All the notes on education

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Educational Social Policy
Educational social policy: 19441979
The Education Act (1944) aimed to abolish classbased inequalities within education free for all. The
aim was to give everyone an equal opportunity. All children took an 11+ test in order to allocate
them to a school suited to their abilities. The act aimed to provide three types of secondary schools
(the tripartite system): the grammar school for the academic (20% of pupils) the secondary technical
for the practical (5% of pupils) the secondary modern for everyone else. All schools were
supposed to have similar standards of provision.
Criticism of the tripartite system
Some felt that the 11+ tests weren't reliable measurements of intelligence. They were accused of
being culturally biased against working class children because of the number of working class
children disproportionately selected for secondary moderns. Employers, parents and children
generally viewed these schools as inferior to grammar schools. Pupils were seen as `succeeding' if
they went to the grammar schools and `failing' if they went to the secondary moderns. Children that
came from a middle class background and failed the 11+ test were sent to schools within the private
By the mid 1950s people felt that the social policy had failed in its aims. Educational attainment was
class based as most working class children left school at the age of 15 and entered work, whilst
upper and middle class children continued in further education.

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Comprehensive schools
Arguments for comprehensive education suggest that:
Private and grammar schools take most of the able pupils. But despite this, educational
standards like exam results have improved since the 1960s according to the National
Children's Bureau.
On average highability students make the same amount of progress in reading and maths as
grammar school pupils with the same IQ.
McPherson and Williams (1987) data suggests that the achievement of w/c children rose
faster than any other social group between 1976 and 1984.…read more

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They usually stream their pupils. Evidence shows that streaming has resulted in socialclass
segregation. Meaning that working class pupils are more likely to be found in lower streams
and thus being labelled as failures.
Comprehensive take pupils in based on catchment area. This often leads to `singleclass'
rather than socially mixed schools. Schools in more rich areas have mainly m/c intakes and
tend to be better than schools in innercity areas which mainly have w/c intakes.…read more

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Create an education market
(i) Policies to increase employability
The New Right claimed that the British workforce lacked technical skills needed by industries and
that education should be relevant to work which is able to produce the skills required by industries
that would make Britain more competitive in the global marketplace. New vocationalism was
introduced, which provided loads and training and education schemes. There aim was to get more
youths employed by giving them work experiences.…read more

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Green's research indicated that the most schemes resulted in lowability trainees getting
low paid jobs which were mostly unskilled and insecure.
Vocational schemes create class divisions because they encourage the idea of w/c being
trained and getting into low paid jobs whilst m/c stay in education and get into higher paid
Feminists see that vocational training hasn't helped for the gender stereotype that is found
in business and the economy.…read more

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6. New systems of schools and college inspections were introduced e.g. OFSTED to make
sure that they met required standards.
(iii) To subject education to marketization
The marketization of education refers to the policy of bringing market forces (such as choice and
competition) into education.
Conservative governments encouraged diversity and wider choice for parent's e.g. in 1996 there
were 15 CTCs and over 180 language or technology schools. Selection was also encouraged.…read more

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that such schools can climb the league tables and become more attractive to m/c
2. Schools are funded according to how many pupils they attract. So popular schools get
more money and are able to afford quality resources and teaching staff. Unpopular
schools therefore have less money to spend on resources such as books and teaching
3. Marketization creates a myth that all parents have the same choices and that the British
education system is a true Parentocracy.…read more

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Grammar schools continue to exist and select and select on the basis of the 11+ test.
Labour made no attempt to abolish or reform private education.
To make sure standards and quality was being met schools that were underachieving were
named and shamed.
Labours educational policy was based on the concept of social inclusion, which argued that
education excluded unemployed, single mother and the elderly etc.…read more

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The Role and Purpose of Education
The functions of education…read more

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Functionalists see the function of education as benefitting society. However, Marxists believe that the
function of education is to benefit only the wealthy and powerful, i.e. the capitalist bourgeoisie. They
suggest that such functions have a damaging effect on the working class. Both functionalists and
Marxists agree that education in modern societies such as Britain has three main broad functions.
These are:
1. Secondary socialisation
2. The economic role
3.…read more


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