Government publishes Roehampton report on impact of funding on the education of 16-19 year olds with ‘additional needs’

Two Roehampton researchers have carried out a study for the Department of Education (DfE) on the impact of funding linked to ‘additional needs’ on participation and attainment by 16-19 year olds in the education system.

Posted: 23 December 2015

The team was asked to focus on three groups:

  • pupils who are economically disadvantaged and need financial support to attend education,
  • pupils with low prior attainment in need of extra support to succeed in education,
  • and pupils with low level special educational needs and disability. 

Their review of international evidence found little research into the effects of funding and identified a number of key areas that need to be researched further to identify the impact of funding. Current reports in this area mainly focus on the impact of funding on pupils who are economically disadvantaged. In comparison little information is available about the impact of funding on pupils with low prior attainment or low level special education needs (SEN) and disability.

Dr Marie-Pierre Moreau and Dr Olympia Palikara recommend that further research is conducted and made available on a public website which will increase the availability of the information to policy makers and practitioners so they can easily access evidence of best practice.

The review involved conducting a search of key online bibliographic databases; a systematic exploration of academic journals; a search of the websites of key policy and research organisations; and an international email survey of about 160 experts.

Dr Moreau, who is a Reader in Sociology of Education and a Co-Director of the PFI-UK & RISE research centre, directed the study. She commented: ‘There is a striking lack of evidence regarding how funding for those with so called additional needs impacts on their educational attainment and participation. This is particularly the case in relation to pupils with low prior attainment and to those with low level SEN and disability. Some studies show an impact on attendance and sometimes on attainment, but stronger evidence is needed so that funding can be used effectively to ensure equal opportunities for all children, independently from their background or past experiences.’

To read the report in full please click here.

The study is the latest Government commissioned research carried out by University of Roehampton academics during the past year. Reports on counselling in schools and advice on dealing with children who are violent towards their parents are among the subjects ministers and civil servants have asked Roehampton’s experts to comment on.

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