Taylor, J and Bradley, S (2009) Diversity, choice and the quasi-market: An empirical analysis of secondary education policy in England. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 72 (1). pp. 1-26. ISSN 0305-9049
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This article investigates the extent to which exam performance at the end of compulsory education has been affected by three major education reforms: the introduction of a quasi-market following the Education Reform Act (1988); the specialist schools initiative introduced in 1994; and the Excellence in Cities programme introduced in 1999. Using a panel of schools for all state-funded secondary schools in England (1992–2006), we find that only about one-third of the improvement in school exam scores is directly attributable to the combined effect of these three major education reforms. The distributional consequences of the policy, however, are estimated to have been favourable, with the greatest gains being achieved by schools with the highest proportion of pupils from poor families.
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