Value for money: school support staff expenditure and deployment, energy and attainment (IV)

23 December 2016

Earlier this week Reform published the third blog in an experimental research series on value for money in schools. That blog presented the first set of results relating to the teaching workforce, this fourth and final blog will outline the remaining findings relating to school support staff, spending on energy and pupil outcomes. To recap, the first blog in the series gave an explanation of the context and rationale for the research and the second provided a description of the clustering method used to create groups of similar schools.

To compare the decisions different school types take in their spending and staff deployment, and how their pupils perform, we grouped schools according to the characteristics of their pupils (e.g. the percentage of students eligible for free school meals in the previous six years, pupil’s prior attainment levels, etc.). However, as explained in the previous blogs, the school clusters are not as homogenous as hoped, and thus do not allow for true ‘like-for-like’ comparisons. The results are therefore tentative, but still provide what we believe is a valuable perspective, and we hope others interested in value for money in schools can build on it in future research. The estimations of how far a school type is from similar schools in terms of economy, efficiency or effectiveness, are based on weighted averages across clusters, as explained in this week’s previous blog.

Read the full blog by clicking on ‘View story’ in the image below.

Eleonora Harwich and Emilie Sundorph, Researchers, Reform



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