For-profit and not-for-profit participation in the privatisation of state schooling

John O'Neill


This article analyses the opening up of state schooling in Aotearoa New Zealand to both for-profit and not-for-profit participation over the last decade. It provides a theoretical framework for thinking about the significance of this development and gives examples of privatisation, concentrating on two case studies in particular. The article argues (i) that state schooling in Aotearoa New Zealand is experiencing a government manufactured crisis; (ii) that government is attempting to reorient popular conceptions of the ideal state schooling system to one in which traditional distinctions between public and private have blurred and been displaced by social enterprise and social investment forms of compulsory schooling provision; and (iii) that traditional forms of state schooling, and schooling policy governance, based on a social democratic charter between the Minister and local communities are being displaced by network governance relations dominated by private sector actors, both for-profit and not-for-profit.


Privatisation of schooling; private actors in education; New Zealand

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v22i1.542


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015