Income raising is a labour-intensive process that is re-imagining the role of school staff and parents. Raising money relies on entrepreneurial principals, savvy PR staff, engaged parents and parent committees, as well as the work of intermediary organisations like Schools Plus. This is a problem, especially when it comes to public schools.
Research from the United States and United Kingdom cautions that an over-reliance on private income could lead to governments shirking some responsibility for resourcing and supporting schools.
Overall, the project has revealed a particular set of mutations in the global education industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has documented some ways in which privatization of education has expanded – through increasing participation of private actors in public education – and of how commercialization of education has developed through the creation, marketing and sale of education goods and services to schools (and parents) by external providers. We understand this as a particularly intense instantiation of fast policy involving multisector actors and networks, and as an accelerated realization of sociotechnical imaginaries of a highly digitalized future of education. The shifting landscape of commercialization and privatization in education we have surveyed will require sustained attention by educators, unions and researchers to ensure that all stakeholders, and not just private or commercial organizations, can participate democratically in imagining the post-Covid future of public education.