Does Outsourcing School Systems Degrade Education Workforces?

Nicholas Martindale (DPhil student supervised by Dr Michael Biggs) just published ‘Does Outsourcing School Systems Degrade Education Workforces? Evidence from 18,000 English State Schools’ in the British Journal of Sociology of Education.

Abstract: Critics claim that outsourcing the running of 7000 state-funded schools under England’s Academies Programme has caused a rapid increase in the number of pupils taught by teachers without Qualified Teacher
Status (QTS). However, it is unclear whether Academies are simply more exposed to contexts associated with higher rates of teachers without QTS than schools still controlled by local government. Analysis of a newly compiled dataset
reveals that, net of context, the percentage of teachers without QTS is increasing in Academies relative to non-outsourced schools and that business-style governance is associated with greater Academy divergence from non-outsourced
schools. Moreover, the Academies programme is widening class-based inequality in pupils’ access to qualified teachers. This research, the first nationally comprehensive assessment of the impact of Academies on school workforces,
draws into question the merits of neoliberal policies which outsource public services and undermine systems of professional accreditation.


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Two children writing in a school book.