Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

The education system gets what it pays for - statistics 1995-2007 Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13

    Table 1

    Table 2


    If we were to consider only the data highlighted in yellow, we can see that there has been an overall increase in spending per pupil. This correlates to an increase to just over 10% in the proportion of those who achieve 5A*-C including English and Mathematics.

    This is just the basic overall picture of these two data sets, but is this the truth?

    I will focus my attention on what this means for the state (maintained) education system in England and conclude on how spending cuts in the Department of Education are not as bad as the mass media makes it out to be.

    Of course, every parent wants their child to be educated, right? However, it doesn't take that much effort nowadays to get 5A*-C inc. English and Maths considering grade inflation and how exam papers have been made easier. (If you disagree with this, then please compare course content nowadays from before). It makes me wonder, that just under a 30% increase in spending for pupil has still resulted in a poor system that does not help the majority of those educated through 11 years of compulsory education. After all, despite increase in spending, it still shows that more than 1 in 2 fail to achieve basic qualifications.

    One might argue that an increase of spending did not affect the pass rate, in other words a third (or more) variable(s) affected the rise in the pass rates. This is certainly true: an apparent culture of teaching to the test, student doing certain qualification to hit that precious target, schools entering students for GCSE Maths with more than one exam board... The list goes on.

    Here's the real deal, an increase in spending does not improve education standards in this country. We could even go to the extent that it does not cause an increase in the pass rates. The state education system should be there to help everyone, not under 1 in 2.

    Despite education cuts, would it really matter if the GCSE pass rate (5A*-C inc. Maths and English) goes up and down by a few percentage points? Is this what our education system is based on - pathetic numbers as opposed to truly educating Britain's children?

    11 years of compulsory education, and according to other statistics found in Table 1, it seems there are still individuals who receive no passes altogether. Completely shocking.

    I could go on further and indeed I will, however, I would like to hear your opinions on this.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Good post, and I pretty much agree.

    I think part of the problem is some parents see education is something that should be acheived by dumping their children off at school, and it's done. I certainly don't think this is the case, and parents need to have a more active role in their childs education, and I think there should be classes for parents to learn how to support their children, especially in the early years.

    At school I learnt to absorb information. At home I learnt to think.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    (Original post by ForGreatJustice)
    Good post, and I pretty much agree.

    I think part of the problem is some parents see education is something that should be acheived by dumping their children off at school, and it's done. I certainly don't think this is the case, and parents need to have a more active role in their childs education, and I think there should be classes for parents to learn how to support their children, especially in the early years.

    At school I learnt to absorb information. At home I learnt to think.
    True, I don't believe parents stay an active role in their children's education. In fact, some allowing their children to play truant which is quite disgraceful. Unfortunately, some kids do not have parental support and I do not believe it is the school's responsibility to do so. The first (and arguably) only responsibility the school has is to teach the curriculum. Learning to form your opinions and accepting discipline should have been learnt from home.

    Evidently, despite increases in spending and even if spending per pupil were to increase, it does not change the fact that educational inequality starts from birth. Really, government spending is irrelevant in a child's education practically and what matters most is what a child is exposed to at home. This is one of many factors why still to this day there are teenagers leaving school without learning to read. If they do not have books at home, how will they learn to practice and develop this skill? Alas, it continues until they "drop out".

    The previous government has in fact raised the age of the ability to leave school from 16 to 18 (well 17, then 18 but you get the message) which will take place in 2015. This is not addressing the root problems of educational inequality and I bet it will have a negligible effect on 16 year olds getting the education/training or not (however it will do wonderful things to the young adult unemployment record, which is simply a juggling of statistics).

    Of course, there will always be educational inequality, but increased spending and the like will do nothing to help reduce the effects and therefore futile. Until we get the basics right, we will still have this problem and certain people will still be under the illusion that increased spending = better education. It certainly does not. In fact in 2006, Gordon Brown stated that he wished to increase state spending on pupils to the same level as private school children. There may be certain disparities between my statistics and the one I have found in the article, but one should be aware that the data that I have taken is the DCSF and there is a possible chance of the manipulation of statistics in the article. The point still stands though, it is simply not viable for the government to increase spending per pupil to the level of private school kids. We should also be aware that even if spending per pupil were at the level of fees comparable to the top public schools, does this mean every child educated in the state schools sector gets the same education as a public school child?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by im so academic)

    Table 1

    Table 2


    If we were to consider only the data highlighted in yellow, we can see that there has been an overall increase in spending per pupil. This correlates to an increase to just over 10% in the proportion of those who achieve 5A*-C including English and Mathematics.

    This is just the basic overall picture of these two data sets, but is this the truth?

    I will focus my attention on what this means for the state (maintained) education system in England and conclude on how spending cuts in the Department of Education are not as bad as the mass media makes it out to be.

    Of course, every parent wants their child to be educated, right? However, it doesn't take that much effort nowadays to get 5A*-C inc. English and Maths considering grade inflation and how exam papers have been made easier. (If you disagree with this, then please compare course content nowadays from before). It makes me wonder, that just under a 30% increase in spending for pupil has still resulted in a poor system that does not help the majority of those educated through 11 years of compulsory education. After all, despite increase in spending, it still shows that more than 1 in 2 fail to achieve basic qualifications.

    One might argue that an increase of spending did not affect the pass rate, in other words a third (or more) variable(s) affected the rise in the pass rates. This is certainly true: an apparent culture of teaching to the test, student doing certain qualification to hit that precious target, schools entering students for GCSE Maths with more than one exam board... The list goes on.

    Here's the real deal, an increase in spending does not improve education standards in this country. We could even go to the extent that it does not cause an increase in the pass rates. The state education system should be there to help everyone, not under 1 in 2.

    Despite education cuts, would it really matter if the GCSE pass rate (5A*-C inc. Maths and English) goes up and down by a few percentage points? Is this what our education system is based on - pathetic numbers as opposed to truly educating Britain's children?

    11 years of compulsory education, and according to other statistics found in Table 1, it seems there are still individuals who receive no passes altogether. Completely shocking.

    I could go on further and indeed I will, however, I would like to hear your opinions on this.
    Okay, there's a lot to be said on this, and the manner in which you've handled it does not really do such a complex topic justice. I need to run now, but in essence:

    -You need to establish statistical causality between the variables that you've outlined.

    -You haven't mentioned the most significant factor in a child's education, which is their home. Extra spending and educational capital /does/ have an effect, but changes in a family's socio-economic status will have a much more potent effect.

    -Related to the above two points, you need to look at changes in the extra-education variables and see how they've evolved over time.

    -What cuts, in particular, are you referring to? EMA, free books, what?

    Okay, really need to go, but these are some starting points where you cna refine your analysis.
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by im so academic)
    True, I don't believe parents stay an active role in their children's education. In fact, some allowing their children to play truant which is quite disgraceful. Unfortunately, some kids do not have parental support and I do not believe it is the school's responsibility to do so. The first (and arguably) only responsibility the school has is to teach the curriculum. Learning to form your opinions and accepting discipline should have been learnt from home.

    Evidently, despite increases in spending and even if spending per pupil were to increase, it does not change the fact that educational inequality starts from birth. Really, government spending is irrelevant in a child's education practically and what matters most is what a child is exposed to at home. This is one of many factors why still to this day there are teenagers leaving school without learning to read. If they do not have books at home, how will they learn to practice and develop this skill? Alas, it continues until they "drop out".

    The previous government has in fact raised the age of the ability to leave school from 16 to 18 (well 17, then 18 but you get the message) which will take place in 2015. This is not addressing the root problems of educational inequality and I bet it will have a negligible effect on 16 year olds getting the education/training or not (however it will do wonderful things to the young adult unemployment record, which is simply a juggling of statistics).

    Of course, there will always be educational inequality, but increased spending and the like will do nothing to help reduce the effects and therefore futile. Until we get the basics right, we will still have this problem and certain people will still be under the illusion that increased spending = better education. It certainly does not. In fact in 2006, Gordon Brown stated that he wished to increase state spending on pupils to the same level as private school children. There may be certain disparities between my statistics and the one I have found in the article, but one should be aware that the data that I have taken is the DCSF and there is a possible chance of the manipulation of statistics in the article. The point still stands though, it is simply not viable for the government to increase spending per pupil to the level of private school kids. We should also be aware that even if spending per pupil were at the level of fees comparable to the top public schools, does this mean every child educated in the state schools sector gets the same education as a public school child?

    The main cost of education is staff salaries; teachers but also caretakers, school secretaries, local government bureaucrats and dinner ladies.

    Throughout the period you are considering local authority pay has risen at a rate substantially higher than price inflation.

    In part that is due to Blair/Brown's client state but it is also driven by pressure in the outside world. If dinner ladies would earn more working on Tesco's checkouts, one has to pay dinner ladies more.

    The reference to "real terms" in your statistics is related to prices not wages. Education is an activity where it very difficult to reduce the cost base by improving productivity. The only real ways of improving productivity are by withdrawing from an activity (sack the dinner ladies) or increasing class sizes.

    It follows that the cost of education in real terms must rise simply to pay staff of the same calibre to do the same job. In other words much of the additional money doesn't improve education. It is merely needed in order to stand still.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Not to sound harsh but it's good for some of us that we will end up being better educated and more likely to prosper than others, I've always been classed as living in poverty, and my parents have therefore spurred me on to do better than what my social status tries to dictate, i live in one of the poorest areas of leicester, run down etc but I worked hard and aim to break the vicious cycle, but it's partly to the fact that not everyone gains "basic" qualifications. If everyone did, what use is it with me trying to better myself at that stage, since we all equal? I gained a scholarship to a private school straight after leaving primary school, since the only other alternative was to go the local state school which would probably be very very low in the academic standings, and i think few years ago they was given the title as a school of hair dressing or something lol. Now I'm in a position to go on further and make my prospects better. Essentially someone has to lose, for others to win, sort of what I'm saying crudely i guess. Bit like UMS, if everyone gets 90% raw then it means your average, so you need the lesser educated ones to improved your standing :P
    So i dont think the government needs to increase money supply to education to improve the grades, it needs the children to understandable they need to work harder if they don't want to end up in some poor job later on. And you can't teach aspiration, they need to have it already or find it themselves, and no amount of money can create aspiration, nor can money create natural academic ability, which to some extent you need, you can't always excel from just pure hard work, you need a combination of things.

    Anyway the country will always need street cleaners and dustbin men, not everyone can be a lawyer/investment banker/doctor
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by teshnit)
    Essentially someone has to lose, for others to win, sort of what I'm saying crudely i guess.
    13 years of Blair and Brown and this is what you get. Cameron has a long way to go with his big society.

    May I suggest you read Margaret Thatcher's Sermon on the Mound.

    www.margaretthatcher.org/document/107246
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    (Original post by chidona)
    Okay, there's a lot to be said on this, and the manner in which you've handled it does not really do such a complex topic justice. I need to run now, but in essence:

    -You need to establish statistical causality between the variables that you've outlined.

    -You haven't mentioned the most significant factor in a child's education, which is their home. Extra spending and educational capital /does/ have an effect, but changes in a family's socio-economic status will have a much more potent effect.

    -Related to the above two points, you need to look at changes in the extra-education variables and see how they've evolved over time.

    -What cuts, in particular, are you referring to? EMA, free books, what?

    Okay, really need to go, but these are some starting points where you cna refine your analysis.
    I'm not doing a full statistical analysis on this, merely using statistics to back up what I say.

    I have mentioned the child's home in my second post on this thread.

    With regards to cuts - I mean general cuts to education (however not EMA as obviously you get EMA post-GCSE).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The main cost of education is staff salaries; teachers but also caretakers, school secretaries, local government bureaucrats and dinner ladies.

    Throughout the period you are considering local authority pay has risen at a rate substantially higher than price inflation.

    In part that is due to Blair/Brown's client state but it is also driven by pressure in the outside world. If dinner ladies would earn more working on Tesco's checkouts, one has to pay dinner ladies more.

    The reference to "real terms" in your statistics is related to prices not wages. Education is an activity where it very difficult to reduce the cost base by improving productivity. The only real ways of improving productivity are by withdrawing from an activity (sack the dinner ladies) or increasing class sizes.

    It follows that the cost of education in real terms must rise simply to pay staff of the same calibre to do the same job. In other words much of the additional money doesn't improve education. It is merely needed in order to stand still.
    Well, to be fair, the Labour party was wasted a lot of money on education for example £1 billion was spent over a decade on truancy and despite that thousands of pupils still play truant.

    The government might as well not have spent the £1 billion, in fact, if anything, truancy figures have risen.
    • Offline

      2
      Does this mean that simply throwing money into increasingly gigantic bureaucracy doesn't result in better outcomes for students? OMG someone tell New Labour.
      • Thread Starter
      Offline

      13
      (Original post by Captain92)
      I hope this is on-topic: I'd like to add that quality of education depends not only on how much money is thrown at a particular child, but also on teaching quality, which appears to vary vastly between a typical private school and typical state school. How engaged classmates are also impacts on a child's learning, class-size, school environment/ space etc.
      It would take a MASSIVE amount of capital to increase ALL of those stats to private school levels, much more than just equal spending, which is why it is doubtful to happen.
      I do find it worrying that so few get at least 5 A*-C GCSEs though, that clearly needs to be looked at from a different angle than just "more money" because that doesn't appear to be having the desired effective results.
      Exactly. The state school system is so fixated on achieving 5A*-C, it completely forgets the real meaning of education. This is what I'm trying to address here, and no amount of money will change it.
      Offline

      0
      ReputationRep:
      I couldn't agree more with this. I took GCSE science a couple of years ago and got an A*, despite having no particular flair for science. I compared my paper with an old O level science paper that my mum did (equivalent to GCSE) and was staggered by how much more advanced the content was. Back then an A grade really was something that only the best students could get.

      Now state schools are driven to maximise their league table standing, and pick the easiest exam boards as a result. One of my local secondary schools near sends some of their weakest/special needs pupils to other exam centres to take their exams, so their league position isn't dragged down.

      The problem is that since labour came to power in 1997 the whole culture has been geared to improved the perceived educational standards (better A*-C rates, ridiculously high number of students going to university, etc.), and ignoring the fact that our schools have been churning out thousands of kids without sufficient skills to work as a shelf-stacker.
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6873415.ece

      Not good.
      • Thread Starter
      Offline

      13
      I know it's from the Daily Mail but the principle is still the same despite spending increases, it has not improved educational standards.
      • Thread Starter
      Offline

      13
      (Original post by loafer)
      Does this mean that simply throwing money into increasingly gigantic bureaucracy doesn't result in better outcomes for students? OMG someone tell New Labour.
      Yes, someone please do. However there are still people out there who believes cuts are a bad thing when actually it would do no real harm to their child's education as increasing spending does not do anything!
      Offline

      15
      ReputationRep:
      You appear to be over-simplifying the true picture here.

      Your argument is almost solely based on those two highlighted statistics. If we're going to use just these tables, let's draw some more statistics:

      Between 95 and 07, there has been a 42% increase in spending per pupil; there has been a:

      38% increase in 5+ A*-C grades
      32% increase in 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics
      6% increase in 5+ A*-G grades
      5% increase in 5+ A*-G grades inc. English and Mathematics
      7% increase in any passes

      Bearing in mind economic factors such as inflation, the increase in A*-C grades, and those including English and maths, is close to in line with the rise in spending per pupil.

      On the flip side, this increase is not resembled in the lower grade bands - A*-G.

      Of course there are all these variables introduced when we consider teaching towards the exam, changing exam content and methods, and so forth. The problem is that you don't seem to have any way of factoring these in to your argument, because you have no solid basis on which to say that they've changed the pass rate in any way.

      For example, let's take teaching towards the exam. Some might say that this has increased the pass rate, because it's easy to teach people to pass something through regurgitation of facts and formulae. On the other hand, it might also do damage to the pass rate because students engage with the topic less, don't find it as enjoyable, and don't know how to answer new questions because all they've done is previously-seen questions and methods.

      Whilst I agree in general, I think your arguement is too flawed through use of assumptions.

      The education system in the country needs serious reform in my view, but I wouldn't base many decisions on the correlation between spending per pupil and number of GCSE passes.
      Offline

      0
      ReputationRep:
      (Original post by im so academic)
      increasing spending does not do anything!
      Really?

      You got that from two tables?

      Impressive.
      • Thread Starter
      Offline

      13
      (Original post by DarkWhite)
      Between 95 and 07, there has been a 42% increase in spending per pupil; there has been a:

      38% increase in 5+ A*-C grades
      32% increase in 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics
      6% increase in 5+ A*-G grades
      5% increase in 5+ A*-G grades inc. English and Mathematics
      7% increase in any passes
      That's the point - is it actually improving educational standards. The only thing it has done (if anything) is upped the percentage points.

      In addition, there's still the fact that, still, more than 1 in 2 fail to achieve 5A*-C inc. Maths and English.

      MORE than 1 in 2. You think this is acceptable?

      It makes the "increases" worthless really.

      You are actually proving my point - the education gets gets what it pays for. We pay for more a higher 5A*-C percentage rate, and thus it shows.

      Does that mean education, in itself, is improving? No.
      • Thread Starter
      Offline

      13
      (Original post by danny111)
      Really?

      You got that from two tables?

      Impressive.
      Yeah, by increasing the percentage rate by a few numbers. One could argue that teaching to the test, low grade boundaries, multiple retakes etc have a more of an effect than increased spending.
      Offline

      15
      ReputationRep:
      (Original post by im so academic)
      That's the point - is it actually improving educational standards. The only thing it has done (if anything) is upped the percentage points.

      In addition, there's still the fact that, still, more than 1 in 2 fail to achieve 5A*-C inc. Maths and English.

      MORE than 1 in 2. You think this is acceptable?

      It makes the "increases" worthless really.

      You are actually proving my point - the education gets gets what it pays for. We pay for more a higher 5A*-C percentage rate, and thus it shows.

      Does that mean education, in itself, is improving? No.
      I never said it is or it isn't. You seem to have skimmed over the part where I mention I agree in general, but your arguement is dreadful.

      Of course, but if you're saying that exams are getting easier and people are teaching to the exams, then this is a pointless statistic, because you're already saying that GCSEs aren't good at determining how well educated somebody is. It's irrelevant.

      The statistics you've posted in general are worthless in your own view, given that you keep arguing that they're not related to each other.

      I'm hardly proving your point if I'm questioning the statistics. Again, you've skimmed over the bottom 3 statistics I drew, and my explanation of everything.

      If the statistics increased to 100% 5+ A*-C inc. Maths and English, it doesn't necessarily mean that education is improving, nor does an increase in Nobel Prize winners. How do you measure education exactly?
      Offline

      0
      ReputationRep:
      (Original post by im so academic)
      Yeah, by increasing the percentage rate by a few numbers. One could argue that teaching to the test, low grade boundaries, multiple retakes etc have a more of an effect than increased spending.
      How could you argue that?
     
     
     
    Reply
    Submit reply
    TSR Support Team

    We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

    Updated: August 25, 2011
  1. See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  2. Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Useful resources
  3. See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  4. The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.