It’s all the more interesting then, to read that “One of Sweden’s largest free school operators has announced it will shut down, leaving hundreds of students stranded“.
19 schools will be sold, three closed**, leaving hundreds of students having to find new schools in the most important education years of their lives.
Why are they closing?
Because “Danish private equity group Axcel, which bought the chain in 2008, decided it could no longer continue to cover the company’s losses.”
This is what happens when you allow for-profit schools – if they can’t make enough moolah, they bail out.
Tough luck to the students.
Because they are not in it for education, they are in it to make money.
Compare that to Christchurch public schools who fought to carry on through quake after quake, caring for their students and communities no matter what. Staff who lost their homes, still turning up to work.
Compare that to Novopay. Staff not being paid correctly, some not paid at all – not a single cent. Some unpaid for months. And yet on they went.
Why? Because they became teachers to educate children, and they care about their students. Simple as that.
Kiwis should take note of the warning from Sweden to the UK “not to slavishly adopt the Swedish model, where private companies can set up profit-making free schools, paid for by the state but with little government oversight.”
Because this is where it can lead: students without schools.
* for more on why Swedish schools are not the bee’s knees, read these…
** Update – possibly four closed. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/may/31/free-schools-education