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State Policy and
Past Exam Essay Questions:
1(c) Outline some of the policies introduced by
governments to create an education market in the UK (12
Marks) ­ Jan 2009
1(d) Examine the ways in which governments policies in
the last 50 years may have affected social class
differences in educational attainment (20 Marks) ­ Practice
*…read more

Slide 2

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The 1944 Education
Act. Based on Equality of Opportunity ­ every child regardless of
social class, ability to pay school fees, ethnicity or sex should
have an equal chance of doing as well as his/her ability will allow
Grammar School (20%)­
o Academic curriculum,
o access to non-manual and higher education,
The Tripartite System
o middle class dominated.
Secondary Modern (75-80%)­
11+ Exam:
o Non-academic practical curriculum,
o access to manual jobs,
o working class dominated.
o Students saw themselves as inferior and not very clever.
o They were often not pushed and even encouraged not to take exams
Technical School (<5%)­
o Only a few existed,
o For those technically minded
o (1944 actually bi-partite system)
All schools should be treated with parity of esteem ­ equal status…read more

Slide 3

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1944 Act ­ Equality of
Opportunity established?
Sex, ethnicity, social class Factors
Yes No
Free and compulsory No Gender equality ­ higher grade boundaries
Late developers ­ tests taken too young
Everybody sat the 11+ Cultural capital
No technical schools built
Extended leaving age Wasted talent
Setting Class dominance in schools
More equal than in the Segregating children with schools may lead to class consciousness
past and also self fulfilling prophecies.
This policy was a step in the right direction but not massively improving and
achieving equality of opportunity. *…read more

Slide 4

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1965 Comprehensive
Act. Comprehensive School ­ accepts students of all abilities.
Positives Negatives
Late developers catered for Staff do not know individual students due to class size
Less talent wasted ­ more Students attending tend to be from one area that the
opportunity to reach full potential school is located in, so if the school is located in a less
affluent area, they will get working class students only.
More Subjects, equipment, facilities, Brighter students held back- due to a school having all
more chances to succeed in a abilities
Students from all social classes are Streaming ­ working class in lower streams, self-
more likely to mix together, avoiding fulfilling prophecy
class divisions found in the tripartite Mixed ability ­ brighter held back, less able left
system. behind
This policy was a step in the right direction but not massively improving and *
achieving equality of opportunity, however it did improved on the 1944 act.…read more

Slide 5

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1988 Education
Reform Act
Under Thatcher ­ inspired by the new right.
Based on market forces
· Marketisation ­ introducing market forces (choice and competition) into areas run by
the state
· Parentocracy ­ `rule by the parents', parents now have power to decide which school
to send their child to. Parents today are consumers in an education market. (DAVID)
Created -
· Choice for parents to choose the school for their child
· League tables
· National curriculum
· Introduction of key stages
· Assessment - SATS
· LMS ­ local management of schools, controlled
Positives impacts 1988
own budget
Negative impacts to 1988
-Exam results did improve -Pass rate ­ reflects long term already improving results
-Access to more information -More attention to C/D borderline ­ triage
-Initiatives to raise attainment -Sharp increase in permanently excluded
and attendance -O'Donnell ­ less time and commitment to problems,*
concern for school image, anxiety about exam results…read more

Slide 6

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Cultural capital and
· Middle class parents full understand admissions process
· More confident dealing with schools than working class
· Choosing schools, planning Childs future, find time to visit research and plan
· Middle class parents use economic assets to pay for their child's transport to
the best schools ­ practical advantages
· Understand appeals procedure and waiting lists
Ball ­ Studied impact of 1988
· 15 comprehensives ­ all had changed because of it
· Competition to get the most able pupils ­ SEN low priority
· Schools returned to setting and streaming
· More money spent on advertising ­ brochures
· Middle class cultural capital ­ Practical advantages, move house etc.
­ Extra tuition, inform themselves on the education manipulating the education
market, capital passed on e.g. In interviews helping them get into selective sch.
· Working class ­ more likely to send children to nearby school
· Education had changed from trying to equalise educational opportunities* to
one which was based on competition between unequal contestants.…read more

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