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An English assessment of Scotland’s education spending needs

  • David King
  • Matthew Pashley
  • Rob Ball

Scotland has much higher public expenditure per head than England, but little work has been done to compare Scottish and English needs. We compare their needs for school education, and we show that if the Formula Spending Share approach that is used to estimate English local authorities’ needs were applied in Scotland, then Scotland would be found to need about 3 per cent more per pupil than England; however, this English approach may slightly underestimate Scotland’s needs. We also show that the Grant Aided Expenditure approach that is actually used to estimate Scottish local authorities’ needs may be about 7 per cent more generous than the English approach. Finally, we find that the correlation between the relative education needs for different authorities as assessed by the Scottish approach and their relative needs as assessed by the English approach is only modest; this implies that there may be serious shortcomings in at least one approach.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 25 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 439-466

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:25:y:2004:i:4:p:439-466
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