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SSRE Conference 2018

Rita Nikolai

The colorful world of private schools: An international comparison of paths and developments in different countries

In recent years, the ratio of state schools (free public education) to private schools has changed significantly. Private schools are booming worldwide. In many countries it is especially the sector of state-subsidized private schools that is expanding, i.e., private schools receiving more than 50% of their funds from the state. Private schooling differs greatly from country to country. This presentation will discuss, in an international comparison, how private schools are regulated and financed and will show that although in many countries the state is on the retreat as a provider of schools, it still retains its role in regulating and providing finances for schooling. The presentation then examines the reasons behind the expansion of private schools, taking the examples of England and Germany. The evidence shows that it often is the state itself that makes expansion of private schools possible. In addition, paths taken long ago in the history of schooling in these states also play an important role. In conclusion, the presentation focuses on implications of the private school boom for political coordination and on the role of the state in school policy.