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Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers
Peer Review Status: Unrefereed
Title: Replacing the Barnett Formula by needs assessment: lessons from school funding formulae in England and Scotland
Author(s): Ball, Robert
King, David N
Eiser, David
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Citation: Ball R, King DN & Eiser D (2012) Replacing the Barnett Formula by needs assessment: lessons from school funding formulae in England and Scotland.
Keywords: Barnett formula
education spending
JEL Code(s): I21: Analysis of Education
I22: Educational Finance; Financial Aid
H75: State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
H77: Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession
Issue Date: 30-Nov-2012
Date Deposited: 28-Jan-2013
Abstract: The UK's devolved administrations (DAs) receive block grant to finance almost all their expenditure. The formula used to calculate the block grant is often criticised because it does not consider the DAs spending needs. However the feasibility of allocating block grant by needs assessment is often questioned, given the contestability of spending needs. This paper compares the formula used within England to assess the education spending needs of local authorities there with the equivalent Scottish formula, by using each formulae in turn to calculate the spending needs of the UK territories. The rationale is to consider how similar the two formulae are in how they estimate the spending needs of UK territories for education, a major responsibility of the devolved governments. Results show that the English and Scottish education allocation formulae produce similar estimates of the relative education spending needs of the UK territories. This suggests that it may be more feasible to allocate education resources to the UK's devolved territories based on spending needs assessment than some have suggested. The results also suggest some inequity in current patterns of education spending across the UK.
Type: Working Paper
Affiliation: Management, Work and Organisation

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