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EFA Indicators 7 - 8: Public Expenditure on Primary Education

Indicator 7: Public current expenditure on primary education a) as a percentage of GNP; and b) per pupil, as a percentage of GNP per capita.

Indicator 8: Public expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public expenditure on education.

Some estimates are necessary to break down total, local and central government expenditure on education into "nursery", "primary", "secondary" school and "other" expenditure. The proportion of public current expenditure on education devoted to primary schools has, however, been fairly constant between 1989-90 and 1996-97, at 29-31%. It increased between 1989-90 and 1993-94, when it appears to have peaked, falling slightly by 1996-97 (latest available UK data).

Similarly, public expenditure on primary education as a percentage of GNP increased from 1.3% in 1989-90 to 1.6% in 1993-94, before falling to 1.4% in 1996-97. Indicator 7 goes on to look at ‘public current expenditure on primary education per pupil, as a percentage of GNP per capita. In 1996-97 GNP per capita was 13,000 and expenditure per primary pupil 2,040, so this percentage was 15.6%. It had increased from 15.5% in 1989-90 to 17.7% in 1992-93, before falling again.

However, expenditure on primary education, in relation to GDP, can be influenced, amongst other things, by the number of children of primary school age, and the size of the employed population. Unit costs, in real terms, per pupil in LEA maintained pre-primary and primary schools in England increased from 1,600 in 1989-90 to 1,730 in 1996-97 (see table below).

Unit costs per FTE pupil (pre-primary / primary LEA maintained schools in England) :

 

Unit costs ( in real terms)

1989-90

1,600

1990-91

1,640

1991-92

1,690

1992-93

1,750

1993-94

1,750

1994-95

1,760

1995-96

1,740

1996-97

1,730

(Source - "Education and training expenditure since 1988/89": DfEE Statistical Bulletin)

In Scotland, overall expenditure on pre-school education was 79.8 million, with around 2,600 per nursery place. Overall expenditure for primary schools was 862.1 million or around 1,800 for each pupil. (Figures as of September 1997 for publicly funded nurseries and schools).

(Source- "National Dossier on Education and Training in Scotland 1998")

In 1996/97 in Northern Ireland the cost per primary (incl nursery) pupil was 1,735.

(Source - Department of Education for Northern Ireland)

 

United Kingdom

EFA Indicators 7 - 8
Year

Public current expenditure on primary education (m)

Total public current expenditure on education (excludes R&D)

Total enrolment in primary education

Gross national product (GNP - m)

Total population

Public current expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public current expenditure on education

Public current expenditure on primary education as a percentage of GNP

Public current expenditure on primary education per pupil as a percentage of GNP per capita

1989-90

6704

22829

4802271

516524

57279482

29.4%

1.3%

15.5%

1990-91

7541

25319

4855744

554942

57453797

29.8%

1.4%

16.1%

1991-92

8478

28045

4893319

586396

57701000

30.2%

1.4%

17.0%

1992-93

9440

30020

5071700

610419

58098872

31.4%

1.5%

17.7%

1993-94

10017

31929

5143228

645750

58479716

31.4%

1.6%

17.6%

1994-95

10456

33334

5205344

689808

58465760.95

31.4%

1.5%

17.0%

1995-96

10548

34484

5284125

722344

58665725

30.6%

1.5%

16.2%

1996-97

10885

35699

5327161

771358

58819314

30.5%

1.4%

15.6%

1997-98

5362103

820994

59011518

EFA Indicators 9 - 11: Primary School Teachers

Indicator 9: Percentage of primary school teachers having the required academic qualifications.

Indicator 10: Percentage of primary school teachers who are certified to teach according to national standards.

Indicator 11: Pupil-teacher ratio.

Again it proved difficult to apply these indicators with their definitions to the UK system. Data collected on part-time and non-maintained school teachers are quite limited. Prior to 1993/94, only "total" numbers of part-time school teachers (at any level / sector) were available, with part-time teachers in Northern Ireland being excluded.

In addition, data are only collected and shown on qualified primary teachers in the UK i.e. those with qualified teacher status (QTS). In practice, however, the number of unqualified teachers is very small - the employment of unqualified teachers "has been strictly limited since 1970". Hence, for the purposes of these tables, practically all (100%) of primary school teachers in both the public and private sector "are certified to teach according to national standards" (indicator 10).

Although not strictly a "required academic qualification", an increasing proportion of primary school teachers are graduates. This measure has been used in indicator 9. In public sector primary schools, the proportion of graduate primary school teachers has increased from roughly a third in 1989/90 to a half in 1996/97. In the private sector, this proportion remains significantly higher, around 70%.

Percentage of primary school teachers (1)(2) who are graduates:

 

Public institutions

Private institutions

1989/90

34%

69%

1990/91

36%

70%

1991/92

39%

71%

1992/93

41%

72%

1993/94

44%

73%

1994/95

47%

73%

1995/96

50%

72%

1996/97

52%

72%

Notes:

(1) Full-time teachers in mainstream public sector primary schools;

(2) Full-time teachers in mainstream private sector schools.

The ratio of pupils to teachers (indicator 11) in public sector primary and special schools has gradually increased, from 20.7 in 1989/90 to 22.5 in 1996/97. Conversely, over the same period, the ratio of pupils to teachers in private sector primary and special schools has decreased. The ratio of pupils to teachers in private sector schools is significantly lower than in the public sector, and that in special schools lower than in mainstream schools.

 

1989/90

1990/91

1991/92

1992/93

1993/94

1994/95

1995/96

1996/97

Public sector

20.7 : 1

20.9 : 1

21.2 : 1

21.9 : 1

21.8 : 1

21.9 : 1

22.3 : 1

22.5 : 1

Private sector

13.5 : 1

13.0 : 1

12.7 : 1

12.7 : 1

12.0 : 1

11.9 : 1

11.6 : 1

11.4 : 1

In Scotland the pupil:teacher ratio in primary schools is 19.9:1 and for special schools 4.7:1 and for independent schools 9.9:1.

In Northern Ireland the pupil:teacher ratio in primary schools is 19.9 and in preparatory departments of grammar schools is 17.3 (1998/99).

EFA Indicators 12-14: Primary Education Efficiency

Indicator 12: Repetition rates by grade.

Indicator 13: Survival rate to grade 5 (percentage of a pupil cohort actually reaching grade 5).

Indicator 14: Coefficient of efficiency (ideal number of pupil-years needed for a cohort to complete the primary cycle, expressed as a percentage of the actual number of pupil-years).

"Repetition rates by grade" (indicator 12) are not applicable in the UK. Neither is there a concept of primary school "survival rates" (indicator 13) - participation and completion in primary education is universal.

Hence, the UK’s "coefficient of efficiency" (indicator 14) is 1 - this may well be a meaningful measure in some developing countries, but not in the UK context.

EFA Indicator 15: Learning Achievement

Indicator 15: Percentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies.

Critically, these "basic learning competencies" are nationally defined. For the UK, the measure chosen is the percentage of pupils reaching the "expected" level in their National Curriculum tests (in England). "Grade 4" of primary schooling is around age 9, but we have National Curriculum tests for 7- (Key Stage 1) and 11- (Key Stage 2) year olds.

In the Key Stage 1 tests:

In the Key Stage 2 tests:

Based on the Key Stage 2 test, the Government has set a National Learning Target for 11-year olds. In England, by 2002:

In Scotland, National Guidelines for pupils aged 5-14 are issued for each of the 5 areas of the curriculum: English, maths, expressive arts, environmental studies, religious and moral education. They cover 5 levels, each related to pupil attainment at particular stages. The highest level, level E should be attainable by at least 75% of pupils aged 14.

In Northern Ireland there are no tests at Key Stages 1 and 2, however, teacher assessments are carried out in English and mathematics. At Key Stage 1, in 1998, 93% of pupils were working at Level 2 or above in English and 92% in mathematics; at Key Stage 2, 66% were working at Level 4 or above in English and 72% in mathematics. Provisional targets have been agreed for 2002 as follows: Key Stage 1 - 100% at Level 2 in English and mathematics (except those with Special Educational Needs); Key Stage 2 - 80% at Level 4 in English and mathematics.

EFA Indicators 16 - 18: Adult Literacy Rates

"Literacy rates" are defined here, as "the number of persons who can both read and write with understanding a short simple statement on their everyday life".

There is not currently any measure of "illiteracy" in UK adults, so it is not possible to say what percentage of the population aged 15+ is "literate" (indicator 17).

The primary UK source of data on literacy in the adult population is the survey "Adult Literacy in Britain", carried out as part of the "International Adult Literacy Survey". It measures three areas of literacy in the adult population: prose, document and quantitative literacy skills. In each of these areas, respondents’ skills were graded from level 1 (lowest level) to level 4/5 (highest level).

The survey concluded that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 of all adults in the UK have "poor" (level 1) basic skills, but our performance was quite polarised, with both a large proportion of people at the highest and at the lowest literacy levels. This does not mean that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 of UK adults are illiterate.

Twice the proportion of UK adults had "weak" (level 1 or 2) skills compared with Sweden, who performed best of the 12 countries for whom results are so far available.

Results are available by age group, the earliest being the 16-25 age group. 15% of men and 21% of women aged 16-25 have "poor" (level 1) basic skills, based on the document scale. Poor skills are more prevalent in the older population, the unemployed and those on low incomes.

National Curriculum Assessments
Key Stage 1 test: Percentage of pupils aged 7 achieving level 2 or above

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Reading test

78

78

80

80

82

Writing test

80

79

80

81

83

Mathematics test

79

82

84

84

87

Key Stage 2 test: Percentage of pupils aged 11 achieving level 4 or above

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

English test

49

57

63

64

70

Mathematics test

45

54

62

58

69

Science test

70

62

69

69

78

In 1999, 69% of 11 year olds achieved the standard expected for their age in mathematics; this represented an increase of 11 percentage points over the 1998 figure of 58%. In 1997 and 1996, 62% and 54% achieved the expected standard respectively. Only 45% of 11 year olds were reaching this standard in 1995. By the time of national tests in 2002, Government expects that: 75% of all 11 year olds will be reaching the standards expected of their age in mathematics. LEA numeracy targets for 2002 were published in January 1999. Individual schools have also set their numeracy targets for the National Curriculum tests in 2000.

 

END


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