How to run a country: education

Document type
Finch, Amy; Zuccollo, James
Date of publication
16 June 2015
Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

Download (806KB )

Sustaining or raising school pupils’ achievement at a lower cost to the taxpayer will benefit all public service users by maximising the impact of school education and freeing up funds for other sectors, such as college and further education. This report presents new figures for education productivity in the UK as a whole. Productivity in education refers to the amount of activity needed within the sector to deliver the same standard of education to the same number of people. Using data from two international student assessments, the report finds that official productivity figures published by the Office for National Statistics are almost certainly overestimated. Rather than the recent reported growth, productivity may well be in decline. The extent to which this is true depends on whether improvements in test results reflect real improvements in the quality of education. To meet the schools productivity challenge, the report argues that the new Government must focus on three areas of reform:

  • More autonomy: by encouraging schools to use their autonomy to innovate, the future challenges facing the school system will be addressed more effectively and at a lower cost.
  • Better accountability: by improving school accountability, schools will focus on raising achievement for all, but particularly for the least advantaged.
  • Fairer funding: a consistent and fair funding formula would reallocate resource to the most disadvantaged pupils and allow a better comparison of schools’ relative value for money.

Related to Education and Skills

Preschool quality and child development

Working paper on child development in Columbian preschools

2019 annual report on education spending in England

Report on education spending in England

What motivates adults to learn: a rapid evidence review of what drives learning new skills in the workplace

Report on factors influencing adult workers' motivation to learn for work

Cabinet analysis 2019

A briefing analysing the educational background of ministers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet, summer 2019.

More items related to this subject

Related to Reform

Inclusive by default

Report on creating inclusive digital public services

Advanced technology to support research, innovation and economic growth in the UK

Downloadable briefing giving an overview of policy developments in technological advancements to support research, innovation, and economic growth

More items related to this publisher