This Guidance Note provides information on how Low Cost Private Schools (LCPS) can become involved in supporting access to a quality basic education for all. It identifies the contribution that LCPS can make to increasing both the quality and quantity of schooling, complementing as well as challenging state provision either through a PPP contracting arrangement or through private sector led development. A variety of possible interventions is described, as well as the outcomes of current or recent reform initiatives and research in developing countries. These outcomes and the resulting recommendations will certainly not all be relevant for all countries all of the time. Decisions on what path to follow must take into account the stage of development of a country’s economy and current governance and operational contexts.
This Guidance Note is particularly focused on the engagement of LCPS in the development and delivery of the primary and secondary education cycles. For the purposes of this Guidance Note, LCPS include 'for profit' and 'not for profit' providers and a range of provision – from conventional schools to contracting LCPS to provide services under public funding arrangements.
The Guidance Note is in six sections:
Section 1: Executive Summary.
Section 2: Policy and Practice Background. This section provides a brief background on the policy reasons why the LCPS market segment has become significant and an exploration of the practical value of investing in partnerships with LCPS, including some of the research supporting and questioning such partnerships.
Section 3: Definitional and Conceptual Issues. This section considers some of the semantic and conceptual difficulties involved in analysing LCPS and a look at some of the main similarities and differences between 'for profit' and 'not for profit' LCPS.
Section 4: Private Sector Involvement and Partnerships. This section provides an assessment of recent major shifts in approach to LCPS, particularly regarding contracting of education services in low income countries and the relevance of these to future initiatives.
Section 5: Potential Initiatives. This section outlines some key lessons learnt and possible initiatives going forward across three focus areas: the partnership framework, the operating environment (with a specific focus on regulation), and finance.
Section 6: References and Further Reading.
Anon. Engaging the Low Cost Private Schools in Basic Education: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities - Guidance Note. (2013) 37 pp.