We are alarmed that the focus of this fund will be on non-state actors, rather than public sector investment. Given the scarcity of resources, it is deplorable that EOF intends to transfer taxpayer funds (i.e. UK aid) intended for the wellbeing of children to private investors who seek to profit from education. This will further the commercialisation of education, legitimise profit-making in the provision of education and weaken efforts to strengthen and expand the provision of inclusive and equitable free quality education for all.
The fund disregards democratic governance of education by choosing to directly fund private education providers rather than strengthening public systems, in clear contravention of the global commitment made through Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.
Funding of this kind encourages education providers to do one of two things:
- prioritise easy-to-reach, easy-to-teach children in order to ensure they achieve their outcomes and receive the funds, or
- risk failure and indebtedness.
While the EOF might be ‘innovative’ in terms of financing, it discourages innovation in the classroom or in the curriculum. We agree that innovation in education should be encouraged, but trust that you share our opinion that this should be for the benefit, not to the detriment, of children and young people.