Education policies

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  • Created by: Tom
  • Created on: 11-04-14 16:45

compulsory primary education

  • before 1870 education not free - churches/charities may pay
  • gov. decided universal education necessary for competitive work force - encouraged school boards to set yp elementary schools with basic curriculum
  • could charge up to 9p/week, not all attended, compulsary for all kids up to age 10 by 1880
  • became free 1891
  • leaving age raised to 14 by 1918
  • those who could afford followed on to grammar/public school for academic secondary education
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the tripartite system

  • 1944 gov. provided secondary schools for all.
  • age 11 students took intelligience test - 20% passed and attended grammar with academic curriculum and O+A levels
  • those who failed went to secondary modern with practical curriculum - no leaving exams, teachers protested and CSE introduced(eaqsier than O-level)
  • minority attended technical schools(few built)
  • all types schools should have had some status, parity of esteem
  • many felt failure, particularly late developers
  • left-wingers believe m/c children more likely to pass 11+, so system socially divisive. campaigned for mixed ability schools.
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  • 1965 Labour gov bought in first comps, asking L.A's to merge secondary modern + grammar
  • most did - but was expensive, and Cons. halted it when in power
  • comprehensivisation halted and resumed with each change of government until 1997, when new Labour came to power
  • New Labour more concerned about raising standards + parental choice than closing grammar
  • over 160 grammars remained when coalition took over 2010


  • at comps easy for late bloomers to move between sets
  • In forms, members of diff social classes likely to mix
  • no sense of failing entrance test - still lose motivation in lower streams
  • teachers subconciously pick students for sets based on social class/ethnicity
  • large size of comps vast facilities but impersonal, and discipline problems
  • comprehensives left to pick up left-overs when grammar or public schools nearby. Lack of able students may fail to stretch already attending able students, depresses overall results
  • comps vary in intake based on catchment area
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progressive education

  • 1960's - many schools adopted 'progressive' education
  • reaction against 'jug and mug' lessons where students were fed facts from a teacher
  • primary schools favoured large open plan classrooms where students could choose activities(pupil centered learning)
  • encouraged students to think for themsleves, but many avoided maths and English
  • some left school without basic skills, and were unable to work, so the policy had to change.
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the 'new vocationalism'

  • 1976 Labour PM made speech that ignited 'the great debate' about whether current unemployment crisis would be alleviated if education became more vocational
  • vocational courses introduced shortly after
  • 1983 - schools funded by Technical and Vocational Educational Initiative(TVEI) to organise work experience in school time.
  • schools encouraged to teach technology
  • 1992 General National Vocational Qualifications(GNVQ's) introduced in areas such as Health and Social Care, Business studies, ICT and Leisure+Tourism. rename applied GCSE's and A-levels to make more attractive


  • vocational courses continue to have lower status than academic courses, so uptake low.
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ERA(1988) - Enrolment, Ranking, Attained Tests(SAT

  • conservative legislation
  • raised standards and created identicle curriculum across country
  • before this, schools could teach classes not sitting external exams anything they wanted
  • national curriculum age 5-16 followed by all state schools
  • English, Maths, Science core subjects occupty 30-40% of teaching time
  • seven foundation subjects including technology+language must be taught - list since slimmed, but IT and citizenship added
  • standardised attainment tests(SATS) in English, Maths, Science at age 7,11,14,16 to see if students met attainment targets
  • results published in league tables to encourage schools to work harder
  • tests at 5 been added to measure 'value added'
  • four-yearly inspections by OFSTED ensure reccomendations were followed
  • open enrolement - parents could send pupils to any unselective school that had places, schools had to compete for pupils. Previously based on catchment area.
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ERA(1988) - Enrolment, Ranking, Attained Tests

  • formula funding - schools recieved funding based on number of students attracted. failing schools closed due to lack funding - succesful ones grew.
  • city technology colleges created - emphasised IT and technology, worked with local business


  • national curriculum made easy for students who moved schools
  • ensures all students study science to 16, girls previously dropped.
  • better prepared for work by studying core subjects + ICT/Technology/language
  • testing informs parents of progress but can take away from other studies - KS3 recently dropped for this reason
  • some schools appear low on league tables despite high value added
  • early league tables gave raw scores - didn't take schools social circumstances into account. recent attempts to add special needs and value added still provide incomplete picture.
  • non acadmeic studies do not show on league tables
  • good schools that fail to impress parents recieve less funding, less money to improve, downward spiral, demoralise teachers.
  • schools become marketised, spending lots on impressing parents - when money should be spent on pupils
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ERA(1988) - Enrolment, Ranking, Attained Tests

  • to rank well in league tables, school may choose more able students
  • Gilborn and Youdell(2000) - schools gave more hope to those on borderline of 5 A*-C GCSE's, high flyers + hopelessly neglected
  • power shifted away from schools to parents, freedom of choice - parentocracy + raising standards
  • Ball and Gerwitz - some parents more choice - transport, knowledge league tables/OFSTED reports
  • teachers do probably work harder to ensure students well prepared for tests+exams - may increase student motivation
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introduction of GCSE's(1988)

  • O-levels and CSE's replaced in 1988 by GCSE's
  • avoided teachers having to guess at students' potential when they were only 14
  • increased equality of opportunity
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Curriculum 2000

  • 4 or 5 AS levels should be studied in year 12 - breadth of knowledge
  • year 13 most students continue 3 subjects to A2 to achieve depth of knowledge
  • key skill qualifications - communication, ICT, application of number - key skills valued by employers


  • studying 4AS + 3A2 scarecly broadens knowledge
  • AS levels add extra year of exam stress and reduce teaching time
  • lack of time caused many schools to drop key skills, the vocational element. Some recently taken up critical thinking.
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changes in secondary qualifications

  • since 2008 another vocational qualification available at some schools/colleges, the 14-19 diploma, study of work-related subject in practical setting with general learning, work experience and research project
  • UCAS wary of them and academic students avoid them
  • schools encourage students to take extended project part of the qualification
  • Michael Gove invitied universities to suggest jpw A-levels can be made more rigorous
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Education Action Zone(EAZ)

  • 1998, new labour
  • additional funding given to L.A's in disadvantaged areas, to set up breakfast+homework clubs, literacy+numeracy schemes, master classes, special needs teaching, mentors
  • intended to increase equality of opportunity
  • compensatory education make superficial improvements compared with addresses child poverty
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Sure Start

  • 2000
  • centers for pre-school children & their parents
  • helped deprived children develop intellectual and social skills of the m/c
  • many closed in coalition cuts
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Education Maintenance Allowance(EMA)

  • Labour, 1999
  • weekly allowance, 16-19 year olds, low income families, full time education
  • promote equality by offsetting the costs of staying on at school instead of seeking paid employment
  • 2010 coalition replace with much smaller number of students in greater need
  • critics suggest it was a ploy to save money and has disadvantaged many students
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different types of schools

  • result of parental choice policy establish by ERA
  • specialist schools recieve extra findiong to extend teaching in science, technology, or drama
  • 2002 - first city academy open - replace failing comprehensive, state funded but private investment allowed and gave power over staff + curriculum etc, allowed to select up to 10% of students - criticised by left
  • succesful schools recently encouraged to become academies funded directly from local gov. - not obliged to follow all aspects of national curriculum
  • first free school opened 2011 - set up for any age group in area where parents feel there are no schools that meet their requirements - gov. funded but semi independent, can choose own curriculum, hours, holidays


  • free schools reflect gov. view that variety of schools will raise standards
  • free schools and academies may draw funding from other schools
  • decisions about what schools need to be in an area and how much funding they recieve should be decided by local authorities to increase equality of provision
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education policies exam tip

  • make sure you know educational policy behind each change and it's aims:
  • to increase equality?
  • raise academic standards?
  • increase vocational skills?
  • memorise when initiatives began, questions tend to be "after X date"
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