CentrePiece : the education issue

A long-running research programme at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) has been assessing the effectiveness of the UK’s educational policies in raising standards.

A series of studies has evaluated efforts both to improve the quality of education overall and to tackle the `long tail’ of people without basic skills by giving better opportunities to low-achieving, `hard-to-reach’ children from poorer families.

The latest issue of CentrePiece, published this week, provides an overview of some of the most significant findings across a wide range of policies.

Key findings from this collection of studies include:

Academies have improved their GCSE performance after changing status – but so have comparable schools that did not become academies.

Raising the school leaving age – as the UK government is currently proposing to do – may increase regional mobility and improve the employment outcomes of the least educated segment of the population.

Higher ability pupils tend to be graded higher by tests than by the teachers – and lower achieving pupils better by the teachers than by the tests.

The effects of higher spending on educational attainment have been consistently positive across all areas tested at the end of primary education. Resource-based interventions seem to produce their best outcomes when targeted towards pupils and schools in real need.

Remedial programmes are not working for a significant proportion of children labelled as SEN. There is no net effect of being labelled as SEN on the performance of pupils with moderate difficulties.

Intute: Social Sciences features more Internet resources on the Economics of Education.