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

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Keslair, Francois & Maurin, Eric & McNally, Sandra, 2011. "Every Child Matters? An Evaluation of "Special Educational Needs" Programmes in England," IZA Discussion Papers 6069, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6069
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2005. "Targeted Remedial Education for Underperforming Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 839-874, October.
    3. Marco Manacorda, 2012. "The Cost of Grade Retention," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 596-606, May.
    4. repec:mpr:mprres:6738 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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 - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kivinen, Aapo, 2018. "The Effect of Relative School Starting Age on Having an Individualized Curriculum in Finland," Working Papers 104, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    evaluation; special needs; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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