Educational policy and inequality: a summary

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  • Educational policy and inequality
    • Before 1988
      • 1880: the state made schooling compulsory for 5-13 y/o
      • 1944 Education Act: tripartite system (grammar, 2ndary modern and technical) and the 11+ exam
      • 1965 onwards: the comprehensive system was introduced in many areas
        • Julienne Ford (1969) found there to still be little social mixing between W/C and M/C pupils, largely because of streaming
    • Marketisation
      • Miriam David (1993): marketised education is parentocracy
      • Will Bartlett (1993): exam league tables encourage cream-skimming and silt-shifting
      • Stephen Ball (1994) and Geoff Whitty (1998): marketisation policies reproduce class inequalities by creating inequalities between schools
      • 1988 Education Act introduced: Key Stages, Local Management of Schools, the National Curriculum
      • New Labour introduced: Education Action Zones, Aim Higher, EMA's and the National Literacy Strategy
        • Melissa Benn (2012): contradiction between Labour's policies to tackle inequality and its commitment to marketisation
      • Sharon Gerwitz (1995) identifies 3 types of parents: privileged-skilled choosers, disconnected-local choosers, and semi-skilled choosers
      • The Institute for Public Policy Research (2012) found: competition-oriented education systems produce more segregation between children of different social backgrounds
    • Coalition government policies
      • From 2010, schools were encouraged to become academies
        • By 2012, over half of high schools had converted to academy status
          • In 2016 the Conservative government announced that all schools would become academies by 2020
      • Ball (2011): promoting academies and free schools has led to both increased fragmentation and increased centralisation of control over educational provision in England
    • The privatisation of education
      • Ball (2007): companies involved in public-private partnerships make up to 10x as much profit as they do on other contracts
      • Buckingham and Scanlon (2005): the UK's 4 leading educational software companie are all owned by global multi-nationals
      • Allyson Pollack (2004): directors of local authorities and head teachers leaving to work in private sector education allow companies to buy 'insider knowledge' to help win contracts
      • Stuart Hall (2011): coalition government policies are part of the 'long march of the neoliberal revolution'. Academies are an example of handing over public services to private capitalists
      • Molnar (2005): schools are targeted by private companies because 'schools by their nature carry enormous goodwill and can thus confer legitimacy on anything associated with them'
  • Rebecca Allen (2010): research from Sweden, where 20% of schools are free schools, shows that they only benefit children from highly educated families
    • In England, evidence shows that free schools take fewer disadvantaged pupils than nearby schools
    • Coalition government policies
      • From 2010, schools were encouraged to become academies
        • By 2012, over half of high schools had converted to academy status
          • In 2016 the Conservative government announced that all schools would become academies by 2020
      • Ball (2011): promoting academies and free schools has led to both increased fragmentation and increased centralisation of control over educational provision in England
  • Introduced FSM's for all children in Key Stage 1, and the Pupil Premium
    • Ofsted (2012) found: in many cases the PP is not spent on those that it is supposed to help. Only 1/10 heads said that it had significantly changed how they supported those pupils
    • Spending on school building cut by 60%, many Sure Start centres closed, EMA abolished and university tuition fees tripled to £9 000 a year

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