Formula funding and special educational needs

Marsh, Alan John (1998). Formula funding and special educational needs. PhD thesis The Open University.



This thesis is based on a six year research study and is set against the implementation of Local Management of Schools and the formula funding arrangements for pupils with special educational needs (SEN). The main aim of the research is to investigate the principles and practice for allocating additional resources to provide for pupils with SEN but without statements. Two theoretical perspectives are used: the 'special needs pupil' discourse and the 'school and teacher effectiveness' discourse (Galloway, Armstrong and Tomlinson, 1994). The study is in two main parts. First the theoretical component whereby a critical examination is given to the conceptualisation of special educational needs, to the principles or criteria for evaluating a funding formula and to the historical arrangements for funding pupils with SEN. The second part of the thesis is the empirical component consisting of two national surveys, a case study carried out in two LEAS Mercia and Whiteshire, and computer budget modelling for different funding formulae for all primary and secondary schools in Whiteshire (n=690 schools). Evidence is obtained throughout the study relating to the design of an 'improved' SEN formula which is evaluated according to the principles or criteria of simplicity, equity, effectiveness, responsiveness to needs, efficiency, stability of funding, cost containment and accountability

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