Targeted funds do make a difference

16th June 2000 at 01:00
THE report "Small classes are 'waste of money'" on the TESCentre for the Economics of Education debate on the linkage between educational resources and performance (TES, May 26) unfortunately missed what was probably one of the most significant points: the lack of intellectual rigour in the arguments put forward by Professor Eric Hanushek.

Two of the most important contributions to the debate, from professors Goldstein and Mayston, and which attempted to put the issues on a firmer footing, were effectively left unanswered.

Unchallenged, the assertions of Professor Hanushek, and others, that resources have no signficant impact on educational performance are pernicious, even when stated in the anecdotal form adopted in the debate.

They neglect the evidence from this side of the Atlantic o the value and importance of properly-targeted increases in funding for specific purposes, such as those identified in Professor Peter Mortimore's work in the Institute of Education, on the importance of smaller class sizes in the early years.

It is a pity, given the planned increase in educational expenditure over the next few years, that the newly-constituted, and Department of Education and Employment-funded, CEE should have made this its first public contribution to this important debate.

The occasion might still provide the opportunity to challenge the DFEE to ensure that it acts upon the best and most up-to-date studies in this field.

Professor David Jesson

Centre for performance evaluation and resource management

Department of economics

University of York

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now