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Class differences in achievement - external factor

Cultural deprivation -lack of skills such as laguage, self-discipline and reasoning skills normally gained through primary socialisation of the young. WC families fail to socialise their children adequately leading to them being culturally deprived.

  • Language - The way in which parents communicate with their children affect their itellectul development an their ability to benefit from the process of schooling. e.g. Basil Bernstein. Restricted code applies to WC, limited vocabulary, use of short term, unfinished, grammatically simple sentences; speaker assumes listener has shared knowledge. Elaborated code applies to MC, uses wider vocabulary, longer, grammatically more complex sentences; doesn't assume shared knowledge with reader and therefore they use language to spell out meanings explicitly.
  • Parents' education - parents' attitudes to education are a key factor affecting children's achievement. e.g. Douglas found that WC parents placed less value on education. As a result, they were less ambitious for their children, gave them less encouragement and took less interest in their education. they visited school less often and were less likely to discuss their childrens progress with a teacher. As a result, their children had lower levels of motivation and achievement.
  • Use of Icome - Bernstein and Young, found MC mothers are more likely to by their children educational toys that help them to build skills such as problem solving with shapes.
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external factors 2

  • WC subculture - lack of parental interest in their childrens education reflects the subcultural values of the WC. e.g. Sugarman. WC subculture has 4 key features acting as a barrier to educational achievemnet. FATALISM: A belief in fate, 'whatever will be wil be' and there is nothing you can do to change your status. COLLECTIVISM: Valuing being part of a group more than succeeding as an individual. IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION: Seeking pleasure now, rather than making sacrifices to get rewards in the future. PRESENT-TIME ORIENTATION: seeing the present as more important than the future so not having long term goals.
  • Compensatory education - Programmes that aim to tackle cultural deprivation by providing extra resources to schools and communities in deprived areas. e.g the TV programme Sesame Street was initially part of Head start, providing a means of transmitting values, attitudes and skills needed for educational success, such as importance of punctuality, numeracy and literacy.
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external factors - material deprivation

material deprivation: poverty and a lack of material necessities such as adequate housing and income.

  • Housing - overcrowding can make it hard for the child to study as there is nowhere to do homework and disturbed sleep from sharing beds or bedrooms etc. Development can be impared from lack of space for safe play and exploration. Families living in temporary accomodation may find themselves constantly moving meaning constant changes in school.
  • Diet and health - Marilyn Howard, children from poorer homes have less intake of energy, vitamins and minerals. Poor nutrition affects health by weakening the immune system and lowering children's energy levels, which may lead to absences from school.
  • Financial support and the cost of education - Lack of financial support means that children from poor families have to miss out on having the right equipment (pencil case) and experiences (school trips). Emily Tanner, found that the cost of items such as transport, uniforms, books, computers, calculators and sports, music and art equipment, places a heavy burden on poor families.
  • Fear of debt - Going to uni usually involves getting into debt which scares WC children away from uni. Callender and Jackson found that attitudes to debt was important when deciding to go to uni. the most debt adverse students, WC, were over 5 times less likely to apply than the most debt tolerant students, MC.
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external factors - cultural capital, Bourdieu

Cultural capital: The knowldge, attitudes, values, language, tastes and abilities of the MC. Bourdeiu sees MC culture as a type of capital as, like wealth, it gives advantages to those who possess it. MC children are more likely to develop intellectual interests and an understanding of what the education system requires for success, therefore giving them as advantage at school where such abilities and interests are highly valued and rewarded with qualifications. in contrast, WC children find that school devalues their culture as 'rough' and inferior. their lack of cultural capital leads to their exam failure, therefore WC parents give up and let their child be asbent.

Educational and economical capital: wealthier parents can convert their economic capital into educational capital by sending their children to private schools and paying for extra tuition. Dennis Leech and Erick Campos state that MC parents are more likely to be able to afford a house in the catchment area of a school that is highl placed in the exam league tables. known as 'selection by mortgage' as it drives up the cost of a house near to the successful schools and excludes WC families.

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internal factors

  • Labelling - Teachers often label pupils on the basis of stereotyoed assumptions about their class background, instead of their actual ability, labelling WC pupils negatively and MC pupils positively. Howard Becker interviewed 60 Chicago high school teachers and he found that teachers judged pupils according to how closely they fitted the image of the 'ideal pupil' (MC, well behaved etc.) Ray Rist found that teachers used info about childrens background and appearance to place them into seperate groups, seating each group at different tables. The fast learners were labelled as 'tigers'. the slower pupils were labelled as 'clowns' and 'cardinals'.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy - When a teacher labels a pupil, they treat them according to that label; this then leads to the pupil internalising the teachers expectation, which becomes part of their self-image and they therefore become the pupil that the teacher believed them to be in the first place. Rosenthal and Jacobson, IQ test showing who the spurters were (chosen randomly).
  • Streaming - Pupils are put into different sets depending on the teachers expectations of them. children in the lower sets 'get the message' that their teacher has written them off as no-hopers, therefore creating the slef-fulfilling prophecy. Deborah Youdell and David Gillborn, found that teachers are less likely to see WC and black pupils as having ability and they are therfore placed in the lower streams and lower teir GCSE papers, denying them of knowledge and opportunity needed to gain good grades and widen the class gap in achievement.
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internal factors 2

  • pupil subcultures - Agroup of pupils who share similar values and behaviour patterns. Colin Lacey, uses two concepts to explain how subcultures work.

Differentiation: Proccess of teachers categorising pupils according to how they percieve their ability, attitude and/or behaviour. streaming is a type of differentiation.

Polarisation: Process in which pupils respond to streaming by moving to one of two poles.

pro-school subculture - pupils placed in high streams who value school and education.

Anti-school subculture - Those placed in lower streams who the school have undermind and labelled as inferior. They gain status with their peers instead of teachers by talking back and disprespecting the teachers authority.

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internal factors 3

  • Pupils' class identities and the school - Habitus, refers to the 'dispositions' or learned, taken-for-granted ways of thinking, being and acting that are shared by a particular social class. It includes their tastes and preferences about lifestyles and consumption (such as fashion and leisure pursuits). MC has the power to to define its habitus as superior and to impose it on the education system. As a result, the school puts a higher value on MC tastes, prefernces and so on. symbolic capital: refers to status, recognition and sense of worth we are able to obtain from others, especially those of a similar class position to us e.g. Nike identity. symbolic violence: refers to the harm done by denying someone symbolic capital e.g by defining their culture as worthless. Archer et al found that devalued WC's styles preferences as tasteless.
  • Nike identities - symbolic violence lead WC pupils to seek alternative ways of self-worth, status and value by constructing meaningful class identitiesfor themselves by investing heavily in styles, especially through consuming branded clothing such as Nike. It was their way of 'being me' and without it they felt inauthetic. The right appearance earned symbolic capital and approval from peer group and brought safety from bullying. Nike also play a part in WC pupils' rejection of higher education as they were seen as unrealistic - it was not for 'people like us', but for richer, posher and cleverer people and they wuld not fit in. And undesirable - it would not suit their preferred lifestyle or habitus.
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topic 3, ethnicity

  • Ethnocentric curriculum - History concentrates on past English victory's and war/past and not on other countries history. In music, it is mainly English artists and composers that are focused on and in languages it is only european languages that are taught, e.g. French, German, Spanish and Italian.
  • Cultural deprivation - Lack of intellectual and linguistic skills(black children). They are socialised into a subculture which believes in 'live for today' attitude which does not value education (immediate gratification). Daniel Moynihan~ black families tend to be headed by lone parent mothers meaning they are deprived of adequate care as she struggles financially due to the absesnce of a father who is usually the breadwinner. Charles Murray~ Lone parenthood and lack of positive male role model leads to unerachievment.
  • Black children - Sewell~ The lack of fatherly nurturing or 'tough love' is a problem resulting in black boys finding it hard to overcome emotional and behavioural difficulties of adolesence. They turn to street gangs as they offer them 'perverse loyalty and love', (anti-school subculture). 
  • Asian - Asian families (Indian and Chinese) benefit from supportive families that have an 'Asian work ethic' and place a high value on education. Ruth Lupton~ Adult authority in Asian families is similar to the model in school, therefore causing a knock on effect at school with the teachers. They support the schools behaiour policies.
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ethnicity 2

  • Material deprovation - Almost half of Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers earned under £7 per hour compared to only a quarter of white British workers. Many live in economically deprived areas with high unemployment rates.
  • Racism in wider society - John Rex~ shows racial descrimination leads to social exclusion and worsens poverty faced by ethnic minorities. In housing, for instance, descrimination means that minorities are more likely to be forced into substandard housing than white people of the same class.
  • Internal labelling - Black and Asian are far from the ideal pupil. Black=disruptive and threatening; Asian=passive. Gillborn and Youdell~ teachers were quicker to discipline black people than other of the same behaviour. They see them as threatening or as a challenge to authority meaning they are put in lower streams and given foundation papers for GCSE. Teachers assumes Asians would have difficulty understanding English so they were left out of the class.
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ethnicity 3

  • Pupil identities - Archer~ 3 different pupil identities: ideal pupil: white, MC, masculined identity, normal sexuality, achieving in the right way. Pathologised pupil: Asian, deserving poor, feminine identity, over-achiever, succeeding in the wrong way through hard work instead of natural ability. Demonised pupil: Black/white, WC, unintelligent, underachiever, peer le, culturally deprived.
  • Pupil responses and subcultures - Evidence of teacher racism and negative labelling pupils means they can respond by becoming disruptive or withdrawn, or prove it wrong by working extra hard.
  • Institutional racism - Discrimination that is built into the way that institutions, such as schools and colleges, operate.
  • Critical race theory -  sees racism as ingrained in society.
  • Locked in inequality - Institutional racism is locked in inequality. The scale of historical racism is so large that there no longer needs to be any conscious intent to discriminate.
  • Marketisationa and segregation - Gillborn~ Marketisation gives schools more scope to select pupils, allowing negative stereotypes to influence decisions about school admissions. Selection procedures lead to ethnic segregation, with minorities failing to get into better schools due to discrimination.
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topic 4, gender

  • Since the 1980's, girls have had a higher success rate than boys. External factors:
  • Impact of feminism - Angela McRobbie~ Study of girls magazines, in the 1970's, they emphasised the importance of getting married and not being left on the shelf. Now they contain images of assertive and independent women which affects girls self-image and ambitions with regard to the family and careers.
  • Changes in the family - Major changes since the 1970's: increase in divorve, cohabitation and a decrease in the number of first marriages, increase of lon-parent families,and families have become smaller. All of this affects girls attitudes towards education; increase of female headed lone parent families has led to women now becoming breadwinners. It leads to the creation of a new adult role model for girls; financially independednt woman.
  • Changes in womens employment - Changes such as the equal pay act and the sex discrimination act led to women breaking through the 'glass ceiling' (an ivisible barrier that keeps them out of high level jobs). It encourages girls to see their future in terms of career instead of being houswives.
  • Girls changing ambitions - Sue Sharpe~ interviewed girld in 1970's and 1990's on the way they see their future. 1974: low aspirations, believed educational success was unfeminine and appealing to be ambitious was unattractive.Priorites; love, marriage, husbands, children. 1990-priorities were to have a good career and able to support themselves, see their future as independent.
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gender 2

Internal factors:

  • Equal opportunities policies - Policies such as 'girls into science and technology' and 'women into science and engineering' encourage girls to pursue careers in these non-traditional areas. Female scientists have visited schools, acting as role models; efforts have been made to raises science teachers awareness of gender issues.
  • Positive role models in schools -  Increase of female teachers and heads. These women in senior positions act as role models to girls, showing them that women can achieve positions of importance and giving them non-traditional goals to aim for.
  • GCSE and coursework -  Stephen Gorard~ found the gender gap in achievment was fairly consistent between 1975-1989, when it increased sharply as GCSE's and coursework were introduced. Mitsos and Browne~ conclude that girls are more successful in coursework because they are more conscientious and organised tha boys. Girls, spend more time on their work, take more care with presetation, better at meeting deadlines and bring the right equipment.
  • Teacher attention - Jane and Peter French~ analysed a classroom interaction and found that boys recieved more attention because they attracted more reprimands. Becky Francis also found that while boys get more attention, they were disciplined more harshly and felt picked on by teachers who tended to have low expectations of them.
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gender 3

  • Challenging stereotypes in the curriculum - The removal of stereotypes from textbooks has helped to remove a barrie to girls' achievement. Research in the 1970's and 80's found that the reading schemes portrayed women as mainly housewives and mothers, that physics books showed them as frightened by science, and that maths books depicted boys as more inventive. Gabby Weiner~ since the 1980's, teachers have challenged such stereotypes. Also, in general, sexist images have been removed from learning materials which may have helped to raise girls' achievement by presenting them with more positive images of what women can do.
  • Selection and league tables - Marketisation policies have created a more competetive climate in which schools see girls as desirable recruits because they achieve better exam results. David Jackson~ introduction of exam leaugue tables has improved opportunities for girls: high achieving girls are attractive to schools, whereas low achieving boys are not. This tends to create a self fulfilling prophecy - because girls are more likely to be recruited by good schools, they are more likely to do well.
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identity,class and girls achievement

WC girls underachieve compared to MC girls:

  • Symbolic capital - Feminist, Louise Archer~ one reason for these differences is the conflict between WC girls feminine identities and values and ethos of the school. By performing their WC feminine identities, the girls gained symbolic capital from their peers. However, this brought them into conflict with school, preventing them from acquiring educational capital (qualifications) and economical capital (MC careers). 
  • Hyper-heterosexual feminine identities - WC girls invest time in gaining money to buy '****' clothes, urban uni-sex sportswear, makeup and hairstyles to construct their identities. This brought status from their female peer group, however it also brought them conflict with the school as they saw them as having the wrong appearance and saw it as a distraction to their education.
  • Boyfriends - While having boyfriends increased their symbolic capital, it also came as a distraction to school, lowering their aspirations as they wanted to settle down. One girl became pregnant and had to drop out of education.
  • Being 'loud' - WC girls adopt loud feminine identities that often led to them being outspoken, independent, and assertive, questioning teachers' authority. This brought conflict to the school as teachers interpreted their behaviour as aggressive.
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WC and MC girls carried on

  • WC girls' dilemma - They are faced with a dilemma of either gaining symbolic capital from their peers, or ain educational capital by rejecting their WC identitity and conforming to the schools MC notions of a respectable, ideal female pupil. some girls tried to cope this dilemma by defining themselves as 'good underneath' which reflected their struggle to achieve a sense of self-worth within an education system that devalues their WC feminine identitities.
  • Successful WC girls - Sarah Evans~ girls wanted to go to uni to increase their earning power, but it was not for themselves, but to give back to their families. The girls' motivation reflected their WC feminine identities. Skeggs~ 'caring' is a crucial part of this identity and the girls in Evan' study wished to stay at home and contribute to their family. 
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Boys and achievement

  • Boys and literacy - According to the DCSF, the gender gap is down to boys poor literacy an language skills. One reason for this may be because parents spend less time reading to their sons. Another may be that it is mothers who do most of the reading to young children, who thus come to see reading as a feminine activity. Also, football does little to develope their language and communiacation skills.
  • Gloabalisatin and the decline of traditional men's jons - since the 1980's, there has been a significant decline in heavy industries such as iron and steel, shipbuilding, mining and engineering. This has been down to gloablisation of the economy, which has led to manufacturing idustries moving to different countries to take advantage of cheap labour. Mitsos and Browne~ this decline in male employment has led to an identity crisis for men. Many boys now believe they have little prospect of getting a proper job. This undermines their motivation and self-esteem and so they give up trying to get qualifications.
  • Feminisation of education - Sewell~ boys fall behind because education has become more feminised. Schools do not nurture masculine traits such as competitiveness and leadership. Instead, they celebrate qualities more closely associated with girls, such as methological working and attentiveness in class.
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Boys and achievement 2

  • Shortage of male primary school teachers - lack of male role models affects boys achievement. Yougov~ Only 14% of primary school teachers are male, 39% of 8-11 year old boys have no lessons whatsoever with a male teacher. Yet when surveyed, boys said the presence of a male teacher made them behave better and 42% said it made them work harder. This is because primary schools have become feminised as a result of having female teachers, who are unable to control boys' behaviour.
  • Laddish subculture - growth of laddish subcultures has contribted to their underchievement. Debbie Epstein~ examined the way masculinity is constructed in school. She found that WC boys are likely to be harrassed, labelled as sissies and subjected to homphobic verbal abuse if they appear to be 'swots'. Francis~ boys were more concerned than girls with being labelled as in WC culture, masculinity is equated with being tough and doing manual work. 
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Gender and subject choice

  • Gender role socialisation - process of learning the behaviour expected of males and females in society. Early socialisation shapes children's gender identity. Fion Norman~ from an early age, boys and girls are dressed differently, given different toys and encouraged to take part in different activities. Gender domains:Activities that are seen as male or female e.g. mending a car is seen as a male gender domain, and looking after sick children is seen as a female gender domain. Browne and Ross~ childrens beliefs about gender domais are shaped by their early experiences and expectations of adults.
  • Gender subject images - Kelly~ tried to explain why science is seen as a male subject: the teachers are more likely to be men, the examples teachers and textbooks use are usually drawn on boys' interests instead of girls, in science, boys monopolise the equipment and dominate the laboratory, claiming it as theirs.
  • Single-sex schooling - children who attend single-sex schools tend to be less sterotyped with subject images and make less traditional subject choices. Diana Leonard~ analysed data on 13,000 individuals and found that compared to pupils in mixed schools, girls in girl schools were more likely to take maths and science, and boys in boy schools were more likely to take English and languages. Girls from single-sex schools were also more likely to study male dominated subjects at university.
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Gender and subject choice 2

  • Gender identity and peer pressure - Other boys and girls may apply pressure to ian individual if they disapprove of his or her own choice. e.g. boys tend to opt out of music and dance because such activities fall outside their gender domain and so they are likely to attract a negative response from peers. Carrie Paechter~ because pupils see sport as mainly within the male gender domain, girls who are sporty have to cope with an image that contradicts the conventional female stereotype. this may explain why girls are more likely to opt out of sport compared to boys.
  • Gender career opportunities - Jobs tend to be sex-typed as 'mens' or 'womens' jobs. Women's jobs often include work similar to that performed by housewives, such as childcare and nursing.This sex-typing of occupations affect boys' and girls' ideas about what kind of jobs are possible or acceptable. Thus, if boys get the message that nursery nurses are female, they will be more likely to opt out of a course in childcare.
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The role of education

Functionalist view of education:

  • They like the way society works and believes that education serves the needs of the economy. Parsons~ sees school as the focus socialising agency in modern society, acting as a bridge between the family and wider society which is needed as family and society operate on different principles, so children need to learn a new way of living to cope with the wider world. They believe that education is meritocratic and gives everyone equal opportunities.
  • Durkeheim~ 2 main functions of education: creating social solidarity, and teavhing specialist skills. Social solidarity: members of a society must feel like part of somethihng and that they belong, education passes on societies norms and values to new generations and reinforces the idea of belonging; school is a mini society that brings people together. Speciality skills: Industrial society requires workers to have specialist knowledge that is gained through vocational courses and provides numeracy and literacy skills.
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The role of education 2

The New Right view on education:

  • Favour the marketisation of education.
  • Education system will be more benefiial out of state control and regulation.
  • current education system is failing
  • Poloticians simply impose their own benefits on the education system.
  • Marketisation brings more choice and diversity.
  • Chubb and Moe~ suggested that private schools achieve higer results as they are answerable to paying consumers (parents). They compared the achievement of 60,000 pupils from low-income families in 1,015 state and private high schools, together with the findings of parent survey and case studies of 'failing' schools apparently being turned 'around'. Their evidence shows that pupils from low-income families consistently do about 5% better in private than in state schools.
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The role of education 3

Marxists view:

  • They see education as benefiting the bourgeoisie and is used as a way of state control of society via RSA and ISA.
  • Althusser:
  • RSA (reppressive state apparatus)- Bourgeoisie can maintain state control by the use of threat or force such as the police and the army.
  • ISA (ideological state apparatus)- maintains state control by controlling peoples beliefs and ideas, through religion, the media and the education system.
  • Bowles and Gintis~ the hidden curriculum, e.g. values that are taught at school are used to prepare us for work. when turning up late at school you will be punished and expelled if it carries on. At work, if you turn up late, you will have a warning and will eventually be fired if it continues.
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Educational policies

  • The Tripartite system -The system of education created by the 1944 education act, based on three types of school. The 11+ exam was used to identitfy pupils' aptitudes and abilities, those who had high ability went to grammar schools; most WC children went to secondary modern schools. benefits: ives everyone education, free, and good education for MC. However, it justified inequality through the ideology that ability's in born.
  • Comprehensive system - Introduced in 1965, they aimed to abolish inequality by abolishing the 11+ and grammar schools and secondary schools were all replaced with comprehensive schools so that everyone in the area could attend. Aimed to be based on meritocracy. They didn't take off.
  • The educational reform act 1988 - league tables, the funding formula, national curriculum was introduced, parentocracy, specialised schools were introduced, intrduction of OFSTED, GCSEs replaced O levels and CSEs allowing the opportunity of coursework.
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Educational policies 1997

  • Labour - wanted to get rid of the idea of the idea that one size fits all. Wanted education that offered both choice and diversity. They believe that education should be tailored to fit the individual. 
  • Primary education - creation of standards and effectiveness unit which set minimum targets for numeracy and literature. Reduced class sizes, anything over 30 is prohibited. Introduced free nursery education for three year olds. 
  • School diversity - Specialist schools were increased, local centres of excellence were introduced. Beacon schools were introduced. Aimed additional resources at deprived areas. Intorduced the aim higher program. EMA payments introduced. Increased school leaving age to 18.
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Educational policies 1997

  • Labour - wanted to get rid of the idea of the idea that one size fits all. Wanted education that offered both choice and diversity. They believe that education should be tailored to fit the individual. 
  • Primary education - creation of standards and effectiveness unit which set minimum targets for numeracy and literature. Reduced class sizes, anything over 30 is prohibited. Introduced free nursery education for three year olds. 
  • School diversity - Specialist schools were increased, local centres of excellence were introduced. Beacon schools were introduced. Aimed additional resources at deprived areas. Intorduced the aim higher program. EMA payments introduced. Increased school leaving age to 18.
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Coalition government policies from 2012

  • Academies - From 2010, schools were encouraged to leave local authority control and become academies. Funding was taken from local authority bugets and given directly to academies by central government and academies were given control over their curriculum. By 2012, over half of all secondary schools were acdemies.
  • Free schools - advantages: It gives parents and teachers the opportunity to create a new school if they are unhappy with the state schools in their area. It improves educational standards by taking control away from the state and giving power to the parents. Disadvantages: Only benefit children from highly educated families. It is socially diverse and has lower standards. It only raises standards through strict pupil selection and exclusion policies.
  • ESI (education service industry) - education is becoming a business. They hier their own supply teachers, careers advisor etc.
  • Gloablisation - World is shrinking e.g. we can communicate quicker with other countries now due to evolution of technology.
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