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Money and education: A basic lesson in the arithmetic of school funding

Friday, 08 December 2017

More evidence emerged from the UK this week that better teaching is the key raising education standards, not throwing money at schools.

In 2010, the government changed the national curriculum to require schools to use phonics, where children are taught to read by learning individual sounds and then blending different sounds together, rather than learning words by sight.

Reading standards in England are the best in a generation, The Daily Telegraph reports this week.

A study of the reading ability of nine and 10 year-olds in 50 countries puts England in joint eighth place, the country’s highest ranking since the test was introduced in 2001.

The findings add weight to the conclusion we arrived at earlier this year in our report examining the Gonski funding model.

“It would be foolish for policy makers to see funding as the silver bullet for school education,” we wrote.

“There is ample evidence to suggest that improving the quality of teaching and the relationship between the student and teacher will provide the best returns within schools.

“Other measures that might improve the quality of schools without necessarily increasing spending is to give institutions and their principals more autonomy, and ways of engaging parents and strengthen the curriculum.”

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