Think-tank questions education spending- Herald

Katrine Bussey, The Herald, 20 April 2009

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Extra spending on education has had "little or no effect", a right-leaning think-tank has claimed.
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\r\nReform Scotland said that despite "billions of pounds" being spent on schools since devolution, attainment levels had remained flat.
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\r\nThe independent think-tank is publishing a research bulletin on education.
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\r\nGeoff Mawdsley, of Reform Scotland, said: "It is clear from the research that the extra spending – more than double per pupil in primary and secondary schools since 1999 – is simply not delivering value for money.
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\r\n"Put another way, billions of pounds have been spent in the last decade to little or no effect."
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\r\nReform Scotland\’s research looked at exam performance data, which it said showed England had overtaken Scotland in 2007 in terms of the proportion of youngsters achieving five good grades in their exams, including maths and English, at the end of their compulsory education.
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\r\nMr Mawdsley called on the Scottish Government to focus more on output measures for schools\’ performance.
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\r\nHe said: "Publishing and using the measure of the pupils attaining five good grades by S4 including maths and English would be a good start."
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\r\nBut he went on: "It is clear that Scottish school education suffers from a major productivity problem. This and other measures show little improvement over the last decade, despite major increases in spending. This implies a major economic burden, as well as missed opportunities for our children."
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\r\nThe think-tank said the government should consider a report it published earlier this year, which argued giving parents more choice in where their children were taught was key to improving education.
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