Monday, January 23, 2006

Education - funding and effectiveness

Last week the Scottish Executive Education Department published details of expenditure on Scottish school education in 2004-05 and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education published a report titled "Missing Out: a report on Children at risk of missing out on educational opportunities".

Expenditure is rising, but the long standing problem of a lack of attainment for many children living in poverty is not much changed. A BBC story "Pupils' performance gap widening" considers this.

It's not simply about money.

The relationship between social deprivation and educational achievement is clear but complex, and there is a need for a better measure of school effectiveness in terms of 'added-value'. Schools in deprived areas start in more difficult circumstances and may achieve a great deal with their pupils which is not well reflected in exam results.

Other commentators have picked on the issue of local authority and school leadership. Can strong leadership make a difference and overcome to some degree the problems caused by poor economic context?



Bobby said...

Nick - I agree that there is more to school performance than exam results. And social context plays a huge part in determining a school's academic achievements. But the fact remains that academic achievement is a great enabler for disadvantaged kids. Added value measures are useful but as a parent I also want to see raw results. My most memorable achievement from my school teaching days was managing to get a wee girl out of a class that was effectively non-certificate (you were meant to control this class - not teach them) and getting her into an O-Grade class (by virtue of her passing her third year exam).

rogger said...