Four: Schools

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This chapter analyses spending, outputs and outcomes in relation to schools in England between 2007/8 and 2014/15. Schools were relatively protected from the public spending cuts made by the Coalition government from 2010 onwards, while rapid and extensive reforms were made in almost every aspect of policy. Moves towards a broader vision of schooling under the Labour government from 2007 to 2010 were rapidly overturned by the Coalition, which introduced an increasingly ‘rigorous’ academic curriculum and assessment regime. Major steps were made towards school an autonomous school system, with 61% of secondary schools becoming Academies. Teacher training was radically reformed. Early indications suggest that there are substantial challenges in managing the new system and that despite efforts to support disadvantaged students through a new ‘Pupil Premium’, socio-economic inequalities remain wide and may be even be exacerbated by some of the Coalitions other reforms.

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