McKinsey hired to implement school reform

It is pure madness to involve private consultants in school reform, critics says

The Ministry of Finance has hired the consultant company McKinsey to offer solutions on how to carry out the implementation of the new school reform. This includes the implementation of the teachers’ new working hours that are expanded with the reform.

But it is very problematic to involve a consultancy in how to run the schools, critics claim.

“It gives the impression that the government want to micro-manage the teachers’ new working hours. It does not fit well with education,” Andreas Rasch-Christensen, a research director at VIA University College, told Politiken newspaper.

The chairman of the teachers’ union (DLF), Anders Bondo Christensen, also reacted strongly to the news about McKinsey.

“This is an extreme case of top-down control,” he told Politiken.

“The thought of having a private consultancy to actively help with the implementation of the reform is pure madness. If we end up working according to key indicators, it will harm the children’s education.”

Rare task for private consultants
It is common for the state to hire external consultancies. However, they are rarely hired to implement the government’s reforms, according to Birgitte Poulsen, an associate professor in public administration from Roskilde University (RUC).

“The teachers belong to a profession that is known for having a strong identity, and they have been very much against the reform. It therefore seems that the government wishes to gain complete control over the implementation of the reform,” she told DR Nyheder.

The opposition, however, is pleased that McKinsey will be taking part in carrying out the reform.

“It is excellent that the government is also involving private consultants to solve this central educational task,” Venstre’s political group leader, Kristian Jensen, told Politiken.

The contract with McKinsey runs until June this year and the budget has been set at six million kroner.