From education to employment

Committee report highlights complexity in evaluation

A government report released yesterday concluded that it was “impossible” to measure the effectiveness of increased spending in education.

The Education and Skills Committee yesterday unveiled its fifth report, focusing on such issues as efficiency, funding for school pupils and research funding.

And on the matter of efficiency, it concluded: “Given the increased level of investment that this Government has made in education, it is unfortunate that it has not yet proved possible to measure the effectiveness of that spending in providing better education and more highly qualified students”.

“This is not to say that the investment was ineffective; but in productivity terms, we simply do not have the data to tell us one way or the other. There is a risk, in the longer term, that the inability to demonstrate a measurable link between inputs and outputs will mean that taxpayers have no way of judging whether or not public resources are being well used”.

“Such an outcome would be bad for taxpayers and, potentially, could undermine the electorate’s willingness to fund public services”.

And Stephen Williams [Lib Dem, Education and Skills Committee Member], commented on the release: “This report gives ministers a rap across the knuckles for making it difficult for Parliament to scrutinise education spending. The Committee is rightly calling for more openness and honesty about how taxpayers” money in our education system is being spent. Such transparency is vital to Government accountability and surely is not too much to ask”.

“The Chancellor is rightfully criticised for his recent foray into education. His dramatic announcement to match state and private school spending looks pie in the sky when you see his tough spending plans for the next few years. Gordon Brown playing fast and loose with the numbers fosters neither reasoned political debate nor proper scrutiny of Government policy”.

Vijay Pattni.

To read the report, click here.

Related reports:

Education and Skills Committee Fourth Report [Further Education] ““ 12/09/06

Related FE News articles:

Government Increase Education Spending by 0.8% – 27/10/06

Commons Report Welcomed By LSC ““ 13/09/06

“Incoherent”, “Over-Complex”, “Burdensome” ““ FE Report ““ 12/09/06

Related Articles