In England, there is significant involvement of the private sector in publicly funded schools. This article focuses on different forms of involvement via academies and city technology colleges; specialist schools; Education Action Zones; outsourcing of services; and the Private Finance Initiative. Private sector involvement varies along different dimensions: service delivery, source of funding and locus of decision making. In the most far-reaching forms of involvement, decision making no longer rests with the public sector but is transferred to the private sector. The effects of the blurring of public and private finance and delivery are discussed in relation to democratic accountability
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