This paper will explore private sector participation in public sector education in the Australian context, focusing on case studies of Queensland and New South Wales, with reference to developments in other states and territories and internationally. In Australia, most states and territories have PPP policies and key projects include the Southbank redevelopment in Brisbane and the 'New schools' Project in Sydney. The case studies are both supported by Labor state governments and typify the state of affairs nationally, For Queensland, the Southbank TAFE Institute and Brisbane State High School have been brought into a new education precinct in order to 'free up' the system by outsourcing non-core services and 'free up' valuable inner-city land. In NSW, nine new public schools are being built by a private consortium, for a cost of $100 million as part of a program totaling $5 billion in areas under-serviced by government schools. Yet despite a concerted effort to sell the value of PPPs, Australians appear to be ambivalent about 'privatization' of public services. This paper will look at whether PPPs are robbing the public sector to pay the private sector, and where this strategy is taking Australia and the future of our education systems.
Journal of Education Policy Vol. 20, Issue 2, p. 243-258