Education and skills

Our research considers the determinants and effectiveness of educational investments across the life cycle, from early childcare and pre-school education, through to primary and secondary schools, post-compulsory schooling, higher education and adult learning.

Our overarching aim is to understand the relative effectiveness of different policies aimed at promoting human capital investment and accumulation. We also want to understand the mechanisms behind these interventions and how human capital is accumulated more generally.

The short- and long-term effects of student absence: evidence from Sweden

| Working Paper

Instructional time is seen as an important determinant of school performance, but little is known about the effects of student absence. Combining historical records and administrative data for Swedish individuals born in the 1930s, we examine the impacts of absence in elementary school on short-term academic performance and long-term socio-economic outcomes.

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Higher Education finance reform: Raising the repayment threshold to £25,000 and freezing the fee cap at £9,250

| Briefing Note

On Sunday, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the income threshold above which graduates start making repayments on their student loans would be increased from £21,000 to £25,000 for all those who started university after 2012, and that the cap on tuition fees at English universities would be frozen at its current level of £9,250. This briefing note examimnes the impact on graduates, public finances and universities.

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School Funding Reform in England: a smaller step towards a more sensible system, will the final leap ever be made?

| Observations

Last week, the Secretary of State for Education announced arrangements for school funding in England in 2018–19 and 2019–20. This confirmed additional annual funding of around £900m by 2019–20 (as compared with pre-election plans) and announced the amended plans for the national funding formula. Under these new proposals, the funding local authorities receive for schools will be linked to local area characteristics; however, a new national school-level formula will now not be in place until at least 2020–21. This is a smaller step than planned prior to the election – although still one in the right direction. The slower pace of reform and additional money also mean that schools losing out under previous plans will probably see their funding situation improve slightly. This observation describes the current system, why reform is needed and the likely effects of the latest proposals.

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