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Measuring privatisation in education: methodological challenges and possibilities

Winchip, Emily; Stevenson, Howard; Milner, Alison


Emily Winchip

Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Alison Milner


© 2018, © 2018 Educational Review. As the Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) spreads, key questions that attempt to identify both the nature and the increasing scope and scale of this phenomenon become empirically significant. The concern of this article is to highlight some of the complexities of measuring one key element of the GERM: the privatisation of public education systems. Exploring indicators of privatisation through a set of methods for analysing Likert-style data, Mokken scale analysis and Rasch analysis, we generate a scale to measure an educational phenomenon so complex that it can appear to defy measurement. Our intention is to demonstrate that complex phenomena should not be oversimplified for the purpose of generating numeric data and that measurement is possible. The results, drawn from a European-wide survey, portray a nuanced pattern of privatisation at this regional level in which public funding and ownership remain important, but schools are commonly adopting a wide range of “private-like” practices.


Winchip, E., Stevenson, H., & Milner, A. (2019). Measuring privatisation in education: methodological challenges and possibilities. Educational Review, 71(1), 81-100.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 4, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 5, 2018
Publication Date Jan 2, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Apr 6, 2020
Journal Educational Review
Print ISSN 0013-1911
Electronic ISSN 1465-3397
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Issue 1
Pages 81-100
Keywords Privatisation, Mokken scale analysis, Rasch analysis, Global Education Reform Movement.
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational Review on 05/10/2018, available online:


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