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Public-Private Partnerships

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of PPP contracts for educational provision in England in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [115949]

Contracts with private sector providers for education provision are for the most part the responsibility of local education authorities, who assess their effectiveness as part of the contract management process. Ofsted has in the past 12 months inspected seven authorities which had contracted out significant education functions at the time of the inspection, or previously had entered into short-term management support contracts as part of an intervention solution. In all cases, performance had improved by at least one grade since the previous inspection. The recently published Indepen/Bannock Consulting Evaluation of new ways of working in LEAs studied three cases where education provision or senior management had been contracted out. In all three cases, they concluded that the arrangements were organisationally robust, had already or promised well to improve performance, represented value for money, and were likely to be sustainable and replicable.PPP contracts have also been used for three schools in Surrey. These are the responsibility of Surrey Education Authority who let the contracts and it is for the LEA to assess the effectiveness of the contracts.