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June 03, 2010



But...this requires school management to have sufficient autonomy to respond to competition.


Would increased competition in public services improve quality? If so, by how much?

No because:

1. The public sector is a state of mind rather than a sector - it has its own work ethic;

2. That's twice the chance of wastage.

Innocent Abroad

No, at least as far as schools are concerned. What Tarquin's parents care about is that he should go to school with Peregrine and Zoe, not with Michelle and Wayne.

They don't care about the quality of the teaching - being rational people, they seek only to control the variables they can make head or tail of in the first place.

Fred Kapoor

Great post. The initial question makes you think about it a lot. I beleive it'd be necessary to discuss this further with a lot of people to have them contribute with different points of view. In my opinion, what I would say now is that I agree with @Innocent Abroad. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about it is that it wouldn't help quality in the public services to improve.


I would say that the obvious arena for introducing this concept would be general practice. Addressing the first two comments to this post, British general practice is thousands of autonomous small businesses contracted to the public sector,- not directly employed by the public sector. They therefore have the benefits of being autonomous and small enough to react to change.
The vast majority of contacts with the NHS are through GPs.
GPs hugely outperformed government expectations in meeting the Quality and Outcomes framework introduced in 2004, so have proven ability to respond to such competitive stimuli.
And in response to stumbling and mumbling's last comment, general practice is a part of the NHS where diversity would be more highly ranked.

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