James Tooley — Parent Choice & Private Education

Professor of Education Policy, Great Britain

Why are parents paying fees to go to private schools when they could get government schools for free? One is when parents pay fees, they demand more of the schools. The second reason is that the schools themselves are accountable to the parents.

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James Tooley is professor of education policy at Newcastle University, where he directs the E. G. West Centre. For his ground-breaking research on private education for the poor in India, China and Africa, Professor Tooley was awarded gold prize in the first International Finance Corporation/Financial Times Private Sector Development Competition in September 2006. For the past two years, he was President of The Education Fund, Orient Global, living in Hyderabad, India. He is currently chairman of education companies in Ghana and China and advisor to a company in India, all creating embryonic chains of low cost private schools.

Prior to joining Newcastle University, Professor Tooley previously taught and researched at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, England; Simon Fraser University, Canada; and University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His PhD is from the Institute of Education, University of London. His first job was as a mathematics high school teacher in Zimbabwe, which he took up after graduating with a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Sussex University. His work has been featured in documentaries for the BBC and PBS: for the latter it was profiled alongside the work of Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunus and Grameen Bank.

  • Competition is good.

    It’s good for the parents; good for the children; it’s good for the system.