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Every Child Matters? An Evaluation of "Special Educational Needs" Programmes in England

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  • Keslair, Francois

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Maurin, Eric

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

  • McNally, Sandra

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

The need for education to help every child rather than focus on average attainment has become a more central part of the policy agenda in the US and the UK. Remedial programmes are often difficult to evaluate because participation is usually based on pupil characteristics that are largely unobservable to the analyst. In this paper we evaluate programmes for children with moderate levels of 'special educational needs' in England. We show that the decentralized design of the policy generates significant variations in access to remediation resources across children with similar prior levels of difficulty. However, this differential is not reflected in subsequent educational attainment – suggesting that the programme is ineffective for 'treated' children. In the second part of our analysis, we use demographic variation within schools to consider the effect of the programme on whole year groups. Our analysis is consistent with no overall effect on account of the combined direct and indirect (spillover) effects. Thus, the analysis suggests that a key way that English education purports to help children with learning difficulties is not working.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6069.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published onlin in: Economics of Education Review, 2012, [In Press / Accepted Manuscript]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6069

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Keywords: education; special needs; evaluation;

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  1. McGee, Andrew, 2011. "Skills, standards, and disabilities: How youth with learning disabilities fare in high school and beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 109-129, February.
  2. Claire Crawford & Anna Vignoles, 2010. "An analysis of the educational progress of children with special educational needs," DoQSS Working Papers 10-19, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  3. Manacorda, Marco, 2010. "The Cost of Grade Retention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2010. "Disabled or young? Relative age and special education diagnoses in schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 857-872, October.
  5. Lavy, Victor & Schlosser, Analia, 2004. "Targeted Remedial Education for Underperforming Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," CEPR Discussion Papers 4381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2002. "Inferring Program Effects for Special Populations: Does Special Education Raise Achievement for Students with Disabilities?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 584-599, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Deuchert, Eva & Kauer, Lukas & Liebert, Helge & Wuppermann, Carl, 2013. "No disabled student left behind? - Evidence from a social field experiment," Economics Working Paper Series 1336, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

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