School Autonomy, School Choice and the Quality of Education: evidence from England

Hosted by the Department of Geography and Environment

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House


Professor Olmo Silva

Professor Olmo Silva

Amy Finch

Amy Finch



Professor Sir Julian Le Grand

Professor Sir Julian Le Grand

Recent reforms in many countries around the world have injected ‘private sector’ elements in the provision of public education – in particular school autonomy and school choice – with the aim of improving education standards.

But do these initiatives work? The answer to this question sparks lively debates among academics and policy makers alike – and resonates vividly among parents worried about taking the right decisions for their children’s learning and development.

In England, ‘quasi markets’ have long been part of the education landscape. However, recent policy initiatives – in particular the mass academisation of secondary education – have brought these and related ideas centre stage. This dynamism makes the country an ideal “open-air laboratory” for studying these issues and provide a timely answer to some pressing questions.

This inaugural lecture by Olmo Silva will discuss the conceptual framework which underpins the idea that autonomy and choice can deliver improvements in education standards, and will look at some of the most recent empirical evidence.

This lecture summarises more than ten years of research carried out by Professor Silva while at the LSE and in cooperation with a number of co-authors based at the LSE and other institutions around the world. Professor Silva’s work has mostly received funding from the ESRC though the CEP and SERC research centres of the LSE.

Olmo Silva is Professor of Real Estate Economics and Finance at LSE.

Amy Finch is Head of Strategic Development, OFSTED. 

Julian Le Grand is Professor of Social Policy, LSE

The LSE Department of Geography & Environment (@LSEGeography) is a centre of international academic excellence in economic, urban and development geography, environmental social science and climate change.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEeducation


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