ving indi vidual success fr om modest beginnings , and w ealth cr eation fr om inno vation and kno wledge. In this sense the Academies ar e also a condensa te of the Thir d Way, working within and between the fantasies of neo-liber alism and the social fr agmenta tions


Policy controversies which it caused. Ther e are two versions of indi vidualism mix ed in her e, the classic liber al competiti ve individual on the one hand and the acti ve, socially responsib le, self-governing citiz en on the other , what Gid dens calls ‘new individualism’ and R awls (1993) ‘civic humanism’. 6 This Gid dens asserts to be the need f or living ‘in a mor e open and r eflective manner than pr evious gener ations’ (Gid dens 1998) involving ‘a ne w balance betw een indi vidual and collecti ve responsibilities’ (p . 37).

Box 7.3 Bexley Business Academ y Bexley Business Academ y replaced Thamesmead comm unity college, specialising in b usiness and enterprise it opened in September 2002. Sir Da vid Garr ard [personal w ealth £90 million], chair man of pr operty in vestors Minerv a plc., dona ted £2m to esta blish the academ y. Mr Garr ard is a trustee of the P olice Founda tion and joint chair man of the interna tional centr e for childr en’s studies. The Department f or Educa tion and Skills w ants the Be xley academy eventuall y to incorpor ate a primary school. Mr Garr ard said: “I expect to get personal sa tisfaction fr om giving something back.”

“All childr en deserv e to ha ve the same opportunities , enjoy the same facilities and bene fit from the same intellectual stim uli regardless of their social and financial backgr ound. Students w ho come thr ough these doors kno w tha t to be ambitious and to aspir e to all tha t the w orld has to o ffer is good and tha t at The Academ y they will be supported and n urtur ed in their aspir ations because they deserve the very best. The students a t The Business Academ y Bexley will learn tha t no goal is bey ond their r each and no priz e is unobtaina ble.” The Academ y covers Na tional Curriculum w ork in four da ys and F rida y is devoted to b usiness-r elated studies and students can work in a ‘tr ading pit’ and b uild shar e portf olios in mock tr ading sessions.

Policy controversies


The school is designed ar ound flexible open ar eas and ‘classrooms’ ha ve clusters of flat-screen displa y computers and w hiteboar ds. The pupils ha ve email accounts thr ough w hich they can submit home work and r egistration is done electr onicall y. The 6th For m (16–18 years) will o ffer the Interna tional Baccalaur eate. (Academ y website) •

The Academies as ‘pub licly funded independent schools’ ar e outside of LEA contr ol and r elate dir ectly to the DfES Academies Di vision. They have, as put in the 2005 W hite P aper, ‘freedom to sha pe their o wn destin y in the inter est of par ents and childr en’ (p. 24). Sponsors pr ovide 10 per cent of the costs up to a maxim um of £2 million, and r estrictions on the running of an Academ y are set out in a funding a greement, b ut sponsors ma y choose their sta ff and a ppoint the majority of go vernors , with one LEA go vernor and one elected b y par ents. ‘Issues of ethos , specialism and unif or m ar e entir ely for you’ (DfES 2005a). They ar e exempt fr om the speci fic requir ements of the Na tional Curriculum. In all these r espects they r epresent a ‘break’ from roles and structures and relationships of accountability of a state education system. They r eplace the democr atic pr ocesses of local authority contr ol over schools with technical or mar ket solutions . They also ha ve the opportunity to set aside existing na tional a greements on the pa y, conditions and certi fication of teachers – the flexibilisation of the w orkforce. This is a r adical move in a mor e general push f or the ‘modernisa tion’ of the school workforce – ‘workforce re-modelling’ – which is no w the r esponsibility of the T raining and De velopment Agency f or Schools (TD A), one of an increasing n umber of ne w ‘lead or ganisa tions’ in the tr ansfor mation project. Over and a gainst this , the Academies ar e also intended to o ffer new ‘choice’ options and greater diversity of choice for par ents. In this sense Academies compete with other local schools to r ecruit students . (Sand well LEA sees the esta blishment of an Academ y as a means of raising student achie vement, stemming the flow of students out of the Borough and a ttr acting mor e able students .) They pr ovide models f or the Trust schools pr oposed in the 2005 W hite P aper which will harness ‘external support and a success cultur e, bringing inno vative and str onger leadership to the school, impr oving standar ds and e xtending choice’ (pp. 24–5). In this w ay two dynamics of r efor m come to gether, autonom y, flexibility and b usiness-like inno vation on the one hand and consumer choice and the fr eedom to r espond and e xpand on the other . It is less clear ho w the competiti ve impetus will sit alongside the emphasis on partnership and kno wledge as a common r esour ce. They ar e also one point of articula tion of Ne w Labour’s pr oject of ‘transformational leadership’ – a mo ve beyond and betw een bureaucr acy


Policy controversies

Box 7.4 Capital City Academ y Capital City Academ y, Brent, specializing in sports . Sponsor : Sir F rank Lo we. Opened September 2003. A ppr oximately 10% of students ha ve been chosen on sporting a bility, although the aim is to cr eate a ‘cultur e of success,’ improving standar ds acr oss the entir e curriculum. The school is designed b y architect Nor man Foster. Sir F rank Lo we is chair man of the Lo we Gr oup , an ad vertising agency he started in 1981 with five people in tw o rooms. The a gency now spans 80 countries and is r ank ed fourth in the w orld. He dona ted £25,000 to La bour MP F rank Dobson’s bid to become London ma yor in 2000 and is also a La bour party donor . Do wning Street reputedl y called him to ask him to fund the school. He said: “I ha ve no kno wledge of educa tion in the sense of ho w to run a school, b ut I might be a ble to help . I might be a ble to inspir e a few of the childr en.” “In or der to achie ve its goals, I believe very str ongly tha t Brent’s new Capital City Academ y must be the school the local comm unity wants. Recognising this , the school is committed to being a good neighbour , making its facilities – sporting and academic – widel y available to local people , outside school hours .” (Academ y website)

and mana gement to instil r esponsi veness, efficiency and perf or mance impr ovement into the pub lic sector. ‘Here the pr actitioner is vie wed as facing outw ards, building partnerships and enga ging comm unities for the purpose of deli vering “joined-up” and sustaina ble policy outcomes’ (Newman 2005: 720). These ar e dynamic, visionary , risk-taking, entr epreneurial indi viduals (lik e David Trigg or Valerie Br agg – see Cha pter 5) who can ‘turn ar ound’ histories of ‘failur e’, deploying their personal qualities in so doing, and, as Ne wman (p . 721) notes , ‘this idea is entir ely consonant with the style of Blair himself’. ‘The dri ving force at this critical junctur e is leadership . . . It is the v ocation of leaders to tak e people w here they ha ve never been bef ore and sho w them a ne w world from which they do not w ant to r eturn’ (Barber and Phillips 2000: 11 – two of La bour’s k ey educa tion ad visers). The model her e again is b usiness and the firm. The liter atur e and discourse of school leadership dr aw explicitly on b usiness writing and b usiness gurus . Leaders , as opposed to mana gers (see Thrupp and W illmott 2003 on this distinction), ar e the k ey agents in the r e-culturing and r e-engineering of the w elfarist school. Da vies and Ellison (1997: 5) see leadership as part of the ‘second wave’ of educa tion r efor m and as a bout ‘hearts and minds’ r ather than

Policy controversies


structur es; ‘we consider it equall y important to r eengineer mindsets as well as pr ocesses within schools’. In an a ttempt to summarise and e xemplify the Academ y condensa te (see Figur e 7.1), let us look in a little mor e detail a t one school and one sponsor – the West London Academ y and Sir Alec R eed. Alec Reed CBE – hero of enterprise/ Third Way capitalist ‘Inno vations and inno vative people gi ve competiti ve advanta ge’ (Reed 2002). Alec Reed is a ne w kind of policy entr epreneur, a pr oselytiser for enterprise and cr eativity – an educa tionalist and b usinessman, writer , professor and philanthr opist. He demonstr ates the comple xity of the ne w for m of go vernance a ppar ent in the o verlapping and inter-linking r oles of the ne w policy actors and the comple xity of the actors themselv es. The R eed Gr oup of companies w orks with the pri vate and pub lic sector to pr ovide specialist emplo yment services , including to schools . Alec R eed himself runs a charity (the Academ y for Enterprise) w hich sponsors specialist schools and he sponsors an Academ y (West London) b ut has been criticised in the pr ess for char ging fees from his companies to the school. He is 606th in the 2004 Sunday Times Rich List with famil y wealth of £67 million. An article in Creating Wealth (PWC customer ma gazine, http://www .bestb wReed.html ) describes Alec R eed as ‘an inno vator, a b usinessman and an educa tionalist with a po wer vision’. He is Pr ofessor of Inno vation a t Royal Hollo way and Bedf ord College (and set up a course ther e, LIES – Leadership , Inno vation and Enterprise Studies – w hich in itself encompasses man y of the themes outlined a bove), and V isiting Pr ofessor of Enterprise a t Guildhall Uni versity. He has w orked with f our think tanks: the Adam Smith Institute , Demos , EPRI and the Smith Institute . In his book Capitalism is Dead – Peoplism Rules (2002), Reed ar gues tha t creative and inno vative people ha ve become fundamental sour ces of value and w ealth in b usiness and the economy and tha t ther e has been a ‘shift in po wer in the w orkplace fr om ca pitalism to people’. He also ar gues in the book tha t ‘Business is mor e than just making money , and it has got to ha ve a social r eturn as w ell. Social r esponsibility has r eplaced institutions lik e the chur ch’ (http://libr .org/isc/articles/18 -Reviews.html ). Peoplism means v aluing emplo yees, or ‘co-members’ as they are called in R eed companies . Indi viduals w ho thri ve in the people econom y are a new breed of ‘skillionair es’ benefiting fr om their talents and cr eativity. He sees a futur e in which emplo yees are shar ed and car eer is integr ated with charita ble work, famil y life and br eaks. Man y of these ideas ar e embed ded in the West London Academ y. He also en visages ‘citizen accounts’, to w hich we are char ged for services w e use and fr om which pa yments ar e tak en once w e reach the thr eshold for tax. All of this ‘ fits’ well with the Thir d Way and Ne w Labour’s economic and educa tional discourses of inno vation, meritocr acy, talented and gifted, kno wledge economics and r esponsibility – R eed is a


Policy controversies

kind of Thir d Way capitalist. W e can see in his r oles, views and acti vities an interpla y of discursi ve work, in fluence, symbolisms and inter ests. Reed Executive (Alec Reed started the compan y with £75 in the 1960s) no w has 200 br anches w orldwide, 1,500 emplo yees and a turno ver of £250 million. It includes R eed Gr adua te and R eed Educa tion Pr ofessionals , which ‘meets the needs of schools , Colleges and Local Educa tion A uthorities b y providing a quality , total sta ffing solution’. The la tter is a partner with Lancashir e LEA and Edge Hill College in Lancashir e Teaching Agency (L TA). R eed Learning, which holds prison educa tion contr acts, also runs the R eed Business School and deals in ‘kno wledge and learning mana gement’ and ‘corpor ate, outsour ced and bespok e learning solutions’. R eed Re-Start is a prison-based charity pr oject. In No vember 2001, Alec R eed pledged a personal dona tion of £2 million to help tr ansfor m the Compton High School and Sports College , Northolt into a sta te-of-the-art City Academ y, designed b y Millennium Bridge ar chitect Nor man F oster. Reed Learning pr ovided initial pr oject mana gement consultancy in setting up the Academ y and it opened in September 2003. ‘The aim is to give the childr en of Northolt e very opportunity to go to a successful school and achie ve their potential’ (R eed website). I went to school in Ealing m yself and I feel pri vileged to be in a position to give something tangib le back to the comm unity . . . It’s not a bout creating hundr eds of Richar d Bransons . I want to impr ove educa tion so tha t or dinary childr en have a better life . (Alec Reed, quoted in TES, 22 February 2002) In 2002 the Academ y appointed the country’s highest-paid headteacher £120,000 salary and bene fits packa ge. But in 2005:

, on a

He was mo ved by the school’s sponsor , Alec R eed . . . to an administr ative position in an educa tion f ounda tion. The action ‘took e ffect immediately’. Mr F alk, whose leadership style w as criticiz ed by Ofsted this summer, will be dir ector of the Academ y of Enterprise . . . He has been replaced b y Hilary Macaula y, who was pr eviously vice-principal a t the ADT City T echnolo gy College in Wands worth, a successful secondary school sponsor ed by an alar m compan y . . . In J uly, Ofsted deli vered a damning r eport on the school, w hich singled out Mr F alk’s leadership for criticism. In A ugust the school w as forced to admit tha t its GCSE results had w orsened since it became an academ y. (Sarah Cassid y, Independent, 5 No vember 2005; based on 2005 Ofsted r eport, http://www .ofsted.go eports/134/ scc_134369_20050630.pdf – the 2006 r eport noted consider able improvements in mana gement and perf or mance) Alec Reed is also the f ounder of the charity Academ y for Enterprise , which runs a ‘netw ork of UK secondary schools committed to wards creating

Policy controversies


an enterprising school cultur e. The 27 schools in the netw ork were given over £300,000 to wards their successful bid f or specialist schools sta tus’ (http://www .academ yofenterprise .org/schools.shtml ). The aim of the R eed College Enterprise Netw ork is to facilita te ideas and pr actice sharing betw een schools. ‘We have also or ganised confer ences, competitions , pupil enterprise days and INSET da ys for schools in the netw ork.’ The enterprising schools section of the w ebsite contains ‘r esearch findings fr om the R eed Colleges of Enterprise and guidance f or embed ding enterprise thr oughout the w hole school’ (Academ y for Enterprise w ebsite). 7 The example of Alec R eed illustr ates a n umber of k ey themes within ne w governance (see Cha pter 5). He is a ne w policy a gent and a pr oselytiser for a new kind of ca pitalism, espousing ne w values. He is a ‘r esponsib le’ capitalist. He is partner with and participant in se veral pub lic sector or ganisa tions in a variety of r oles and part of a cir cle of discourse w hich mo ves between significant sites of articula tion and netw orks of in fluence in the sta te, the pub lic sector and ci vil society. He ‘stands f or’ Thir d Way principles and embodies its discourses of inno vation and cr eativity and kno wledge economics . His charita ble work inter-twines with his b usiness inter ests and these also cr oss the pri vate and the pub lic sectors. He brings to gether the virtues of enterprise and r esponsibility , social and cultur al entr epreneurship (W oods et al. 2007). As a her o of these virtues he is a potent policy symbol – as both pub lic-spirited and a w ealth cr eator, a postEnr on, post-b ubble capitalist. Such her oes of enterprise ar e also a kind of condensa te and achie ve a discursi ve gravitas in speaking a bout personal and national priorities as ‘enterprise intellectuals’ w ho, as Jessop (2002: 6) puts it, have a key role in the de velopment of ‘economic str ategies, state pr ojects and hegemonic visions’ and in the consolida tion of ‘an unsta ble equilibrium among di fferent social f orces’. They offer a ne w kind of ima ginative narr ative for educa tion and its r elation to the econom y.8 The Academies pr ogramme is then a ne w educa tional ima ginary and microcosm of political tr ansfor mation and the esta blishment of a ne w mode of regulation – constituted within sets of ne w identities , social r elations and institutional or ders, tha t is part of an e xperimental mo ve and a policy pa thfinder to wards a ne w ‘fix’ and ne w set of r elations betw een sta te, mar ket, pub lic sector and ci vil society or ganised in r elation to global competiti veness. It is also a k ey rhetorical de vice tha t ties the pr oject of Ne w Labour into a single seamless r efor m tr ope. The pr ogramme r epresents and ad vances the r efor m pr oject, a t di fferent levels, along a n umber of dimensions: • •

Governance (local and institutional): ne w partnerships , networks and agencies. Innovation: the Academies ar e what Jessop calls ‘inno vation milieux’ and ar e part of learning localities and urban ‘kno wledge fabrics’ (Amin and Gr aham 1997).

182 •

• •

• •

• • • • •

Policy controversies Icons: in pr actical, ma terial and symbolic w ays Academies ar e beacons; they ar e leading edge; they ar e texts of di fference, models of a Thir d Way and a kno wledge econom y. They stand f or the doing of sta te educa tion otherwise . Technology: these ar e experiments in a ne w for m or perha ps a ne w language of learning, tha t is technolo gy rich (in both senses). Flexibilisation or ‘occupa tional r ecomposition’ (Clar ke 2004): as part of the decomposition of na tional pa y structur es for educa tion w orkers and of their conditions of w ork and mor e generally the br eak-up of ‘collectivist systems’ (Jessop 2002: 155). Re-agenting (Jones 2003): the entry and v alida tion of ne w voices in education policy and meaning. Curriculum discourses: the teaching of enterprise and entr epreneurism and the de velopment of ‘meta-ca pacities’ (Jessop 2002: 128). This is a curriculum of ‘perf or mance’ and ‘competence’ (Bernstein 1996), of examina tion and pr ojects, individual and gr oup w ork, vocational and esoteric kno wledge, technolo gy and tr adition. Responsibility: reconstitution of students as enterprising and r esponsib le subjects. This is a comple x of social r esponsibility and indi vidua tion, a for m of self-or ganisa tion. Students ar e conceived of as r esponsib le for their o wn learning and f or making a planning o ffice for themselv es (Alheit 1999). Urban regeneration: a local/centr al policy as part of a pr ocess of urban revitalisa tion and the cr eation of ‘entr epreneurial localities’ and ‘joinedup’ social and economic policy a t a local le vel. Trust: a mo ve against social fr agmenta tion and to wards the b uilding of social ca pital. Organisational ecologies: a new for m of self-or ganising school, based on the principles of tr ansfor mational leadership and modelled on the firm. Opportunity: an inno vative, fresh start in ad dressing under-a ttainment and social inequalities in educa tion. Collaboration and competition: Academies occup y contr adictory r oles as dissemina tors of good pr actice and competitors f or par ental choices .

The pr ogramme is e xplicitly and implicitl y tied to the competiti veness pr oject, addressing a n umber of the k ey extra-economic conditions f or competiti veness, and w orks to mobilise and penetr ate ‘micro-social r elations in the inter ests of valoriza tion’ (Jessop 2001: 295–6) both in the f or mation of ne w entr epreneurs and in the pr oduction of mar ketable ‘learning inno vations’. The economic and political changes of post-F ordism ar e here being mirr ored or r ather str ategically dissemina ted within the educa tion system thr ough the example of the Academies (and other school r efor m initia tives). But all this is link ed at least rhetoricall y to social policy and equity (inclusion, responsibility and social disad vanta ge), although ‘Half of city academies [are] among w orst-perf or ming schools’ ( Guardian, 19 January 2006).

Policy controversies


As systems for or symbols of inno vation, Academies ‘bring the economic, technolo gical and socio-institutional spher es into an unpr ecedented alliance’ (Bullen et al. 2006: 64) and demonstr ate in educa tion policy the ascendancy of a particular conca tena tion of ‘inter ests, actions , lucidity and r elative strength’ (P erez 1983: 360) among those political and economic a gents committed to f ostering the ‘kno wledge econom y’. Academies ar e part of the ‘hardware’ of the kno wledge econom y discourse . The pr ogramme is also indica tive of the pr oliferation of spa tial scales of policy and r egulation w hich ar e relatively dissocia ted ‘in comple x tangled hierarchies’ (Jessop 2001: 297), which in part mo ve ‘statework out of the state’ (Clar ke 2004) and in volve the cr eation of ne w lead or ganisa tions and linka ge devices (e.g. ASST). These schools , as man y others no w do, have functional and accounta bility r elationships with sponsors (m ultiple in some cases), units and di visions within the DfES , local partners , pri vate service companies and non-go vernment a gencies (like PUK). ‘This is a comple x and contr adictory system of go vernance’ (Ne wman 2001). It is also part of an ‘unsta ble, ongoing and un finished’ (Clar ke 2004: 119) process of change (see 2005 White P aper).


Not jumping to conclusions

The pr ovision of educa tion is a mar ket opportunity and should be tr eated as such. (Eur opean R ound T able of Industrialists , ‘Job cr eation and competiti veness thr ough inno vation’, ER T, Brussels, No vember 1998) The pub lic sector and the pri vate sector ar e different. It is danger ous to intr oduce pri vate sector pr actices into the de velopment of the essential pub lic services. (Lor d Browne, CEO of BP , World Economic F orum, Da vos, 2005)

For a n umber of r easons I w anted to esca pe the b urden of writing a conclusion for this stud y. Book conclusions ar e modernist con ventions w hich typicall y represent kno wledge in a particular ly authorita tive way, and I see what I ha ve attempted her e as a set of starting points and methodolo gical possibilities r ather than as conclusi ve, although m uch of w hat follows does not e xactly sound tenta tive. Ther e are also pr actical r easons f or m y reluctance; pri vatisation is an ongoing and contested pr ocess, not a complete , predicta ble nor necessaril y foregone one . The ESI is ada pting and de veloping and m y anal ytical work captur es the pr ocesses of pri vatisation a t a particular stage in tha t development. Thus , in the pr eceding te xt ther e are man y un finished thoughts; I am still thinking a bout a lot of the issues and ma y change m y mind a bout some of them. Nonetheless , I will foray into some general sta tements a bout or commentaries on w hat has gone bef ore, avoiding summarising the content of cha pters or taking up a set of simple or fixed positions tha t emer ge smoothl y or ob viously from the r esearch pr esented. My statements ar e of thr ee kinds: a bout totalities or epistemes; a bout ethics; and about ine vitability. These thr ee sections r oughl y map on to the ‘tools’ of anal ysis outlined in Cha pter 1, and each r ests on a di fferent ontolo gical stance.

Not jumping to conclusions


Totalities As I ha ve tried to indica te, pri vatisation in volves a variety of kinds of change in political pr ocesses and the r ole of the sta te, in or ganisa tions, people and their social r elationships . It ma y be tha t we should see pri vatisation as part of a much lar ger can vas of social changes and changes in the social. Leys (2001: 63) emphasises the ‘inter connectedness of these changes’ and claims tha t ‘the anal ytical task has become mor e comple x . . . the main causal links no longer con verge convenientl y’ (p. 5). He is a bsolutel y right. Ther e are no straightf orward par adigms to be a pplied nor an y simple positions fr om which ‘privatisations’ can be vie wed. Pri vatisation is an ongoing b ut unsta ble process which encompasses changing r elationships betw een the sta te, capital, the pub lic sector and ci vil society and w hich connects the gr and flows of the global econom y to the r e-working of the te xtur es of everyday life, for students and teachers (and r esearchers), and families . I want to pr opose tha t we can think a bout the e xtent and consequences of these changes as being epistemic, as in volving the ‘contin uous r eshaping of “deep” social r elations’ as Leys (2001: 2) puts it, in an emer ging Mar ket Society within w hich ‘everything is vie wed in ter ms of quantities; e verything is simpl y a sum of v alue realised or hoped f or’ (Slater and T onkiss 2001) and w hich becomes embed ded in our dail y lives thr ough an arr ay of subtle pr ocesses tha t tak e shape as the flesh and bones of the dominant discourse . What is ha ppening is a profound change 1 in the under lying set of rules go verning the pr oduction of discourses and the conditions of kno wledge, in a single period. This constitutes a cultur al totality or m ulti-dimensional r egularity , a ne w ‘order of things’, a ne w set of conditions f or the possibility of social r elations.2 This general tr ansfor mation in the na tur e of social r elations – based on the removal of man y of the k ey boundaries w hich ha ve underpinned modernist thought and a concomitant colla pse of mor al spher es and a thor ough subordina tion of mor al ob ligations to economic ones (W alzer 1984) – is what Bernstein (1996) calls a disloca tion: a br eak as signi ficant as , and a br eak from, the cr eation of the w elfare state. In this disloca tion a ne w kind of citizen is pr oduced in r elation to ne w for ms of go vernment and go vernance . Mor e specifically, new kinds of r elations to and within educa tion and learning and par enting ar e being enacted – ‘there is a crisis, and w hat is at stak e is the very concept of educa tion itself’ (Bernstein 1996: 75). Gener ally speaking, within this ne w episteme, educa tion is incr easingly, indeed perha ps almost e xclusively, spok en of within policy in ter ms of its economic v alue and its contrib ution to interna tional mar ket competiti veness. Even policies which ar e concerned to achie ve greater social inclusion ar e edited, modi fied and co-opted b y the r equir ements of economic participa tion and the la bour mar ket and ‘the v alues, principles and r elationships of tr ade/ exchange’ (O’Sullivan 2005: 222). Co wen writes a bout this as the ‘astonishing displacement of “society” within the la te modern educa tional pa ttern’ (Co wen 1996: 167). Educa tion is incr easingly subject to ‘the nor mative assumptions

186 Not jumping to conclusions and pr escriptions’ of ‘economism’, and ‘the kind of “cultur e” the school is and can be’ (Lingar d et al. 1998) is articula ted in its ter ms. Within policy this economism is articula ted and enacted v ery gener ally in the joining up of schooling to the pr oject of competiti veness and to the ‘demands’ of globalisa tion and v ery specifically thr ough the ‘curriculum’ of enterprise and entr epreneurship . I have tried to indica te a br oader dimension to these changes in ter ms, on the one hand, of the commodi fication of par enting and learning r elations within the home (as part of a mor e general commodi fication of the life course – Blackb urn 2006), the tar geting of schools f or ad vertising and commer cial selling to childr en and the tr ansfor mation of mor e and mor e of our social and educa tional r elations into opportunities f or pr ofit and, on the other , the dissemina tion of the disciplines of perfection – school impr ovement, perfor mance mana gement, leadership , etc. – tha t is a tr ansposition (and sale) of the sensibilities and positi vities of mana gement fr om the pri vate into the pub lic sector. Within institutions – colleges , schools and uni versities – the means/end logic of educa tion f or economic competiti veness is tr ansfor ming what were comple x, interpersonal pr ocesses of teaching, learning and r esearch into a set of standar dised and measur able products . The use of benchmar king, Na tional Curriculum le vels of achie vement, perf or mance indica tors and tar gets, etc. all contrib ute to this r eification of educa tional pr ocesses or, as Basil Bernstein put it, ‘the contempor ary disloca tion, disconnects inner fr om outer , as a pr econdition f or constituting the outer and its pr actice, accor ding to the mar ket principles of the Ne w Right’ (Bernstein 1996). Social r elations ar e render ed into ta bles and grids of r epresenta tion, 3 emptied of a ffect, of commitment and of the possibility of r eflexivity (see Ball 2005). These ne w currencies of judgement in educa tion pr ovide an infr astructur e of comparisons which value pr actitioners and institutions solel y in ter ms of their pr oducti vity and their perf or mances! Pr oducti ve individuals, new kinds of subjects , ar e the centr al economic r esour ce in the r efor med, entr epreneurial pub lic sector. Within all this , as man y other writers ha ve noted, kno wledge itself is subject to ‘e xteriorisa tion’ or aliena tion. This is summed up in L yotar d’s ter ms in a shift fr om the questions ‘Is it true?’ and ‘Is it just?’ to ‘Is it useful, saleable, efficient?’ (Lyotar d 1984). This is the pr e-condition of the kno wledge econom y, or w hat Lyotar d calls ‘the mer chantiliza tion of kno wledge’ (p. 51). Kno wledge is no longer legitima ted thr ough ‘gr and narr atives of specula tion and emancipa tion’ (p. 38) but, r ather, in the pr agmatics of ‘optimiza tion’ – the cr eation of skills or of pr ofit rather than ideals . Again, it is economism which de fines the purpose and potential of educa tion. 4 What I am ar guing her e is tha t pri vatisation is not simpl y a technical change in the mana gement of the deli very of educa tional services – it in volves changes in the meaning and e xperience of educa tion, w hat it means to be a teacher and a learner , but is also part of a br oader social disloca tion. It changes w ho we are and our r elation to w hat we do, entering into all aspects

Not jumping to conclusions


of our e veryday practices and thinking – into the w ays tha t we think a bout ourselv es and our r elations to others , even our most intima te social r elations. It is changing the fr amework of possibilities within w hich we act. This is not just a pr ocess of r efor m; it is a pr ocess of social tr ansfor mation. W ithout some r ecognition of and a ttention within pub lic debate to the insidious w ork tha t is being done , in these r espects, by privatisation and commodi fication, we may find ourselv es living and w orking in a w orld made up entir ely of contingencies , within w hich the possibilities of authenticity and meaning in teaching, learning and r esearch, as w ell as other aspects of our social li ves, ar e graduall y but ine xorably eroded.

Ethics This has been one of the most perple xing and di fficult pieces of r esearch and anal ysis I have undertak en, di fficult because of the scope and comple xity of the issues in volved and perple xing because man y of my preconceptions a bout privatisation ha ve been challenged and some ha ve had to be a bandoned. Over the course of the r esearch I also f ound it incr easingly difficult to find a solid and comf orta ble personal position fr om which to vie w privatisation, partl y because it is not a single phenomenon with unif or m char acteristics . It also became mor e and mor e clear to me tha t a b lank et defence of the pub lic sector, as it is or w as, over and a gainst the destructi ve inroads of pri vatisation, is untena ble. Ther e is no going back to a past in w hich the pub lic sector as a whole worked well and w orked fair ly in the inter ests of all learners . Ther e was no such past. The r esponse to pri vatisation, as Michael A pple puts it, ‘cannot be based on the simple assertion tha t everything w e now have has to be defended’ (A pple 2006: 44). 5 Some pub lic sector institutions w ere and are in significant w ays ineffective or r acist, sexist and class-biased. Ov er and against this it is di fficult to den y tha t some educa tion b usinesses do some things w ell, and perha ps better than some of the pub lic sector, and do enhance the li ves and opportunities of some y oung and not-so-y oung people . This is not a defence of the pri vate sector as a w hole b ut it ma y involve an acceptance tha t some kinds of pri vate sector participa tion ar e mor e defensible than others and tha t some pub lic sector ‘work’ is not as defensib le as all tha t. Some critics of pri vatisation r outinel y deplo y the une xamined superiority of pub lic services values. Ho wever, what these ar e and w hether they ar e really practised r ather than just pr eached is often unclear . Do w e mean a set of pr actices which typify the sector as a w hole? Do w e mean a social ideal, something to be aimed f or or something w hich is mor e or less well and routinel y enacted? Or is this another r omantic fiction, ho w we would lik e things to be b ut they almost ne ver ar e? Further mor e, if they ar e practices, surely they ar e unsta ble and changing, shifted b y the fr amework of policies within w hich they ar e realised, for example b y endo genous pri vatisation. Ma ybe ther e is a kind of con vergence, a b lurring of v alues or the emer gence of new hybrids. If ther e is something under thr eat and w orth defending then

188 Not jumping to conclusions we need to be a lot clear er about w hat tha t something is . On the other hand, I have indica ted ways in which some b usinesses ha ve not w orked effectively in the inter ests of their clients . The bottom line f or b usiness is ultima tely profit. Concerns a bout pr ofit (or b usiness failur es) have led some firms to r enege on or sell o ff their pub lic sector contr acts. Mar kets ar e by their na tur e unsta ble and not all b usinesses ar e socially responsib le. Educa tion r efor m policy tr ades on what is often a r omantic vie w of the pri vate sector er asing its w arts and blemishes. Mor eover, the mor e tha t the ESI consolida tes, the mor e power the providers accum ulate, and the mor e vulner abilities ther e will be in the pub lic sector if an y of these b usinesses fail. P erha ps such failur es, if they do ha ppen, will lead to a r eassessment of pri vate participa tion. W e also need to ask whether the curr ent mor al environment in the ESI will stand the longer-ter m test of changing financial pr essures and shar eholder inter ests. As the ESI evolves and the curr ent incumbents mo ve on, will we see a pr ocess of values attrition? Further to this , as I indica ted in Cha pter 3, parts of the infr astructur e and some of the deli very of pub lic sector services in the UK ar e moving into f oreign ownership . Ma ybe in the er a of globalisa tion this does not ma tter, although clear ly ther e are other countries w hich do not toler ate this. But it does r aise entir ely new issues about r esponsibility f or pub lic services which ar e simply not being discussed pub licly. Embed ded in the b lurrings and mo vements acr oss the pub lic/private divide is a new set of ethical positions . The ne w policy fr amework of the competition sta te, and pri vatisation in particular , constitutes a new moral environment for both consumers and pr oducers of educa tion – a f or m of ‘commer cial civilisation’ (Benton 1992: 118). W ithin this ne w mor al environment the ‘pr ocedur es of moti vation’ which ar e being r ealised elicit and gener ate the dri ves, relationships and v alues which underpin competiti ve behaviour and the struggle f or ad vanta ge or what No vak (1982) calls ‘virtuous self-inter est’. Perha ps what we are witnessing then in the cele bration of entr epreneurship and the dissemina tion of the v alues of the ne w par adigm of competiti veness in educa tion is the cr eation of a ne w ethical ‘hid den curriculum’ (see W hitty 2002) in and f or schools , within w hich teachers and students learn ne w identities. In some schools this curriculum is incr easingly explicit and the v alues and pr actices of enterprise and entr epreneurship ar e foster ed and taught, what F arns worth (2004) calls a ‘b usiness-centr ed curriculum’. Put crudel y, the educa tion mar ket both de-socialises and r e-socialises; it destr oys older for ms of socia bility, while at the same time encour aging competiti ve individualism and instrumentality . Pr evailing values ar e changed and the spaces within w hich r eflection upon and dialo gue over values were possib le are closed do wn and r eplaced b y the teleolo gical pr omiscuity of the technical and mana gerial pr ofessional, ‘a pr ofessional w ho clear ly meets corpor ate goals, set elsewhere, mana ges a range of students w ell and documents their achie vements and pr oblems for pub lic accounta bility purposes’ (Br ennan 1996: 22). Teachers ar e thus encour aged by the pr evailing policy ensemb le to r ecognise and tak e responsibility f or the r elationship betw een their contrib ution to

Not jumping to conclusions


the competiti veness of their or ganisa tion and their security of emplo yment. ‘Mar ketness’ replaces ‘embed dedness’ (Robertson 1996), w hat O’Sullivan (2005: 230) calls a ‘mercantile solidarity , derived from contr actual, partial and calcula ting associa tion’.

Necessities The ne w necessities of educa tion policy and their solutions – pri vatisation – ar e proba bly best ca ptur ed in the simplest sense thr ough the concept of space and the r e-spatialisa tion and r e-scaling of educa tion policy – a sim ultaneity of man y political tr ajectories and pr ocesses. Among man y dimensions , ther e is most ob viously the subor dina tion of educa tion to the competiti ve pressures of the global mar ket and the a ttempt in the UK, and else where, to facilita te a ‘knowledge econom y’ within which surplus v alue is gener ated b y new kinds of ‘immaterial la bour ers’ – involved in both a ffective and symbolic pr actices. This ne w kind of la bour is itself spa tially particular , working in and thr ough networks of ‘contin ual inter activity’ (Har dt and Negri 2000: 291), and I ha ve tried to gi ve some gener al indica tions of a ‘ne w corr espondence’ (W hitty 2002) between schooling and ca pital in ter ms of the w ays in which schooling is being r e-worked by technolo gy and thr ough ne w for ms of tempor al and spatial arr angements f or learning. Educa tional institutions incr easingly look like, act lik e and ha ve social and or ganisa tional arr angements lik e those of firms. Students ar e also being made up di fferently and can be ‘home schooled’ or virtuall y ‘connected’ to a digital schooling comm unity, and they can choose among di verse pr oviders and curricular o fferings – a bor derless educa tion. The spaces of kno wledge itself ar e reorganised as sequences of kno wledge gobbets (‘Bytesize’ as it is on the BBC r evision website) which can be tr ansferr ed as ‘credits’ and combined in no vel ways with no guar antee of internal coher ence – a ‘cut and paste curriculum’, as R obertson (2000) calls it, fluid and non-linear . In such changes , students ar e render ed as acti ve consumers b ut passi ve (and r esponsib le) learners (F abos and Y oung 1999; Cloete et al. 2001). In the home , learning and r ecreation ar e blurr ed into ne w for ms of ‘edutainment’ and sta te educa tion can be supplemented b y par ents b uying in expert services or enrichment acti vities for their childr en (Vincent and Ball 2006). Schools ar e becoming ne w kinds of spaces and places as they ar e rebuilt and r e-designed, figuratively and liter ally. They stand f or, ar e icons of , new policy, new modalities of learning – the pr oducts of a r e-imagineering. They have new kinds of social and ar chitectur al ecolo gies, which pr omise ne w kinds of learning e xperience, in technolo gically rich, flexible learning en vironments . They r epresent learning in ne w kinds of w ays with flair and d ynamism, a break fr om, policy tells us , both the lumpen commonalities and the classridden di visions of the pr evious educa tion policies r egimes. They ar e also assets, owned b y construction companies or pri vate equity funds (na tional and f oreign), pr oviding long-ter m income flows and b uilt for flexible use,


Not jumping to conclusions

which can be bought and sold in financial mar kets. They ar e spaces in w hich new kinds of policy actors can act out their ideas a bout educa tion and personal commitments (social, mor al and r eligious). The pub lic sector gener ally is now thor oughl y enmeshed within the ‘systemic po wer of finance and financial engineering’ (Blackb urn 2006: 39). Finance ca pital (e.g. HSBC , Goldman Sachs, UBS) is in volved in school financing in a wide v ariety of w ays, ranging from PFI pr oject funding to sponsorship and philanthr opy. Ne w-generation schools (lik e Academies) ar e also joined up with and open to their communities, with facilities (s wimming pools and post o ffices) and services (health and b usiness centr es), longer hours and shar ed spaces (cyber-cafés , confer ence centr es). Variousl y in these w ays educa tion is both mor e global and mor e local, and ne w ‘power geometries’ (Massey 1994) ar e emerging, creating ne w patterns of social access and e xclusion – a highl y comple x social differentia tion set alongside ne w insecurities. Schools ar e mor e ‘open’ in other senses . In the conte xt of competiti ve and contr act funding, ther e is an individua tion of schools and of the school w orkplace in volving mor e and mor e short-ter m pr ojects, and fr eelancers, consultants and a gency workers with fixed-ter m contr acts and skill mix es – some of these ne w kinds of w orkers ar e ‘with’ and ‘for’ the or ganisa tion, r ather than ‘in’ it, as W ittel (2001: 65) puts it. Social ties within educa tional w ork become ephemer al, disposa ble, serial, fleeting – and educa tional la bour is ‘ flexibilised’ and made mor e amena ble to the r equir ements of competition betw een institutions and the generation of ‘pr ofit’. This further contrib utes to the dissolution of older mor al ob ligations and the in vention of ne w ones, the dissolution of older professional identities and the in vention of ne w ones. The spaces of policy ha ve also changed in other w ays. Policy itself is being done in ne w places b y different people , locally, nationall y and interna tionall y; the cr eation of a Eur opean ‘educa tion space’ and the competition policies of the World Trade Or ganiza tion insin uate themselv es into , or simpl y over-ride, ‘national’ policy-making. The SWS is in important w ays a post-na tional state. The places tha t ma tter f or policy ar e mor e dispersed. Ther e are shifting ‘geographies of po wer’ (Robertson and Dale 2003). Ther e are school autonomies (r eflexive self-organisa tion) of a sort. Ther e are new networked federations of schools and colleges and uni versities and m ultiple partnerships , both local and dispersed, r elating to gether thr ough digital comm unica tion and economies of scale . Ther e are entr epreneurial localities , and their networked ‘growth alliances’. Ther e is a pr oliferation of ne w non-go vernmental agencies, lead and link or ganisa tions and trusts , most of w hich ar e also requir ed to act entr epreneuriall y. Man y of these also act interna tionall y to dissemina te, to learn and to sell – thr ough netw orks. Ther e are new players, individual and corpor ate, who sit a t the ta bles of policy, seek in fluence and favour, and ‘do’ policy b y contr act and in r elation to outcome measur es and perfor mance pa yments. These policy conte xts ar e, again par ado xically, both mor e transpar ent and less visib le. Think tanks , ad visers and entr epreneurial actors ar e able to speak a bout and speak to policy , thr ough ne w social

Not jumping to conclusions


networks which cr oss betw een pub lic, private and v oluntary and philanthr opic spaces. Identities and inter ests and commitments morph as the ne w policy actors mo ve between these loca tions. Policy discourse flows thr ough these new places, gathering pace and support and cr edibility as it mo ves – achieving a high le vel of acti ve consent. T ogether all of this constitutes a ne w but unsta ble ‘spatio-tempor al fix’ as Jessop (2002) calls it, and as I ha ve been a t pains to emphasise it is ‘made up’ out of a mix of di fferent kinds of policy ideas and is onl y incoher ently coher ent. In r elation to all of this the sta te itself is incr easingly dispersed (meta governance) and in some r espects smaller , as it mo ves from pub lic sector provision to a contr acting and monitoring r ole and enga ges in its o wn autoredesign (desta talisa tion), b ut also a t the same time mor e intrusi ve, surv eillant and centr ed. In particular , as alr eady signalled, the spher e of ‘economic policy’ is greatly expanded and the sta te is incr easingly proacti ve in pr omoting competiti veness and sca ffolding inno vative capacities – collecti ve and individual – in educa tion and else where thr ough f ocused funding and str ategic interv entions . Ho wever, in the hea t and noise of r efor m it would be a mistak e to neglect the r emaining (and ne w) spaces of dissent and r esistance as w ell as the resilience of ‘discredited’ discourses and alterna tive educa tional narr atives. Unions ( http://www .pub licnotpri .html ), par ents and local alliances ha ve organised with some success to oppose some aspects of some policies and to assert their r oles as citiz ens rather than as consumers (W hitty 2002: 79–93) and to defend impersonal concerns and k eep educa tion ‘in’ and ‘of’ place and ‘for’ local comm unities. The questions r aised b y all of this concern w hat kind of futur e we want f or educa tion and w hat role pri vatisation and the pri vate sector might ha ve in tha t futur e, and cruciall y how justice and ethical beha viour can be balanced against a necessary pr agmatism within a modern and democr atic system of educa tion. 6 The task a t hand is to understand the situa tion w e are curr ently in with r espect to the phenomenon of pri vatisations and to de velop an appr opria te and e ffective langua ge and set of concepts f or thinking a bout what is ha ppening and a bout possib le alterna tives. Only once a pr oper understanding of pri vatisation is achie ved can w e begin to think constructi vely beyond the pr essures of the pr esent. We need to struggle to think di fferently about educa tion policy bef ore it is too la te (e.g. see Yarnit 2006). W e need to move beyond the tyr annies of impr ovement, e fficiency and standar ds, to recover a langua ge of and f or educa tion articula ted in ter ms of ethics , mor al obligations and v alues.7

Appendix Research intervie ws

Leisha Fullick (LF) (e x-Chief Ex ecutive of Islington, no w Institute of Educa tion) Chris Ab bott (CA) (e x-ILEcc, ILEA schools computing centr e, now King’s College London) David McGahey (DM) (VTES) Simon La pthorne (SL) (Corpor ate Syner gy) John Simpson (JS) (T ribal) Bob Ho gg (BH) (Mouchel P arkman) Peter Dunne (PD) (HBS) Der ek Foreman (DF) (CEA) Robin Gilderslee ve (RG) (Tribal) Nick Blackw ell (NB) (Cocentr a) Paul Lincoln (PL) (Edison Schools UK) Vic Fairlie (VF) (Ca pital) Elaine Simpson (ES) (Ser co) Elenor Stur dy (ESt) (AST/UL T) Gr aham McA voy (GM) (Alligan) Dennis Sar geant (DS) (LSD A consultant) Neil McIntosh (NM) (CfBT) Ray Auvray (RA) (Pr ospects) Gr aham W alker (GW) (Eduno va) Peter Dougill (PDg) (W ands worth LEA, e x-Capita and DfES) A DfES ci vil servant Extr acts fr om intervie ws and other dir ect speech ar e indica ted in the bod y of the te xt by doub le quota tion mar ks.


1 A ‘policy sociology’ introduction to privatisation(s): tools, meanings and positions 1 Or mor e precisely England. Man y of the policies and de velopments r eferred to in this account do not e xtend to Scotland, W ales or Northern Ir eland. 2 This is a ‘r elatively open-ended empirical in vestigation and empirical interpr etation tha t involve[s] no commitment to e xplana tions tha t rely on gener alisations associa ted with r eductionist substanti ve theories’ (Sibeon 2004: 14). 3 Discourse r ather than discourses or a discourse . The la tter ar e regulated utter ances with a coher ence; the for mer constitute a gener al domain f or the pr oduction and circulation of possibilities f or thought, syntheses of meaning, rules and structur es, within a particular conte xt. 4 Resigned as CEO of Ca pita in 2006 in the w ake of the La bour P arty loans f or honours scandal. 5 In Co x’s terms this constitutes ‘a fr amework for action . . . a particular combina tion of thought pa tterns , material conditions , and human institutions w hich has a certain coher ence among its elements’ (1996: 97). 6 At times things tha t have been excluded and perha ps destr oyed by policies ha ve to be put back, discursi vely re-invented and r e-legitimated. 7 ‘As history constantl y teaches us , discourse is not simpl y tha t which tr ansla tes struggles or systems of domina tion, b ut is the thing f or which and b y which ther e is struggle’ (F oucault 1981: 52–3). 8 I first deplo yed Jessop’s anal ytic in a 1997 pa per. 9 Transfor mation is a k ey ter m in the le xicon of Ne w Labour in r elation to the pub lic sector in gener al and educa tion in particular . For example, the 2001 Educa tion W hite P aper Schools Building on Success (DfES 2001) begins with a chapter on ‘T ransfor ming educa tion’; ther e is another on ‘Primary educa tion transfor med’ and one on ‘T ransfor ming secondary educa tion’. 10 ‘[A] supercomple x series of m ulticentric, m ultiscale, multitempor al, multifor m and multicausal pr ocesses’ (Jessop 2002: 113). 11 In one intervie w the r espondent commented “tha t everyone [ESI collea gues] said you were very, very anti-pri vate sector, everyone who said a bout seeing y ou”. 12 Boyles (2000) notes tha t in US schools Six Fla gs Theme P arks Inc. has a r eading programme, ‘Colgate-Palmoli ve Compan y oper ates what it calls a “Dental Health Classr oom Pr oject” ’ (p. 73), Amoco oil runs science enrichment classes in schools , and Che vron and F ord o ffer an ‘inter-disciplinary curriculum f or “a verage” students’ (p. 90). In the UK Pr octer & Gamb le, McDonald’s and K ellogg’s among man y others pr oduce and distrib ute curriculum ma terials for schools . Bar clays Bank pr oduces booklets aimed a t contrib uting to the citiz enship curriculum in schools , and a f or mer Schools’ Minister rigor ously defended this kind of



commer cial involvement in schools: ‘y oung people m ust learn a bout . . . business realities . . . business and educa tion partnerships can help y oung people de velop as citizens and impr ove pupils’ educa tional standar ds . . . it means b usinesses such as Barclays going into schools – and bringing students out of schools so the pupils gain an understanding of life outside the school ga tes’ (‘Everyone has a r esponsibility’, Independent, 25 February 2003) (quoted in Centr e for Pub lic Services 2003: 33). And betw een 1992 and 2001 T esco super mar kets delivered 42,200 computers to sta te schools thr ough their customer v oucher scheme , most of them bearing the Tesco logo. 13 “I worked pr etty closel y with the Institute of Educa tion a t the time . We worked with P at Gulli ver and P eter Mortimer and tried – in looking a t the serving heads bid tha t was being put f orward at tha t sta ge – really trying to combine leading educa tional thinking with leading commer cial thinking a bout learning or ganisa tions and a bout ho w you mak e things ha ppen” (Gr aham W alker, Eduno va, then of Arthur Andersen, e xplaining discussions to wards a bid f or a contr act to run an LEA). 2

Privatisation(s) in contexts

1 This tr ope ob literates the failings of pri vate sector mana gement (lik e those of Arthur Andersen, Enr on, J arvis, Ballast, etc.), both r omanticising and cleansing private sector pr actices. 3

Scale and scope: education is big business

1 Sodexho and Compass , thr ough its subsidiary Scolar est, ar e the tw o world leaders in institutional ca tering. Scolar est pr ovides catering services to 2,500 schools , colleges and uni versities. 2 Stagecoach Thea tre Arts f ounded in 1988 no w oper ates from 355 UK schools and in 2001 was floated on the AIM. 3 TUPE or T ransfer of Undertakings (Pr otection of Emplo yment) r egulations ar e an important plank of emplo yment la w in Britain and, under di fferent names , in other EU countries . Intr oduced in 1981, they aim to ensur e tha t emplo yees whose compan y is tak en over have their e xisting conditions r espected b y their new employer. The r egulations also a pply in some cases f or work tr ansferr ed to contr actors . This includes hours of w ork, pa y, pension entitlement and so on. 4 From 2005 the pa yment f or these services w as switched to a monthl y mana gement fee (intervie w GM). 5 ‘Curr ently over 50,000 classr ooms w orldwide oper ate their gr oup learning systems . The compan y has gr own rapidly and has seen its turno ver doub le year on y ear, with turno ver for 2002 in e xcess of £24 million and 2003 e xceeding £38 million. Promethean’s sta tus as a leading pr ovider of w hole gr oup inter active technolo gy to the educa tion sector has been achie ved in less than five years’ (compan y website). 6 Compr ehensive Perfor mance R eviews are conducted b y the Audit Commission and gi ve an o verall judgement based on the deli very of cor e services and corpor ate strength of each local council (see ODPM w ebsite). 7 A small n umber of US sta tes, led by California, ha ve imposed bans or limits on the selling of fizzy drinks in schools . (‘Junk f ood to be banned in schools: R uth K elly and T ony Blair a ttended a school br eakfast club in Brighton. F oods high in fa t, salt or sugar ar e to be banned fr om meals and v ending machines in English schools’ (http://ne tion/4287712.stm ).) 8 In 2001 the Na tional Consumer Council and the Incorpor ated Society of British Ad vertisers in conjunction with the DfES f or mulated and pub lished good



practice guidelines f or dealing with commer cial acti vities in schools . Anecdotall y it would a ppear tha t the guidelines ar e not w ell kno wn in or commonl y used b y schools. 4

Economics and actors: the social relations of the ESI

1 Ratna pala (2003: 215) de fines indi vidual mor al capital in r elation to ‘P ersons w ho are habituall y mor al in conduct [and] ma y gain a r eputa tion f or trustw orthiness tha t induces others to deal with them.’ 2 Antonsen and J orgensen (1997) found tha t or ganisa tions w here pub lic sector values ha ve a high pr esence show a low rate of change . 3 Ho wever, Maesschalk (2004) identi fies as a k ey pub lic sector v alue ‘a long ter m perspecti ve, societal goals ar e mor e important than the immedia te satisfaction of users’ (p. 350). Ne w pub lic sector v alues, borr owing from the pri vate sector, give stress to the short ter m and priority to user sa tisfaction. 5

New governance, new communities, new philanthropy

1 Ted Wragg’s (Times Educational Supplement) char acter T ony Zo ffis is the or ganising mind behind a gr eat deal of educa tional change in r ecent years. 2 I am not sur e tha t the la tter is al ways the case. Again the ter m is applied to a wide variety of arr angements (see Car dini 2006), and Ne wman’s de finition of netw orks is related to her particular inter est in local policy initia tives, but the distinction is a good starting point. 3 IPPR (2001) Building Better Partnerships: Commission on Public Private Partnerships identi fies seven types of partnership . 4 Partnership is also a necessary aspect of the r elations of the companies with one another , for example in Academies w ork or joint bids f or pr ogramme contr acts (other e xamples ha ve been quoted). 5 Netw orks refer to r elationships and comm unity to the actors . 6 Selwyn and Fitz (2001: 130) mak e the important point tha t policy comm unities like these ar e also to a gr eat extent ‘sta te-dir ected’. 7 Sir Paul J udge is Chair man of the T eachers’ TV Boar d of Go vernors , is a for mer Dir ector-Gener al of the Conserv ative Party and Ministerial Ad viser at the Cabinet O ffice. He is Chair man of the R oyal Society of Arts , Man ufactur es and Commer ce and Pr esident of the Associa tion of MB As. 8 The Academies and Specialist Schools T rusts ar e now merged (as the ASST). F or clarity of pr esenta tion I ha ve kept them separ ate her e. 9 iNet is the interna tional ar m of the Specialist Schools T rust. 10 ‘The job of a social entr epreneur is to r ecognize when a part of society is stuck and to pr ovide new ways to get it unstuck . . . Nothing is as po werful as a big new idea – if it is in the hands of a first class entr epreneur’ (Ashoka w ebsite). The UK go vernment has set up an a gency called Futur ebuilders w hich has a £215 million fund to mak e loans to social enterprises . 6 Selling improvement/selling policy/selling localities: an economy of innovation 1 All the quota tions used come fr om compan y brochur es or website documents and these were accessed during 2005. F or examples of full documents see: http://www . cocentr flet.pdf , http://www .edisonschools . co. uk/ and http://www ta_pa ge.asp? pa geID=97& mid=4 . 2 This ne w kind of learning is highl y individualised and personalised, undertak en by responsib le learners w ho ar e self-directing and self-monitoring, w ho use ne w


3 4 5 6 7 7


technolo gies to maximise their learning, w hose learning is acceler ated, who learn to learn r ather than being dependent on fixed bodies of kno wledge, who ar e thus render ed as flexible learners , high-modern learners – the ‘basic figures’ of the ne w ecology of learning. Some of these companies ar e also inspection contr actors; they deri ve income fr om both sides of the inspection pr ocess as in e ffect working for tr anspar ency and opacity. Alterna tively, endo genous colla bor ations can thr ough a m utual str engthening of self-confidence bring a r elease or loosening of the pr essures of refor m. I am gr ateful to Phil W oods f or making me think mor e about such scenarios . This would also describe the English educa tion system of the 1960s and 1970s . The question w hy some and not others is not ad dressed her e. English Herita ge has warned of the ‘disloca tion and loss of comm unity cohesion’ which ma y occur as a r esult. Policy controversies: failures, ethics and experiments

1 ‘Classrooms languish half-built as £340m PFI project covering 27 schools, collapses. The biggest pri vately-financed school b uilding scheme in the South-east w as halted this week after a construction compan y involved in a £340 million PFI pr oject went bust. Ballast plc had been sub-contr acted b y the Tower Hamlets Schools P artnership to carry out major b uilding and r epair w ork at 27 of its east London schools . Last w eek Ballast’s Dutch par ent compan y Ballast Needham stopped funding its UK subsidiary and it w as placed in administr ation’ (Dor oth y Lepk owska and Karen Thornton, ‘Pri vate finance b uilder goes b ust’, TES, 24 October 2003). 2 In Mar ch 2005 Unity City Academ y ‘failed’ its Ofsted inspection. The inspection report f ound tha t ‘The weaknesses in pr ovision, lo w standar ds and the fact tha t pupils mak e insufficient pr ogress as they mo ve thr ough the academ y mean tha t overall, leadership and mana gement ar e unsa tisfactory .’ 3 Some r espondents r eported tha t some local councillors ha ve been told tha t if they do not accept an Academ y then no other sour ces of capital funding, f or instance thr ough Building Schools f or the Futur e, will be made a vailable to them. 4 This clustering is also pr oduced b y a conca tena tion of local and na tional political ‘willingness’ to tak e New Labour r efor ms very seriousl y. 5 Thr ee academ y sponsors – Garr ard (£2.3 million), T ownsley (£1 million) and Aldridge (£1 million) – also made ‘loans’ to the 2005 La bour election campaign (http://ne ). 6 In writing a bout the Thir d Way, Gid dens (1998) ar gues for finding ‘a new balance between indi vidual and collecti ve responsibilities’. 7 Ther e is already a diverse and sophistica ted educa tional and political netw ork supporting and dissemina ting ‘enterprise educa tion’ and the ‘b uilding of enterprise skills’ in schools, a gr eat deal of w hich is funded b y the Treasury and its ‘enterprise team’ and the a genda f or which was set b y the Treasury’s Da vies Review. Regional Development Agencies ar e involved and most LEAs run Educa tion Business Partnerships . Manchester Metr opolitan Uni versity runs a Master in Enterprise programme. The Youth Matters Gr een Paper and the Every Child Matters tar gets both ad dress the de velopment of enterprise skills . 8 But they r epresent onl y one of se veral versions of ca pitalism. Ther e are par adigma tic differences within b usiness – di fferent positions in r elation to r esponsibility , and di fferent interpr etations of v ocationalism (see Ball 1990 on pr ogressive vocationalists).

Notes 8


Not jumping to conclusions

1 Or a t least mar ked ‘muta tion’ which involves new ways of representing and constituting ‘man in so far as he li ves, speaks , and pr oduces’ (F oucault 1970) and a collapse of life, labour and langua ge into a single positi vity. 2 Tha t is a mo ve beyond e xisting for ms of fetishism and commodi fication. 3 Without in an y way eliminating the par ado x of invisibility – given the use of promotion and fa brica tion to sim ulate or ganisa tional perf or mances. 4 ‘In the computer a ge, the question of kno wledge is now mor e than e ver a question of government’ (L yotar d 1984: 9). 5 And, as Michael A pple suggests , ‘we may need to tak e seriousl y the possibility tha t some of the intuitions behind ne w mana gerial impulses and audits ma y also constitute an impr ovement o ver pr evious visions of educa tional policies and pr actices’ (Apple 2006: 23). 6 ‘Privatization is lik ely to pr ovide onl y part of the solution not the w hole solution’ (Gr een 2005: 180). 7 Unions lik e the NUT , the Pub lic and Commer cial Services Union and Unison and groups lik e Catalyst ar e already doing important w ork in this r espect, and man y individual educa tors struggle dail y in their o wn pr actices to hold a t ba y the pr essures of commodi fication. As I write , Gr eek and Chilean students ar e occup ying schools and uni versities and demonstr ating on the str eets in opposition to pub lic sector r efor ms which might be mo ves towards for ms of pri vatisation. In England, groups of par ents and educa tors ar e mounting legal challenges to the cr eation of new Academies ( http://ne tion/5075268.stm ).


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3Es 49, 54, 60, 77, 120, 129, 133 4Ps (Pub lic Private Partnerships Programme) 116 5E 82

ASST 148, 183, 195 Atkins , WS 69, 74, 80, 97, 109, 159, 166, 167–70 Auvray, Ray 73, 90, 112, 119

Abbey Na tional 62 Abbeylands Compr ehensive, Surr ey 54, 77 Able, Gr aham 66 Absolute R eturn f or Kids (ARK) 54, 129, 131, 175 Academies pr ogramme 49, 54, 63, 159–60, 170–83 Academies Sponsors T rust (AST) 132, 133 Academ y for Enterprise 179, 180–1 Accentur e 75 accountancy and consultancy services 78 activation policies 9 activity str eams 2 Adam Smith Institute (ASI) 80 adjunct mar kets 64–6 Adonis , Andr ew 126 Advanta ge West Midlands 149 Aisbitt, J on 131 Aldridge , Rod 71, 154, 196 Alligan Consulting 49, 74, 76 Alokozay Gr oup 68 Alpha Plus Gr oup 61 Amey plc 8, 48, 61, 67, 69, 70, 77, 82, 89, 155, 163, 166 Amey Ventur es Investment Limited 44, 45 AQA 40 Arthur Andersen 52, 78, 103, 106, 160 Ash Gr een Junior School 102 Asquith Court 60, 77 Associa tion of Charter ed Certi fied Accountants 46

Babcock and Br own 62 Baker, Kenneth 87 Balfour Bea tty 42, 45–6 Balir 77 Ball, K en 91 Ballast plc 196 Bank of Scotland 44, 60 Bannock Consulting 51, 53, 78, 108, 109 Barber , Michael 92 Barclays UK Infr astructur e Fund 62 BBC 49; Bytesize 189 Bedfordshir e’s Teaching and Media Resour ce Service 72 Belvedere School, Li verpool 127 Bennett, Da vid 125 Best Value 20, 38, 52, 53, 98 Best Value Code of Practice on Workforce Matters 47 Bexley Business Academ y 129, 130, 172, 176–7 BH 80 Bichar d, Sir Michael 66 Black, Geor ge 47 Black Country Educa tion Business Links 152 Black Country P artnership 51 Blackb urn with Darw en 149, 152–4 Blackwell, Nick 74, 89, 90 Blair, Tony 5, 6, 7, 9, 20, 21, 29, 33, 34, 35, 36, 53, 126, 136, 150, 178 Blears, Haz el 148 Blunk ett, Da vid 174 Boar dWorks 49 Bologna Declar ation 68



Bragg, Valerie 129, 178 brand identity and lo yalty 66 Brett, P aul 61, 91, 101 Brighouse , Tim 121 BrightA pple Tuition 65 Brighter Horizons F amily Solutions 67 British Council (BC) 78, 80 Brook La pping Pr oductions 50 Brown, Gor don 4, 162, 170 Brown, Sir P atrick 92 Building Schools f or the Futur e (BSF) 39, 48–9, 76, 81, 116, 150, 196 Business Services Associa tion 105 Business Support Associa tion 105 business tr ansfor mation services 26 Busson, Arpad 131 Cadb ury’s 66 Cambridge Educa tion Associa tes (CEA) 50, 52, 55, 59, 68, 69, 72, 73, 103, 116, 137, 139, 140, 143, 170 Cann, T ony 130, 154 Cap Gemini 75 Capio 58 Capita 40, 51, 52, 56, 60, 67, 71–2, 74, 75–6, 89, 92, 95, 97, 101, 102, 106, 111, 152–4 Capital City Academ y, Brent 178 capitalism 21 Capstan Northern 71 Car eer Finder 118 careers services 51, 73 Carillion Pri vate Finance 44, 45, 62 CarpetRight plc 127 CEM consortium 52 Centr e for British T eachers (CfBT) 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 59, 72, 73–4, 79, 110 Centr e for Ex cellence in Leadership (CEL) 79, 80 Child T rust Fund Accounts 72 Childr en’s Trust 51 Cisco 129, 156 City Academ y programme see Academies pr ogramme City Technolo gy Colleges 19, 20 civic responsibility 125 Clar ke, Steve 91 Cleal, P aul 162 Cleverboar d 49 Clevertouch 49 Cliffe school 60 Cocentr a 50, 57, 74–5, 89, 137, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145 Cognita 60, 65, 77–8, 133

cola-isa tion 66 collabor ative advanta ge 10 Commission on Ar chitectur e and the Built En vironment (CABE) 152 commodi fication 7, 20, 24 Commonw ealth Bank of A ustr alia 62 Conne xions Car d Scheme 72 Conne xions car eers services 70 Conne xions Service Accr edited T raining Programme 74 Conne xions Somerset 118 Conserv ative Party 126 corpor ate social r esponsibility (CSR) 122, 176, 188 corpor ate welfare 29 Cousins , Jim 125 Compr ehensive Perfor mance Assessment (CPA) 38 contr acts mar ket 53–4 competition sta te 3–11 Conne xions 10, 43, 50, 73 Compulsory Competiti ve Tendering 19, 20, 24 Crescendo 42 Crib b, Martin 91 Criminal R ecords Bur eau 72 Crossley, Da vid 4 CSL 52 Davies, Ga vyn 131 Davies, Steve 167 Davies Laing and Dick Limited 61 DBFO (design, b uild, finance and oper ate) 44 De Haan 175 Deloitte T ouche Tohma tsu 78 Department f or Educa tion and Skills (DfES) 49, 50, 51, 58, 70, 79, 81, 106, 109, 133, 144; Academies di vision 148 Derw ent Valley Hospital 62 desta talisa tion 9, 20 discourse 1–3, 145; levels of 139; of privatisation 30–8 disinvestment 20, 22 Disney 65 Dixons CT C school 102 Dixons Gr oup 127 Dobson, F rank 178 Dor oth y Stringer high school 63 Doshi, R aj 82 doub le privatizations 64 Dougill, P eter 91 Dul wich College 42 Dunne , Peter 56, 72, 90

Index 211 Dunning, P aul 131 EasyTeach 49 Edexcel 40, 67 Edge Hill College 118 Edison 54, 57, 67, 140, 141, 142, 143, 145 Edison Pr eservation F ounda tion 132 Edison School Corpor ation 171 Edison Schools UK 74, 76, 137, 138 Edmiston 125, 175 EduAction 70, 77 Educar e 59 Educa tion Act (2002) 40 Educa tion Action Zones (EAZs) 23, 38, 55, 130, 148, 152 Educa tion Digital 50, 131 Educa tion Leeds 52, 72, 97 Educa tion Maintenance Allo wance 72 Educa tion P artnership 52 educa tion services industry (ESI) 10, 12, 38, 39, 41, 42–57, 107, 113, 184, 188; contr acts 43, 51–6; infr astructur e 43, 44–50; mar ket relations 85–6; model 43; new entr epreneurs 86–92; programmes 43, 50–1; services 43, 56–7 educa tion smartcar ds 51 Eduno va 54, 57, 70, 74, 75, 89, 97, 137, 138, 140, 141, 142 Elephant Angels 55 embed dedness 98 Emir ates Dia gnostic Clinic 60 emotional liter acy 145–6 engineering/mana gement services companies 69–71 Englefield Ca pital 60, 77 English Herita ge 196 English P artnerships 149, 152 enterprise 9, 10, 13, 31, 34, 40, 75, 87–7, 99, 119, 123, 136, 139, 142, 148, 151, 154, 175, 179, 181, 186, 188 entr epreneurial go vernance 11 entr epreneurial localities 9, 135, 147–57 entr epreneurism 9, 31, 32, 33, 122, 136, 142, 148, 157, 158, 160, 171, 182 Ernst & Y oung 50, 78 ESS 71 ETA Ascon gr oup 68 Eteach 82 ethics 187–9 Eur opean Comm unity 14 Eur opean Social Fund 55 Eur opr ess 65 Evenlode 71

Fairlie, Vic 75, 91 Falk, Mr 180 Falkir k Schools pr oject 62 Fast Track teaching 74 Ferrovial Gr oup 82 Financial Mana gement Initia tive 25 Fink, Stanley 131 Fleming, Bill 65 Fletcher , Car ole 91 Food Commission 14, 66 Ford, And y 41 Fordism 6 Foreman, Der ek 73, 90, 98 Foster, Nor man 180 Foster and P artners 172 Fraser Institute 132 Frencha y school 42, 54 Fujitsu 155 Futur ebuilders 195 Garr ard, Sir Da vid 132, 175, 176, 196 Gener al Agr eement on T rade and T ari ffs (GATS) 14, 68 Gener al Educa tion Mana gement Systems (GEMS) 42, 55, 60, 65, 66, 77, 97, 127, 133 Gershon R eview of the Ci vil Service 64 Gershon, Sir P eter 41, 92 Gilderslee ve, Robin 91 Ginseng Corp 68 Gir ls’ Public Day School T rust 54, 65–6 Gleeson, M.J . 155 Global Educa tion Mana gement 68 globalisa tion 6, 29, 33, 136 Goldman Sachs 16, 125, 131, 190 Goodchild, Stanley 120, 134 Go-T eaching 119 Gr anada Learning 49 Gr een, Phil 49 Gr eensward College 102, 133 Gridclub 50, 51 Grieg 175 Gri ffiths, Der ek 155–6 Gri ffiths R eport 26 Grund y, Mar k 150 GT CO 49 Ha berdashers Ask es CTC 131 Haden Building Mana gement 46 Hallo ws, Dame Shar on 131, 132 Haml yn, Lor d 127 Hampton, Pr ofessor Sir Geo ff 151 Hancock, J ohn 62 Hands , Guy 72, 73



Harris , Lor d 125, 127, 132 Harrison, Ian 72, 90, 111 Hart, Bob 91 Hasbr o 65 Haslett, J ohn 91 Havas 65 Ha y Gr oup 78, 79, 80 Ha y McBeer 50 HCT C 60 Heads , Teachers and Industry (HTI) 31 Her mes 62 Herts Car e Gr oup 78 Hickton Madeley & P artners 155 Hitachi 49 Ho gg, Bob 57, 70, 90, 112 Hopkins , Da vid 131 HP-Compaq 156 HSBC 62, 131, 148, 175, 190 HSBC Educa tion T rust 129, 131, 134 Hudson, Jim 91, 133 Hutt, De xter 131 hybrid ca pitalism 97 Hyder 72 Hyder Business Services (HBS) 51, 53, 56, 57, 67, 71, 72, 82, 101, 102, 137, 140, 141, 145 Hyder Gr oup 101 Icp 145 impr ovement pr oducts 135 incanta tions 2 Inclusi ve Technolo gy 57, 88 indir ect selling and pr omotion 66 Indi vidual Learning Accounts (ILAs) 10, 51, 72 66 iNet 195 Innisfr ee 45, 62, 161 inno vation and change 135–6 Institute f or Pub lic Policy Research (IPPR) 80 Institute of Economic A ffairs 21 Integr ated Br adford 48 intellectual pr operty rights 7 intelligent accounta bility 2 inter active whiteboar ds (IWBs) 49–50 inter dependence 10 interna tional educa tion b usiness 67–8 Intuiti ve Media 57 ITC 49 ITNET 53 Jarvis 42, 61, 62, 63, 67, 69, 70, 74, 81, 159, 163–9; PFIs and 163–6

Jarvis Educa tional Services 74 Jasper, John 72, 90, 101 Jigsaw nursery gr oups 77 JobCentr e Plus 55, 102 Johnson-P oensgen, Douglas 41 Joseph, K eith 17, 18, 19, 20 Judge, Paul 126, 132 Kajima 42, 67 Kalms, Sir Stanley 125, 126, 127, 133 Keynsian Na tional W elfare State (KNWS) 3, 4–5, 7, 9, 17, 18 Kiley, Bob 132 Kiley, Rona 132 King’s Academ y, Mid dlesbr ough 156–7 King’s College , Surr ey 42, 54 Kings Hurst F ederation 31 Kingshurst CT C 129 Knight, De bor ah 131 Kno wledge Econom y 35 Korea Tobacco 68 KPMG 78, 102, 106 Kunska psskolan 55 Laing, J ohn 62, 161 Lampl, P eter 125, 126, 127, 175 Lancashir e LEA 118 Le Meridien hotels 73 leadership ca pacity b uilding 2 Leading School Impr ovement Solutions 137 Leapfrog nursery gr oups 77 Learndir ect 55, 56 Learning and Skills Councils 75 Learning and Skills De velopment Agency (LDSA) 78, 79, 80, 103 Learning Compan y 65 Learning Led Design 137, 141 Learning Led T echnolo gy 141 Learning P artnerships 141 Learning Skills Netw ork (LSN) 79 Learning T echnolo gy 49 LHR 71 life-long learning 10 Lincoln, P aul 76, 90 Local Educa tion A uthority (LEA) contr acts 167–70 Local Educa tion P artnership (LEP) 48 Local Mana gement of Schools (LMS) 19, 20, 26 Logan, Mar k 76 London Challenge 49, 58, 132, 144 Lorien 106 Lowe, Sir F rank 175, 178

Index 213 Lynrose 71 Macaula y, Hilary 180 McAvoy, Gr aham 76, 90 McCa be, Jim 45 Mace 137 McDonald’s 66 McDonnell, V incent 55 McGahey , Da vid 69, 90 McGr ath, Harv ey 131 McIntosh, Neil 4, 54, 90 McKinsey’s 78, 124, 125, 126, 132 McLar en 143 Macmillan T rust 154 McNean y, Kevin 77 MacPherson, Hugh 68 Major Contr actors Gr oup (MCG) 46 Mallon, R ay 154 Man gr oup 131 Manchester Academ y 175 Manchester College 102 Manchester Metr opolitan Uni versity 50 Manchester Science P ark Ltd 175 mar kets 24–5 Ma ttel 65 Ma yflower Primary 141 mergers and acquisitions 107 meta-ca pacities 7, 182 meta-e xchange 8, 107 meta-go vernance 8, 107, 108 metaheter archy 8 metaor ganisa tion 8, 108 Metter , Da vid 161, 162 Micr osoft 72 Mid dlesbr ough 8, 149, 154–7 Milb urn, Alan 92 Mill Gr oup 47 Monger , Da vid 168 Moses, Jennifer 131 Mott MacDonald 69, 73, 107, 160 Mouchel Consulting 70 Mouchel P arkman 49, 51, 53, 57, 69, 70–1, 80, 103, 109, 112, 121, 137 Mo wlem 163 mutual learning 10 Narunsk y, Gary 102 Na tional Associa tion of Go vernors and Mana gers (N AGM) 105 Na tional Associa tion of Headteachers (NAHT) 105 Na tional A udit O ffice 46 Na tional College f or School Leadership 50

Na tional Curriculum 49, 50, 177, 186 Na tional Health Service (NHS) 22, 26, 33, 62 Na tional Nursery V oucher Scheme (NNVS) 19, 20 Na tional Str ategies 72, 74; Liter acy 40, 43, 51; Numer acy 43 Na tional College f or School Leadership (NCSL) 103, 105 Na tional Union of T eachers (NUT) 14, 47 neo-liber alism 9, 10, 17, 18, 21 Netw ork 1 126, 127, 128–9, 131 network 115, 195 Netw ork 2 127, 130, 131, 133 New Deal 82 new governance 114–15 New Labour 2, 7, 19, 21, 33, 88, 116, 117, 124, 125, 133, 148, 172, 175 new mana gerialism 25–7 New Philanthr opy Capital 129, 131 New Pub lic Mana gement (NPM) 94 New Right 17, 18, 21 New Social Democr acy 21 Next Steps 79 NHS and Comm unity Car e Act (1990) 25 niche start-ups 74–6 Nom ura 73 non-departmental pub lic bodies (NDPBs) 78, 81 non-go vernmental or ganisa tions (NGOs) 78–81 Nor d Anglia 52, 54, 55, 59, 60, 68, 70, 72, 77, 81, 111 North East Lincolnshir e (NEL) 51 North Lanar kshir e schools PPP pr oject 45–6 NPC 133 Oasis Trust 54, 125, 148, 175 OCR 40 Octa gon 162 Office of Pub lic Mana gement 106 Ofsted (O ffice for Standar ds in Educa tion) 20, 51, 56, 57, 142, 143, 145, 148, 155, 156, 168 oper ational imper ative 2 Operis 44 Orchar d End 78 Outcomes UK 51 Oxford Brook es Uni versity 79 Parent Compan y 65



par ental choice 20 Parenting Pr actice 65 partnerships 115, 116–22 Partnerships f or Schools (PfS) 48–9, 81, 116 Partnerships UK (PUK) 49, 81, 103, 183 Passmor e, Elizabeth 92, 131 Patcham high school, Brighton 63 Patterson, Mar k 101 Payne, Eric 125, 151, 175 Payne, Gr ace 151 Pearson media 67 Pelcombe Training 60, 61 Pennon 73 Perfor mance Life Coaching 137 perfor mance mana gement 27 perfor maticity 27–9 Personal T utors 65 Personalised Learning 2, 142 Petchey 125, 175 PFK 78 philanthr opic pri vatisation 13 Pike, Calvin 91 Place Gr oup 137, 138, 140 place mar keting 135 place-speci fic development str ategies 135 Plasc 51 policy comm unities 115, 122–34 policy condensa te 23, 148, 160, 171–2, 175, 179, 181 policy netw orks 104, 108, 115, 126, 147, 148, 175 policy sociolo gy 1–16 post neo-liber alism 21 post-F ordism 4, 84 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PW C) 41, 63, 64, 78, 106, 111 primiti ve capitalists 77–8 prison educa tion 55, 56, 102 Private Finance Initia tive (PFI) 4, 13, 28, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 61–3, 78, 117, 159, 160–7, 190; Jarvis and 163–6; profits 161–2 private sector la bour mar kets 101–2 private tutors 14 privatisation 13–15, 65, 185, 186–7; Conserv ative 20; history of 17–29 profit role 81–2 Promethean 49, 130, 194 Prospects 50, 56, 59, 67, 72, 73, 80, 88, 112, 119, 137, 139, 140, 145 Prudential 62 Pub lic Private Partnerships (PPPs) 28, 47 pub lic service companies 93, 95

pub lic service start-ups 72–4 pub licization 100–1 pupil r eferral units 55 Pupils Champions scheme 58 QAA Consultants 71 QICS 71 Quali fications and Curriculum A uthority (QCA) 42, 78, 103 Quality Assur ance Associa tes (QAA) 50, 107 Quality Impr ovement Agency (QIA) 79–80 Quinton House school 60 Rams Episcopal, Hackney 54, 74 recipes 2 Reed, Alec 128, 148, 175, 179–81 Reed College Enterprise Netw ork 181 Reed Educa tion Pr ofessional 57 Reed Executive 180 Reed Gr oup 179 Reed Learning 56 Reed Recruitment 118 Reg Vardy plc 127 RegenCo 149 Regional Grids of Learning 44 re-investment 22 Renfrewshire Schools P artnership Limited (RSP) 44–5 Renfrewshire Schools PPP Pr oject 44 Research Machines (RM) 49 return-to-emplo yment skills 55 RgsL 49 Richar dson, Dame Mary 129, 131, 134 Richar dson, Sylvia 91 Richmond T ertiary College 102 RM Classboar d 49 Roberts , Sir Gar eth 131 Roberts , Paul 91 Royal Bank of Scotland 63 Sainsb ury, Lor d 127 Sainsb ury’s’ ’Kids Acti ve’ 66 Sand well Academ y 52, 130, 149–52, 177 Satchwell, Sir K evin 120, 131, 150, 172 SBM 138 school admissions 51 School Vouchers 20 Schools Acts 38 Schumpeterian W orkfar e State (SWS) 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 17, 29, 190 Scolar est 194

Index 215 Secondary Headteachers’ Associa tion (SHA) 105 Secondary Mar ket Infr astructur e Fund (SMIF) 62, 63, 166 secondary mar kets 57–63; acquisitions and mer gers 57–61; selling contr acts 61–3 Sedgemoor Ca pital 60 self-evidences 2 SEMER C 57 SEN AD Gr oup 61 Serco 47, 50, 60, 61, 67, 71, 93, 101, 107, 110, 161, 169 Serco Consulting 41 ServiceTeam 60 Shanks 73 Shar on Hallo ws Consultancy Limited 132 Sharp , Peter 91 Sher man, Alfr ed 17 Shireland Langua ge College, Sand well 150 Shoesmith, Susan 101 Silverwood school 60 Simpson, Elaine 71, 90, 93, 169 Simpson, J ohn 58, 88, 90, 100, 105 Skanska 42, 67 slogans 2 SMAR T 49 Smith, Brian 73, 90 Snyder, Michael 132 social inclusion 10 social justice 100 Social Mar ket Founda tion (SMF) 55, 80 social netw orks 115 South W est Water 73 Sovereign Ca pital 55, 60, 61, 65, 77, 78 specialist mana gement services pr oviders 71–2 Specialist Schools and Academies T rust 129, 130, 195 Stagecoach 42 Stagecoach Thea tre Arts 194 Standar ds Task F orce 131 Standar ds Unit 80 Stanton, Nick 168 STAR 63, 68 Star Ca pital P artners 62 Stepping Stones T uition 65 Strategic Partnerships 53 Strategic Service Partnership (SSP) 53, 112 structur al coupling 3 Stuart, Nick 131

Student Loans Compan y (SLC) 40 Supporta plc 101 Tallis, Bill 46 Taylor, Sir Cyril 126, 129, 132, 133 Taylor Woodr ow 161 Teach America 126 Teach First 16, 126, 130, 131, 132 Teacher P ay Refor m pr ogramme 73 teacher suppl y 56, 57 Teachers’ P ension Scheme (TPS) 51, 72 Teaching Agency 73 Teaching Associa tes 119 Teachers’ P ay and Conditions Or der 23 Teacher T raining A uthority (TT A) 105 Teachers’ TV 15, 50, 51, 103 techno-economic par adigms 5 Tenders Electr onic Dail y Services 40 Terra Fir ma 72, 73 Tesco Sport f or Schools and Clubs 66 Tha tcher, Mar garet 5, 18, 21, 87, 127 Tha tcherism 9, 21, 36 Thir d Way 9, 10, 21, 22, 29, 38, 99, 113, 116, 175, 179–80 Thomas T elford 148 Thr eshold Assessment of T eachers’ P ay and P erfor mance 50 Timms, Stephen 30 Tizar d, John 90 TLC 65 TLO 50 Tomlinson, Mik e 66, 92, 131 TopTutors 65 Total Schools 149 Townsley 196 trade unions 84, 133 Training and De velopment Agency f or Schools (TD A) 177 Training and Enterprise Councils 75 Transfor m Schools (North Lanar kshir e) Ltd 45 transfor mational leadership 177–8 transitions mar ket 63–4 Tribal 49, 56, 58–9, 67, 72, 80, 81, 100, 137, 141, 145 Tribal Educa tion 88, 91 Trigg, Da vid 133, 178 trust/distrust 3 Tumb letots 42 Turner , John 70, 91 TWA 71 Tweedie, Sir Da vid 160 Twigg, Stephen 105 Tyler, Ian 45



UBS 190 Unison 47, 78 Unison Companies Upda te website 169 United Learning T rust (UL T) 54, 125, 148, 175 Unity Academ y, Mid dlebrough 8, 70, 154–6 Uni versity of Buckingham 133 UTL 175 values in pr actice 96–7 Vardy, Sir Peter 54, 125, 127, 148, 156–7, 175 Varkey, Sunn y 60, 77 Varndean, Brighton 62, 63, 102 Vinci 42, 166 Viridor 73 virtual authorities 53 Vivendi 65 Vosper Thorney croft Educa tion and

Skills (VTES) 50, 51, 69–70, 103, 110, 159, 166 Vosper Thorney croft Engineering 69 voucher collection schemes 66 VT4S 120 Walker, Gr aham 54, 75, 89, 90 Warwick Uni versity 42 Waste R ecycling 73 Weetabix: ’Ener gy for Ev eryone’ 66 welfare mix 29, 109 welfare plur alism 29, 109 Welsh Water 72 West London Academ y 179, 180 WestAb Pri vate Equity Ltd 60 Williams, Gary 91 Windsor and Co 52, 103 Withington, Sall y 91 Woodhead, Chris 60, 77, 92, 133 work-based learning 55 World Trade Or ganiza tion 190