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History of Education
· Before 1870, education was only available for the wealthy, who paid
to attend public and grammar schools, but to the minority of the
lower class, it was offered through charity, church and dame
schools.
· The 1870 Education Act encouraged elementary schools to be built
charging no more than 9p a week, majority of the poor attended and
by 1880 education was compulsory for up to the age of ten. Aim was
to teach literacy and numeracy needed to put Britain industry on a
par with foreign competitors.
· Whether students attended the elementary schools wasn't
determined by ability but wealth. These schools became free of
charge in 1891 but the leaving age was only raised to 14 in 1918.…read more

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The Tripartite System
· After World War II, there was a desire to create a fairer society, so free,
state-run secondary education became available for all. There were three
kinds of school in this system.
· The 1944 Education Act introduced this system (also called the Butler Act)
and tried to create education for all ­ school leaving age was raised to 15.
· Grammar schools offered academic subjects and examinations to students
able to pass intelligence tests ­ called the 11+ and only about 20% passed.
· Technical schools were available for students with practical aptitude, but
very few were built, taking only 5% of pupils.
· Secondary modern schools offered a less academic curriculum, with fewer
examinations until project based CSEs began in the 1960s, was for the 75-
80% who failed the 11+.…read more

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The Tripartite System
Weaknesses
· However, there were many criticisms of this selective system, one being how they
were supposed to have a `parity of esteem' with equally good facilities and staff, but
the 11+ carried more prestige than failing it so parents and well-qualified teachers
generally preferred grammar schools.
· Students' self-esteem was lowered when they failed the exam which could lead to
underachievement. The intelligence tests might be considered as inaccurate
indicators of potential and cultural capital, motivation and amount of practice received
are factors that could affect results.
· A higher pass mark was required of girls than boys because boys were thought to be
late developers in education and some girls who outperformed boys at 11 were
rejected in order to keep the ratio of the sexes balanced in grammar schools.
· Lack of social mobility for most of working class was a waste of individual potential
and their inferior education made the British workforce less effective than global
competitors.
· In the early years of secondary modern schools, students left with no academic
qualifications, representing about three-quarters of the population.…read more

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The Comprehensive System
· Labour suggested this was a fairer alternative to the selective Tripartite system. It was proposed
that children of all abilities would be taught in the same local school so had equal access to same
facilities and a wide curriculum. No entrance exams were required for enrolment so labelling of
failures was prevented and mixing of social classes would produce a less divided society.
· In 1965, the Labour government asked local education authorities (LEAs) to reorganise their
secondary schools as comprehensives. By 1997, when New Labour gained power, they were
more concerned about raising standards and providing parental choice than about closing the
remaining grammar schools. There are still over 160 grammar schools that exist which are
unlikely to close in the future.
· A positive aspect was that high-ability pupils generally still do well in this system and lower ability
pupils do better in comprehensive schools than secondary moderns.
· Children of all income groups attend comprehensives, so there is more chance of social mobility.
· It's easier for a late developer to join in a higher set for a certain subject than to move schools.
· Comprehensive schools usually provide a wide range of exam options, including academic and
vocational subjects at different levels.
· Most comprehensives operate streaming and pupils in lower sets may suffer from low self-esteem
similar to `11+ failures'. Therefore top streams are dominated by middle class students while lower
streams consist mainly of working class students because research suggests teacher labelling
relates to class and ethnicity rather than on test results.…read more

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Free Market
· In 1988 The Education Reform Act was introduced, it established a national
curriculum for all state schools in England and Wales and a national system of testing
and assessment was introduced.
· This act gave greater control to individual schools and governing bodies rather than
local authorities and established city technology colleges and grant maintained
funded schools, both independent of local authority control, but instead co-funded by
industry, to provide special opportunities for pupils in inner-city areas.
· SATs were introduced so pupils would sit national tests at the ages of 7, 11 and 14
years old to enable the production of league tables and in 1992 all state secondary
schools had to publish results to inform parents of school performance.
· Also implemented in 1992 was the OFSTED inspection system where inspections of
schools conducted every four years became more rigorous and reports were
published providing a further source of information about schools for prospective
parents.
· Open enrolment was introduced so parents could send their children to any non-
selective school that had places. This encouraged schools to perform better than
when children had to attend their catchment area school.…read more

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