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Education Service Providers

In recent years externally developed and research-based whole school improvement models have been used increasingly to raise pupil achievement.

Education service providers (ESPs), or education management organisations, are businesses that work with schools to help them implement these reforms.

ESPs typically offer services such as:

  • Curriculum design
  • Professional development
  • Pupil assessments
  • Financial and operational management
  • Facilities management
  • Human resources management

This review summarises research on ESPs that work with primary and secondary schools.

  • All available evidence on the seven largest US ESPs was considered, in order to establish what works for pupils aged 5-18.
  • This evidence was then used to assess and compare the effectiveness of these programmes.

Descriptions and ratings for all the programmes are included in this summary.

The results of the review show that

  • with the exception of Edison Schools, there was very limited evidence on pupils’ achievement outcomes in schools managed by ESPs

The full report (which this review summarises) is also available. The report was conducted by the Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center (CSRQ) at the American Institutes for Research.

Education Service Providers

Educator's summary

As PDF document

As web pages

Top-rated programmes

Programmes with limited evidence

Other programmes

Review methods

Full report (112 pages)

As PDF document