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Schoolchildren in Pakistan Two young schoolboys School children in Uganda

Education reform

Mott MacDonald's specialist education consultancy, Cambridge Education, has the 'big picture' know-how to help countries really understand the state of their education systems, to know what they need to change and to invest their limited resources most effectively to produce the outcomes they desire.

Visit Cambridge Education's dedicated website at camb-ed.com

We work with governments looking at the current state of the education sector: how many children are completing primary school, how many are completing secondary school, what is the demand for higher education, do they need to introduce more skills training, what is the integration of information and communication technology?

We help governments understand how to reform education systems. We talk about where they should deploy resources and how to manage their information systems.

We look at planning issues such as population growth, the number of children that are going to enrol in primary school next year and how many teachers will be needed to teach them. These are the kinds of issues for which we can produce a financial simulation model – a multi-linked spreadsheet into which all those variables can be entered, with the unit costs per teacher or textbook or building. They can then be played with to determine the impact across the sector, and we can work with the government to help them to prioritise what it is they want to do within the funding available.

Education finance

Once governments have decided their education policy priorities and how much they want to spend, the question becomes: how does the money flow and how is it accounted for? Mott MacDonald can advise on these procedures. We also act as trusted managing agents for funds coming from development agencies.

The most obvious requirement for information systems in the education sector is to count the number of children who are coming into schools and who are in each year group. In many countries these questions are answered by means of an annual school census.

Increasingly governments want to have far more sophisticated systems that allow them, for instance, to track pupils' progress, compare groups of pupils, monitor teachers' professional development courses and perhaps link it to promotion. At Mott MacDonald, we have done a lot of recent work to strengthen such systems and, where needed, to facilitate the development of new ones.

Added value

  • Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria: we're managing a six-year programme to support federal and state governments in Nigeria to develop effective planning, financing and delivery systems to improve access to and the quality of basic education.

  • Reforming lower secondary education in Uganda: we are supporting the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports to shift from an old model of secondary education, designed for a minority of children, to a broader, more inclusive curriculum.
  • Reforming education in Pakistan: we are providing support to the Government of Punjab to improve access, equity, quality and relevance of education, as well as strengthening governance of school education in the province.
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