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Michael Gove warms to further private sector involvement in state education

Michael Gove happy Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove has thus far been highly sceptical about allowing profit-making companies to run state schools.

But this morning's FT suggests that his rhetoric on the matter is softening and that he is "beginning to adopt a more welcoming public approach to profit-making".

Here's an extract from the paper's write-up of its interview with Mr Gove this morning:

"A Tory government will clear the path for the private sector to take a bigger role in state education, Michael Gove said on Thursday, as he praised the involvement of profit-making groups in schools as “a good thing”. The shadow schools secretary’s qualified pledge of support for the profit motive came in an hour-long Financial Times interview."

"Although Mr Gove stressed he most admired schools groups that “are not interested in profit”, he singled out one school in North London that brought in a private company to manage staff as an example for the future. “If a group of parents or teachers want to work with a private sector organisation then that is a good thing,” he said.

"The Tories have resisted allowing private companies to start academies for fear of Labour attacks on their “free market” approach. They insist they will work within the constraints of current legislation. But Mr Gove is beginning to adopt a more welcoming public approach to profit-making and there is sufficient leeway in current laws to permit a significant expansion of private sector involvement."

Jonathan Isaby


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