AS AQA Sociology - Educational policy and inequality

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Educational policy and inequality:
The tripartite and comprehensive system
Tripartite System Comprehensive System
When 1944 1965
To educate all to make best use of their talents. Introduced by the labour government.
Aims Britain needed a better educated workforce. Ensure all students no matter what their ability had a
All children entitled to a free `state-run' education similar education.
A 3 stage education system was created No entry examinations - schools serve their
(primary/secondary/further-higher education). catchment areas.
Introduction of a meritocratic system where children All students of all ability attend the same school.
received an education based upon their academic Both boys/girls attend the same school.
ability...rather than what they could afford to pay. Reflected catchment - locality
An exam at age 11 would determine which school you
attended (the 11+ examination).
The tripartite education system was created:
11+ Exam
Secondary Secondary Grammar
Modern Technical
General Practical Academic
education for education education for
non-academic more able (20%)
(75%) (5%)
Different ability students get the support they need for One education for all ­ fairness
their ability Brings together children from different social classes.
Pros Resources can be better targeted. No entrance exam ­ all treated fairly.
Less able don't feel inferior and more able do not get Larger schools = cheaper to run.
held back. Serves its local catchment area.
Exposure to different `cultural traditions'.
80% students felt like `failures' at age 11. No choice for parents...children have to attend local
Most children develop after the age of 11. school.
Exam was biased in favour of `middle class' students. The most and least able suffer as teachers ` teach to
Cons Divided children from different backgrounds. the middle'.
Some children received a `second class' education. Bright working class children cannot rise to the
grammar school standard.
They `dumb down' the curriculum.
Setting divides children by ability.

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Marketisation and parentocracy
The 1988 Education Reform Act introduced by the Conservative government under Thatcher established the
principle of marketisation in education
1.…read more

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For example, LEECH AND CAMPOS show what middle class parents can afford to move into the catchment areas of
more desirable schools
New Labour polices since 1997
1. Reducing inequality:
Introduced several policies aimed specifically at reducing inequality in achievement by targeting support on
disadvantaged groups
E.g. ­ designating some deprived areas as Education Action Zones and providing them with additional
E.g.…read more


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