23 SES 11 A, Market Ideas and Practices III
In many countries today, the education policies promote choice and competition between schools as means to raise the effectiveness and quality of education (Whitfield, 2006; Ball 2007; Forsey et al., 2008). In Sweden in the early 1990s, similar state policy reforms opened up for new private school actors to run so-called indepent schools on the basis of a voucher system with generous conditions for profit-maximisation for the private school actors in combination with weaker regulations for the independent schools concerning various facilities and services (Governm. bill 1991/92: 95, 1992/93:100; Ministry of Education, 2008). After two decades of market moves, Swedish upper secondary education has changed from being mainly provided by the public sector to an increased involvement of private actors (Holm & Erixon Arreman 2009; Fredriksson, 2009; National Schools Inspectorate, 2009). For example, in the school year 2008/2009 about twenty percent of the upper secondary school students attended independent upper secondary schools, of which the majority were run by for-profit education companies (National Agency for Education 2009). For some of these, international expansion in education is a further aim. As a consequence, education in Sweden has become ‘big business’ or ‘edu-business’, which shows similar tendencies as has been noted in the UK (Ball, 2007, p 42). The aim of this paper is to explore and analyse the interests in education of some of the larger private actors on the Swedish school market, and some of the ethical and democratic impacts of these interests. The study is conducted within a larger research project on marketisation of Swedish upper secondary school, financed by the Swedish Research Council (2008-2010). The overall focus of the project is to explore the emergence, development and effects of marketisation of the Swedish upper secondary school system.
Ball, S. (1998). Big policies/Small World: an introduction to international perspectives in education policy. Comparative Education, 34, No. 2: 119-130. Ball, S. (2007). Education Plc : understanding private sector participation in public sector. New York: Routledge. Forsey, M., S. Davies, and G. Walford. (2008). Introduction to Key Issues and Concerns. In The Globalisation of School Choice? ed. M. Forsey, S. Davies, and G. Walford, 9-25. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education. Oxford: Symposium books. Fredriksson, A. (2009). On the Consequences of the Marketisation of Public Education in Sweden: for-profit charter schools and the emergence of the ‘market-oriented teacher’. European Educational Research Journal, 8, no. 2: 299-310. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2009.8.2.299 Holm, A-S. & Erixon Arreman, I. (2009). Upper-secondary education as a market. The expansion of independent schools in Sweden. Paper presented at NERA Congress Trondheim, 5-7 March, 2009. Governmental bill. (1991/92). Regeringens proposition om valfrihet och fristående skolor. Stockholm: Ministry of Education. Governmental bill. (1992/93). Regeringens proposition med förslag till statsbudget för budgetåren 1993/94. Stockholm: Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education. (2008). Förslag om nya regler för fristående skolor. SOU 2008:122. Stockholm: Ministry of Education. National Agency for Education. (2009). Statistik om gymnasieskolan. Swedish statistics. http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/1717. Accessed 2009-11-11. National Schools Inspectorate Skolinspektionen. (2009). Fortsatt stort intresse att starta friskolor. http://www.skolinspektionen.se/Pressrum/Pressmeddelanden/Fortsatt-stort-intresse-att-starta-fristaende-skola-/ Published: 2009-04-22. Accessed: 2009-11-24. Whitfield, D. (2006). A Typology of Privatisation and Marketisation. ESSU Research Report, no.1 http://www.european-services-strategy.org.uk/publications/essu-research-reports/essu-research-paper-1/essu-research-paper-1.pdf Published: November 2006. Accessed 2009-11-26.
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