The effect of school inputs on educational achievements
This project aims to establish whether school inputs – such as how much money is spent per pupil and staff-pupil ratios – have an effect on pupils’ educational attainments at the age of 16.
Specifically, the project has two objectives:
- to analyse the effect of school inputs on pupils’ educational attainment at the end of compulsory schooling, i.e. at about age 16
- to test differences in returns to school inputs across children with diverse backgrounds and attainments
The project takes up a topic that is high on the political agenda at the moment, given the current changes to the ways schools are funded. The results will inform about the likely consequences for pupils from different backgrounds of the current introduction of the ‘pupil premium’.
In particular, the research findings will help identify the groups of pupils that benefit most from school inputs and are therefore most vulnerable to spending cuts. The findings will also show whether school inputs so far have been effective for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. The results will be of great relevance for academics and education policy makers who are concerned with how funding is allocated to schools.
A key feature of the project is that it will look at differences between siblings, in order to net out any family and neighbourhood characteristics that influence educational attainments. Previous studies have had difficulties separating the effect of school inputs, but this study will use a sibling identifier in the data which will allow this estimation technique to be used for the first time.
Ultimately the project hopes to contribute to the discussion and policy making on how best to allocate school resources to improve educational outcomes and therefore give children the best chance in life.
'The effect of school resources on test scores in England'
Published July 2012 as:
- Secondary school choice and academic attainment
- Special Educational Needs in Secondary Education (SENSE)
- The shape of public spending on education
- Post-school transitions of blind and partially sighted young people
- A twin study: understanding and influencing pupils' choices at age 16
- A follow up survey of break and lunch times in schools
- Data skills in geography