Private Education and Disadvantaged Children in India: A literature review of three models of private school provision

This report presents an extensive literature review of recent quality research on three models of private school education provision in India: (i) private schools, with special reference to lower-fee private schools (LFPS); (ii) voucher schemes; and (iii) the national policy for the reservation of 25% free places in private schools under Section 12(1)(c) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. It assesses these models of private school provision in accordance with key criteria from Save the Children’s (2016) Global Policy Position on User Fees and Private Schools, and especially in relation to: access and completion; quality and learning; and the impact of the model on the wider education system. The Global Policy Position focuses on basic education for the most disadvantaged and marginalized children which is reflected in this review.

The literature review was undertaken by a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham. It forms part of a wider collaborative project with Save the Children International and Save the Children India, investigating how the Global Policy Position can be effectively implemented in a national context. India is the case study country for this project, but the literature review and wider policy project may also offer lessons for other Save the Children country offices. The review is also likely to be of interest to the wider international development community, including multilateral donors, aid agencies, non-government organizations and academics working in this field. 

Published 2020-08-11

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