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2021 / 22 UK Launch - Global Education Monitoring Report

The UK launch of the ‘2021/2 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report: Non state actors in education: Who chooses, who loses?’ was a fascinating insight into how education is working around the world. In most countries the rise of the private sector is a reaction to the weaknesses of state-funded education provision, but paying for education does not always give you better quality. The evidence base for parents opting for private education in the UK specifically is rather thin. In India, the range of non-state schools is vast and quality varies dramatically, however, there is nothing to evidence to show that good quality state school provision is any less effective than the private sector.

Looking at the way in which the private sector develops, we can see that it naturally leads to stratification of society. There was a general feeling among panellists that this was a bad thing and that regulation needed to be brought in to limit how much this happens. There was also a strong feeling that ALL basic education should be free to all leaners and that the private sector should not be allowed to operate on a for profit basis.

I am sure that many of you reading the above will be thinking as I did, ‘That this is all very well, but in my context…’ and I would wholeheartedly agree. A number of the UK panellists spoke out against the academy systems, revealing a certain ideological opposition to the private sector in general. But this does bring up the whole point of the specific contexts that we are talking about and they vary hugely.

This is a fascinating report and I would encourage anyone working with or within the private sector to take a look at the website 

( There are four subsections to the site:


1. Scoping Progress in Education (SCOPE) summarises the key facts and trends in education around the world through five themes: Access, Equity, Learning, Quality, Finance

2. Profiles Enhancing Education Reviews (PEER) aim to describe all countries’ laws and policies on key themes in education so as to improve the evidence base on the implementation of national education strategies. The profiles are related to the theme of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and are primarily prepared through desk review by the GEM Report team, complemented by commissioned research to add subnational examples for selected countries with complex institutional structures. The profiles contain four chapters so far:

a. inclusion in education, the theme of the 2020 GEM Report.

b. the second chapter covers equitable finance, made available in January, 2021 and analysed in a policy paper.

c. The third chapter covers climate change communication and education.

d. the provision and regulation of non-state actors in education, the theme of the 2021 GEM Report.

e. The first 20 profiles released in November 2021 during the COP26 will be followed by another 30 profiles in 2022.

Subsequent chapters also in development will cover comprehensive sexuality education and technology in education.

3. The World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE) highlights the powerful influence of circumstances, such as wealth, gender, ethnicity and location, over which people have little control but which play an important role in shaping their opportunities for education and life. It draws attention to unacceptable levels of education inequality across countries and between groups within countries, with the aim of helping to inform policy design and public debate.

4. Visualising Indicators of Education for the World (VIEW) provides estimates of the completion rate, one of the two global indicators of the fourth Sustainable Development Goal on primary and secondary education. It uses multiple data sources, in an efficient and transparent way, to calculate time series by country and region and address challenges of timeliness and consistency commonly associated with survey data.

The GEM reports contains essential information for anyone working in education systems around the world. The wealth and quality of information available on this site is very welcome and does a great deal to promote evidence-based education.

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