Unpacking The Parent-Teacher Tensions in the Education System

By: Kristian Johnson 

In his latest Conversations Interview, John Anderson is joined by Professor James Tooley for a fascinating conversation about the role of education in the modern age.

Professor Tooley, who is Vice-Chancellor at the University of Buckingham in England, also unpacks the relationship between parental and government oversight in education systems, the differences between public and private education, ideological uniformity in universities and more.

In the early 2000s, Tooley took 5 years of unpaid leave to foster entrepreneurial projects in education in developing countries, led by his research on how to provide high quality education for a lower cost.

“But once you give a little bit of control to the state… the institutional bias will lead to the sort of thing… where the state doesn’t care what parents want for their children… I think in future years people will look back and say, ‘well that’s barbarous, what you inflict(ed) on children.”  ~ Prof. James Tooley

Tooley’s ground-breaking research has demonstrated the benefits of low-cost private education, with his work winning numerous prestigious awards and international recognition. Professor Tooley explains what he has learnt from low-cost private education initiatives in the developing world and how they could be applied with similar success in the West.

James Tooley is Professor of Educational Entrepreneurship and Policy at one of the UK’s only private universities, the University of Buckingham, where he was also appointed Vice Chancellor in 2020. In his previous role at Newcastle University, Tooley directed the E.G. West Centre which is dedicated to advancing choice, competition, and entrepreneurship in education.

James has also written numerous critically acclaimed books on the topic, including The Beautiful Tree, Reclaiming Education and most recently Really Good Schools: Global Lessons for High Calibre, Low-Cost Education.

You can watch the full interview here

John Anderson served as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 1999 to 2005. A committed Christian, John now hosts a podcast where he interviews various thought leaders from around the world on topics as varied as politics, culture, academia and faith. John is motivated by a desire to encourage open and honest discussion of important issues so that we can, as a society, reach the best possible outcomes for as many people as possible.

Article supplied with thanks to

About the Author: Kristian Johnson is a writer working for John Anderson and his ‘Conversations’ series, and the ‘John Anderson Direct’ podcast.

Feature image: Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash  

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