Learning Table 2 - Standards


HideShow resource information

Marketisation Policies:

Evidence of declining standards: 

- Grade inflation (increase in better grades).                                                                                                                                      - Increasing number of ‘failing’ schools.                                                                                                                                                     - Easier exams - modular/coursework.     

Exam League Tables:  The ranking of schools based on various data such as Exam Results. FOR:                                                                                                                                          ·  Provide parents/students (of all social classes etc.) with vital information to make informed choices.                                                                                                                      ·  Drives up standards in all schools (working class and middle class areas) by opening schools up to competition.                                                                                                                                                  ·  Means of measuring a schools performance over time.   

Against:                                                                                                                                                               ·  Subject to manipulation by schools e.g. not entering students who may fail.                                                                                                                                            ·  Take little account of the social profile of catchment areas. Hard for schools in deprived working class areas to compete against schools in wealthy middle class areas.                                                                                                                                ·  Creates a divisive education system where high ranking (e.g. middle class) schools attract high ability pupils and low ranking (e.g. working class) schools attract less able pupils.




1 of 5

Marketisation Policies:

Open enrolment - gives students the chance to enrol at any school, even if outside their catchment area. For:                                                                                                                                                                                  - Makes schools (working and middle class) more responsive to the needs and wants of parents (parentocracy) and students.                                                                                                                                                                            - Drives up standards as unpopular schools (e.g. in working class areas) will have to improve or close down.           - Offers students (working and middle class) a greater degree of choice in the school attended.                                Against:                                                                                                                                                                           - Choice is exaggerated as it depends on a school having places available. Often popular schools in middle class areas do not.                                                                                                                                                                      -Middle class people are better placed to take advantage of the choices available (knowledge of good schools & able to move into good catchment areas).                                                                                                                       - Some students (e.g. working class) may be unable to afford the transport costs to get to a school outside of their catchment area.

Other marketisation policies                                                                                                                                        ·  OFSTED - inspection organisation that monitors standards in schools.  Findings are made public e.g. on the internet (although this perhaps favours middle class households who have more access to the internet).                     ·  Business sponsorship of schools e.g. City Technology Colleges & City Academies (see below).                              ·  Performance management of staff - staff set themselves yearly improvement targets and pay linked to targets.      ·  Schools being allowed to opt out of LEA control - head teachers given greater control over their budgets and the way their school is run.                                                                                                                                           ·Formula funding, where schools receive the same amount of funding for each pupil.




2 of 5

Wider polices concerned with raising standards

Formal curriculum provision:

· Numeracy & literacy hours - dedicated times each week in primary schools to improve English & Maths skills.                                                                                                                                                              · National Curriculum - originally set up core and foundation subjects that all schools should follow. New core (English, Maths, Science, and Citizenship) but schools now have more flexibility over other curriculum content.                                                                                                                                        · SATS - regular tests on the core National Curriculum at 7 & 11 (14 too until 2008).                                  · Curriculum 2000 -introduction of modular AS, A2 & AVCE exams for sixth form students

New types of school diversity:

· Specialist schools - schools follow the core National Curriculum but also focus on particular areas e.g. Technology, Sport, and Science.                                                                                                                    · City Academies - private and public sector initiative to turn around ‘failing’ schools, often in deprived working class areas.                                                                                                                                      · City Technology Colleges - private and public sector initiative which established a limited number of schools focusing on technology.

3 of 5

Compensatory educational policies

Expansion of higher (university) education:                                                   Advantages:                                                                                                    ·Increases chances for social mobility.                                                            ·Better skilled and educated workforce                                                            Disadvantages:                                                                                                  ·Increasing problems of graduate unemployment.                                                                                                 ·Increase in student debt due to the introduction of tuition fees and greater student loans.

4 of 5

Vocational Education Policies

Modern Apprenticeships – on the job/college training.

Advantages:                                                                                                                                                                               Trained up for a specific job.                                                                                                                                        Gain NVQs whilst working.

Disadvantages:                                                                                                                                                                Source of cheap labour·                                                                                                                                          Serves to massage unemployment figures.

Vocational GCSE’s and A Levels – replacing GNVQ’s.

Advantages:       Gone some way to raise the status of vocational education.                                                Disadvantages:     Still seen by some employers to lack the credibility of more traditional academic courses.

New Deal – right for all unemployed people to education and training.

 Advantages: Given many a route into employment and higher education.                                        Disadvantages:  Success depends on the strength of the Economy.


5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »