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Functionalists vs. Marxists
Functionalists: Marxists:
There is an equal chance for everyone. Louis Althusser argued that no class can hold
power for long by simply using force
Industrial society needs the specialised division The `Ruling Class Rule' also the as thinkers as
of labour, certain jobs need specific skills and producers of ideas.
Schools go through and evaluate young Bowels and Gintis claim that schools like wider
people's talents and abilities to allocate them to society are based on hierarchies.
a suitable role in society.
Schools provide `Secondary Socialisation'. They
build on `Primary Socialisation' provided by the
family.…read more

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Tripartite system (1944)
Aim: to educate all to make best use of Pro's
their talents. Britain needs a more
educated workforce. All children are · Different ability students get the support they need for their
entitled to a free `state run' education ability i.e. academic students are prepared for university
system. · Resources can be better targeted
· Less able don't feel inferior and more able do not get held back.
A 3 stage education system was · Exposure to different `culture traditions'
created this was primary, secondary
and higher education. The introduction
of the meritocratic system where Con's
children received an education based · 80% of pupils feel a failure at age 11
on their academic ability rather than · Most children develop after the age of 11
what they could afford to pay. An
· The exam was biased in favour of the middle class students
exam at age 11 would determine
which school you attended this was · It divided children from different backgrounds
known as the 11+ exam. · Some children received a second class education.
Secondary modern ­ general
education for the non- academic (75%)
Secondary technical- practical
education (5%)
Grammar- academic education for the
more able (20%)…read more

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Comprehensive system (1965)
It was introduced by the labour Pro's
government. Its aim was to ensure
all students no matter what their · There was only one education for everyone so was fair
ability was so all had a similar · Bring children together from different social backgrounds
education. · Everyone was treated fairly as there was no entrance exam
· The schools were larger so were cheaper to run.
There was no entry examinations,
schools serve their catchment
areas. All students of all ability
attend the same school. Also both · There is no choice for parents children have to attend the local
boys and girls shared a school as school
opposed being separate. · The most and least able suffer as teachers `teach to the middle'
· Bright working class children cannot rise to grammar school
· They `dumb down' the curriculum
· Setting divides children by ability
· Some catchment areas are more middle class than others…read more

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Parental choice
Ball et al looked at the effect of the effects on school:
marketisation of education. Most schools were now paying a lot more attention to what they
thought parents wanted. The publication of league tables meant that
schools were much more keep to attract academically able students
Ball et al conducted a study of 15 who would boost the school's league table position.
schools in three neighbouring LEA'
This had encouraged some schools to reintroduce setting and
s. The study covered a range of streaming. They have also concentrated less on those with special
schools including church schools educational needs (SEN). Neighbouring schools no longer cooperate.
and LEA controlled schools. The The emphasis in schools was increasingly based on image e.g. school
schools covered a variety of areas uniform.
some mainly middle class other Degrees of choice:
had a higher number of working They identified three types of parents: privileged and skilled choosers
class. Ball et all visited the schools, who will devote a lot of time and energy to finding out about different
attended meetings , examined schools they have the money to move house if necessary or pay for
documents, and interviewed a private education. They are usually middle class. Semi-skilled choosers
sample of teachers and 150 who are just as concerned to get the best possible education but lack
parents who had children in the cultural skills to pursue that effectively. Disconnected choosers
primary schools and were about to who tend to consider small numbers of options and usually choose the
choose their secondary school. one nearest to where they live. They put more emphasis on the
happiness of their child rather than academic reputation. Generally the
They also interviewed some
higher the persons social class the more likely they are to benefit from
primary head teachers. the best state schooling.
the publication of league tables etc. means that those who are already
advantaged do even better. Those who are disadvantaged lose out
even more.…read more

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New labour and new right education policies.
Specialist schools: (new labour) Work related learning: (new labour)
they are encouraged to specialise in Labour has focussed on improving the skills of the workforce in order
particular subjects. The aim has been to for Britain to remain competitive in the global market place. One way
increase choice, encourage they have done this is by raising school leaving age to 18 this enables
competition and allow schools to excel schools and colleges more options in providing vocational education
at their specialism. State secondary and training.
schools can apply to become specialist
schools in one of ten specialisms,
science, sport, art, business, Sure Start: (new right)
engineering, humanities, languages, This describes the wide range of programmes targeted at giving
maths, music, and technology. They young children a better start in life. Free nursery education is now
must raise £50,000 form sponsors available and sure start centres bring together a range of support
which will be matched by government services in disadvantaged communities.
funding. About 80% of schools are now
EMA: (new right)
Students between the age of 16 and 19 who are in full time education
Academies: (new right) can now apply for an education maintenance allowance of up to £30 a
In 2001 it was proposed that week. This is aimed at families on lower incomes and aims to
academies should be established in encourage young people to stay in education.
partnership with employers and
other sponsors to replace failing
schools and provide high quality
education for deprived areas.
Sponsors have a say in how the
school is run and what curriculum to
offer.…read more

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