School outcomes: sharing the responsibility between pupil and school

Emmanuel Thanassoulis, Maria C.A. Silva Portela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses a Data Envelopment Analysis based approach to decompose pupil under-attainment into that attributable to the school the pupil attends and that attributable to the pupil. The approach measures pupil attainment in terms of value added. Data on over 6700 A-level pupils from 122 English schools have been analysed. The results suggest that at current levels of school effectiveness a pupil's own application accounts for the major part of any under-attainment, though schools also have scope to improve their effectiveness.The approach also makes it possible to identify target attainment levels a pupil could be set and the extent to which the attainment of those targets necessitates an improvement in the effectiveness of the school the pupil attends and in the pupil's own efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-207
Number of pages25
JournalEducation Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Data Envelopment Analysis
  • pupil under-attainment
  • pupil attainment
  • value added
  • school effectiveness
  • effectiveness
  • pupil effort


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