The authors examine two main research issues. First, they focus on the way in which funds for education are targeted on disadvantage at the level of the local education authority (LEA). They explore the relationship between various indicators of disadvantage and national test and public examination results and find that the relationship between one measure of disadvantage -- the proportion of children dependent on Income Support recipients in an LEA -- has a stronger negative relationship with examination results of that LEA than the additional educational needs (AEN) index currently used by central government in the formula to distribute resources to local authorities. Second, the authors focus on the relationship between expenditure and performance and find evidence that higher expenditure by LEAs on education is associated with better examination results once poverty (as measured by the Income Support measure) has been controlled for. The first finding suggests that targeting educational need could be improved by substituting the Income Support measure for the current AEN index; the second lends support to the use of increased expenditure as a means of combating educational disadvantage
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