Public and Private Schools

How Management and Funding Relate to their Socio-economic Profile

image of Public and Private Schools

In most PISA-participating countries and economies, the average socio-economic background of students who attend privately managed schools is more advantaged than that of those who attend public schools. Yet in some countries, there is little difference in the socio-economic profiles between public and private schools. Why? An analysis of PISA results finds that while the prevalence of privately managed schools in a country is not related to socio-economic stratification within a school system, the level of public funding to privately managed schools is: the higher the proportion of public funding allocated to privately managed schools, the smaller the socio-economic divide between publicly and privately managed schools. This report also shows that those countries with narrow socio-economic stratification in their education systems not only maximise equity and social cohesion, but also perform well in the PISA survey.


A brief history of public and private involvement in schools in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has by far the largest number of students enrolled in privately managed schools among all OECD countries. PISA 2009 data show that only one-third of students attend publicly managed schools, while around twothirds of 15-year-olds attend privately managed schools. The majority of these students attend privately managed schools that receive over 90% or more of their core funding from government agencies (OECD, 2010a). In fact, there are few privately managed schools that have chosen not to receive public funding, accounting for less than 1% of primary and secondary schools (Waslander, 2010).


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