The NFER Debates – Do small increases to school budgets make any difference to performance?

2:30 pm - 3:10 pm

Despite widespread concerns about the level of school funding, much of the academic literature has struggled to find a significant link between (moderate) changes in school expenditure and changes in pupil outcomes. Moreover, schools (and education systems) with similar levels of funding can achieve very different levels of pupil attainment. Evidence is lacking about the appropriate level of funding for schools, the scope for economies of scale (at a school or MAT level), how funding is best administered and where best to spend limited funds in order to have the greatest impact. At this debate, a leading panel of scholars draw their conclusions as to where the balance of evidence lies on these important issues, with particular attention to the impact of changes to school funding and social mobility in England, including the likely effects of the new National Funding Formula.