Why Do Schools Compete?

Even competition exists between schools.

Even competition exists between schools.

Competition between schools was brought by the idea of marketisation being put into practice whereby education was being shifted from a state provided service into the marketplace. As a result, choice was developed, encouraging competition to develop between schools.

Visual Representations

League tables have significantly allowed the competitiveness between schools to arise. These measures meant that schools could be categorized into one table (several occasionally), ranking schools from top-performers to lower-achieving institutions. Thus, creating a competitive urge for schools to climb through to the higher, more respectable spots seen at the top of the table.

Marketisation led to the introduction of a marketplace system within education. 

Marketisation led to the introduction of a marketplace system within education. 

Schools began to compete with one another to achieve their best possible position. However, league tables although creating a sense of competition and encouragement of top performing schools, did not primarily measure happiness of students and teachers. Moreover, putting a lot of pressure upon students and staff to maintain their rank. As a result of this, one could argue about the morality of league tables which have created evident competition between schools.

Bring on the diversity

New types of schools introduced as part of the 1988 reform have also driven the competition between schools by providing parents with greater choice. This creates a sense for schools to compete to be the best of their type of school in order to attract not only more parents to bring their children there but also the best teachers. Owing to the greater number of different schools, it is almost certain that parents would select those which have a better reputation, more funding and a great level of teaching. Therefore allowing schools to pursue these aims resulting in competition between schools, in order to attract parents.

A variety of new school types led to choice...excessive choice?

A variety of new school types led to choice...excessive choice?

Although new types of schools such as City Technology Colleges and Grant-maintained schools brought diverse choice, it could be said that excessive choice led to a misplacement of students. Also, owing to the competition of schools between different types of institutions, this further categorically separated students. Thus, presenting the drawbacks of this policy in increasing competition between schools.

Finally...

League tables and the introduction of new types of schools are only two government policies which led to the competition of schools. League tables have better driven competition between schools to have positive outcomes such as recognising achievement of schools and congratulating high-performing institutions. Although these tables lack the measure of happiness, id does address differences and most improved schools due to the value-added scores being added in the 1990s.