British support public private partnerships for more schools in developing countries

23 July 2018

New data released today reveals that over half of the British public surveyed believe there should be more public private partnerships to bolster education in developing countries. People also express support for affordable private schools.

The findings come as the UK Government’s commitment to aid funding comes under increasing scrutiny and DFID’s new policy framework announces non-state education provision “will play an important role in meeting the educational needs of growing populations.”

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly recognised as strong models of quality education delivery in many low and middle income countries. An independent study last year revealed a 60% learning increase in Partnership Schools for Liberia, a world class example of an effective education PPP.

Findings from the survey reveal:

  • 52% of those surveyed thought that there should be more private providers of affordable education or free education where the government struggles to offer enough schools for all. Only 13% of respondents disagreed.
  • 44% believed that charities, NGOs, companies and faith organisations should all help governments in low and middle income countries to run additional schools. Only 16% disagreed.
  • 56% of people believed that the learning being achieved by pupils every year is the most effective way of judging a primary school; with 45% saying that it should be based on academic progress.
  • Most respondents believed that it is a good idea for parents to be able to send their children to an affordable school in countries where there are a lack of primary schools. 20% of respondents disagreed.
  • Only 11% of those surveyed thought that the public should just accept teachers who are struggling with literacy and numeracy as they are doing their best in the circumstances.
  • 55% of those surveyed believed that Bridge International Academies approach of using teacher guides to empower local teachers was good for children. Only 10% of respondents disagreed.

Bridge International Academies spokesperson, Adesuwa Ifedi, said:

“It is encouraging to see the British public supporting new and innovative solutions to tackle the learning crisis in regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Public Private Partnerships are widely used to tackle challenges in other sectors and it makes sense that donor and local governments would increasingly turn to this tool to bolster their efforts. It is understandable that British taxpayers would choose to support models that embed accountability and outcomes into government investment.”

Over 73% of people surveyed believed that there were 49 million children or less who are not in school worldwide, or did not know the answer. Only 13% correctly identified the 263 million who are out of school today. While less than 10% of those surveyed knew there are 330 million children in school but not learning.

The findings come as the global learning crisis and the realisation of UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, quality education for all, become an increasing global focus.


For more information please contact:

Ben Rudd
Bridge International Academies Press Office
Tel: +44 ​203 813 8236

Notes to Editors

Download the full report here.

To request the full UK polling results please contact the Bridge Press Office.

The One Poll surveyed 2000 representative members of the public across the UK. The survey was conducted on behalf of Bridge International Academies in March 2018.

The DFID new education policy framework can be found here.

About Bridge

Bridge believes every child has the right to high quality education and works in partnership with governments, communities, parents and teachers to ensure access to quality education. Bridge has served 300,000 children to date across Africa and Asia.

Bridge uses in-depth teacher training and support, advanced lesson plans and wireless technology to provide pupils with a meaningful and life-changing education. Globally, there is an education crisis. Around 600 million children are either not in school at all, or in school and not learning. Bridge is committed to helping tackle this through a data driven, evidence based approach that delivers strong schools and a great education for all.


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