A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

Home

www.google.co.uk


Recent Comments


Monthly Archives


Most recent entries


Search


Advanced Search


Blogroll

A don's life
children are people
Dare to Know
Educating Outside The Box
Elemental Mom
Ewan McIntosh's edu.blogs.com
Green House by the Sea
HE&OS
It Shouldn't Happen to a Teacher
Joanne Jacobs
kitchen table math, the sequel
Life WIthout School
Mr. Chalk
Mortarboard
O'DonnellWeb
school of everything
Stay at home dad
Successful Teaching
The ARCH Blog
The Core Knowledge Blog
The DeHavilland Blog
To Miss with Love


Websites


Mainstream Media education sections

BBC
Guardian
Independent
Telegraph
Times


Syndicate

RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0
Atom
Feedburner


Categories

Adult education
Africa
Architecture
Asia
Australasia
Bias
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Books
Boys
Brian teaches
Bullying
Business education
Canada
China
Class size
Comprehensive schools
Compulsion
Computers
Consent
Crime
dcsf
Diet
Discipline
Distance learning
Drama
Economics
Educational memories
Equality
Europe
Examinations
Exclusion
Famous educations
Gerald Hartup
Girls
Globalisation
Grammar
Grammar schools
Higher education
History
Home education
How the mind works
India
Initiatives
Intelligence
Languages
League tables
Learning by doing
Links
Literacy
Maths
Medicine
Middle East
Movies
Music
OFSTED
Parents
Physical education
Play
Podcasts
Politics
Primary schools
Qualifications
Quote unquote
Reading
Real life
Religion
Russia
Safety
School choice
Science
Scotland
Self education
Sex education
Socialising
South America
Sovietisation
Spelling
Sport
Targets
Teacher training
Technology
Television
Testing
The internet
The private sector
This blog
Three Rs
Training
Truancy
UK
USA
Video
Violence
Vouchers
West Indies


Other Blogs I write for

CNE Competition
CNE Intellectual Property
Samizdata
Transport Blog
Brian Micklethwait
(the personal blog)


Next entry: Graham Jones on cyberbullying
Previous entry: 11 Year-Old Takes Over as School's Network Admin
Tuesday April 01 2008

I believe in a total free market in education.  One of the ways that people might pay for their education, in such a world, is to contract to work for a company that trained them, or if they switch, to compensate the company that trained them.  In practice, what this means is something a lot like transfer fees.  Could that model be generalised, beyond sport, I mean?

Today a row erupted, as they say, between continental Europe and England, concerning the top English soccer clubs’ habit of “buying” - whatever exactly that means (the continentals are calling it “stealing") - the best teenage soccer players, after they have been trained up by continental clubs.

This is not only a concern on the continent.  The fear in England is that teenagers of talent will be starved of opportunities at the top of the game, because of the influx of better foreign players.  (Why can’t our teenagers go abroad?  (Perhaps they aren’t sufficiently educated to make a go of it.))

It is certainly becoming widely assumed that the English Premier League now has the best players.  Watching Man U beat Roma tonight, in Rome, 0-2, on the telly, certainly made me think this.  I can remember when the best English players would be bought by Italian and Spanish clubs, and when English clubs had to do very well in Europe to do well.  Now, English clubs (unlike the now rather feeble England team) are an increasing force in Europe.

But, is there some kind of EU restriction on transfer fees?  I know little of soccer, and even less of how soccer is governed and of how soccer players are paid, beyond the obvious: they’re paid a lot.  But my vague impression is that transfer fees, from club to club, used to be a big deal, but now are not.  In other words, players no longer have contracts with clubs that cost a lot to get out of.  They just have wages that are as good as they can get.  Why don’t they have contracts like they used to?  Guess: it’s now illegal.  Have I got that right?

If that’s true, it may be better for “player freedom”, but it surely reduces the incentive for clubs to train promising young players for the future.  Already good players for the game this Saturday, yes.  But a teenager who can do nothing next Saturday, or even this year, no.  Their incentive becomes instead to “use up” players, so to speak, and then when they’re used up, fire them.  I don’t say they all do this.  For one thing, a club has its reputation to think of.  It wants to keep on hiring good players.  But the incentives are more in that direction than they used to be.

After all, the logical response of continental clubs who have their best young players “stolen” from them is: not to bother to train young players in the first place.

So, I’m guessing that this row has lessons for someone like me, who believes in a total educational free market.  But what are those lessons?  Is it that total free markets in education are dodgy?  I want to believe: no.  I want to believe that the lesson is: less government intervention.  I want to think: allow contracts, that then have to bought out, which will reward educators.  But then, I would, wouldn’t I?