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Economy class: the economics of education

Will the pupil premium ensure a better education for the children of the poor? Only if the coalition is prepared to fund it properly

By Tim Leunig   September 2010

The single most important factor determining Britain’s long-term growth is the education that the next generation receives. Whether the Bank of England raises interest rates by a smidgen now or next year is all but irrelevant; education policy is economic policy for the long term.

And here is where Britain fails. If your parents are poor, your chances of doing well in school are shockingly low. Around one in five pupils in England are eligible for free school meals—a standard measure of deprivation. But provisional results for 2009 show that 18.5 per cent of pupils in this category did…

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