How to run a country: education

Document type
Report
Author(s)
Finch, Amy; Zuccollo, James
Publisher
Reform
Date of publication
16 June 2015
Subject(s)
Education and Skills
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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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.

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