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Topic 4: The significance of educational policies

  • The key aims of educational policy:

1.Economic efficiency- Develping talents to improve the skills of the labour force, making the education system meet the needs of the industry. 2.Raising educational standards. 3.Creating equality of educational oppertunity in a meritocratic society-Everyone has the same chance of developing and earning qualifications

  • Equality of educational oppertunity and equality of outcome: Gillborn and Youdell identify 4 dimentions of equality of educational oppertunity

1. Equality of access- Every child should have same rights and oppertunities to obtain access to educational provision

2.Equality of circumstances- Children should all be of a similar socio-economic status when they start school

3.Equality of participation- Everyone has same chances to participate on an equal footing in school processes

4.Equality of outcome- Same chances of sharing in benefiting of schooling

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Topic 4: Tripartite System and the 11+:

  • The 1944 Education Act introduced the Tripartite System and the 11+:

Historical context- Before 1944, many poor people couldn't afford secondary education because it wasn't free. The 1944 Act made secondary schools free for all and raised the leaving age to 15. You took the 11+ exam at the end of primary school and then went to one of the 3 types of schools:

1.Grammer schools: Were for the able children who passed the 11+. Pupils were taught traditional subjects ready for university. About 20% of children got into grammer school2.Secondary modern schools: Were for the 75-80% of pupils who failed the 11+. Secondary moderns offered basic education3.Technical schools: Were meant to provide a more vocational education for those pupils with aptitude for practical subjects

Several problems: 1.The 11+ didn't necessarily measure your intelligence, it was culturally biased, and suited the middle class more than the working class, it actually legitmised social class inequality, by incoperating it into a system 2.Few technical schools were built, so the vocational part didn't work,these schools were supposed to have "parity of esteem"-They were supposed to be considered as having equal value, but grammer schools were seen as the best 3.Pupils who failed the 11+ were labelled as failures, which dettered them from education 4. If well-off pupils failed, their parents could still afford to send them to private schools

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Topic 4: The Comprehensive schools:

  • The 1965 the Labour Goverment made schools Comprehensive:

The labour goverment insisted that Local Education Authorities recognised most schools so that everyone had equality of oppertunity. "Comprehensive schools" means its universal

Postive aspects: Theres no 11+, so 80% of the school population don't get labelled as failures. High ability pupils generally still do well with this system. Lower ability pupils do better in comprehensive schools than in the old secondary moderns

Criticisms: Most schools still sort pupils into streams or sets depending on test scores, so it's still possible to feel like a failure without the 11+. Comprehensives in working class areas have worse GCSE results than those in middle class areas

Comprehensive schooling hasn't achieved equality of oppertunity. Schools tend to be "single class", depending on the local area

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Topic 4: Policies to improve inequality of circums

  • Changes to the school admission code: SAC forbids discrimination in admitting pupils to schools on the grounds of ability and socio-economic status of parents, it was designed to prevent schools from denying disadvantaged pupils. BUT: Ammendment was proposed in 2014- Allows schools to discriminate in favour of most disadvantaged students by giving priority to pupils eligible for the "pupil premium"- Aimed at encouraging best schools to attract the poorest parents
  • Policies to improve inequality of circumtances: The Conservative lib-dem coalition of 2010-15= Took the view that raising standards in all schools, would be enough to give every child equal oppertunity. The polices of postive discrimination and programmes of compensatory education were attempts to compenstate for the difficulties faced by most disadvantaged students- PUPIL PREMIUM- Extra money for schools for disadavantaged students

Conclution: Kerr and West: Schooling can lessen the impact of deprivation of children's progress. BUT: It's influence is limited, by factors beyond the school can control of the school system

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Topic 4: Selection policies in education:

  • Selective schooling: Many schools prefer to select, if the oppertunity, the brightest, best behaved & best motivated pupils. They want enable the school to be seen as best in area & to gain high positions in SPT. 3 main types of selection:

1.Selection by ability: Selected on the basis of their academic ability

2.Selection by aptitude: Selected on the basis of their "aptitude" or potential to be good in certain subjects, are allowed to select up to 10% of students on the basis of their aptitude in some specialist subjects

3.Selection by faith: Those of religious character, select a proportion of their pupils on the basis om the religious beliefs 

Arguments FOR selection by ability: Selection by ability benefits the "high flyers", since in schools containing pupils of all ability, brighter pupils are held back by the slower pace of learning of the less able, critics argue this wouldn't happen with selection as "high flyers" can be stretched

Arguments AGAINST selection by ability: Late developers benefit.Fewer social divisions and more social cohesion through social mixing- Helps overcome divisions between different social groups, selection by ability, only benefits middle class. Reduced risk of labelling & self-fufilling prophecy- Pupils less labelled failures early stage. Benefitting for pupils of all abilities- Smyth et al: Mixed abilties teaching has beneficial effects on the "high flyers" improve performance of less able

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Topic 4: Admission Policies:

Their admission policies, this is laid down by SAC- This specifically forbids schools from using selection by ability/ policies discriminating against pupils because of their social/ economic background

  • Open Enrolement and Parental choice: Means parent can apply for  place for their child at any state funded school in any area, if the school is under-suscribed, if its not full then, it must accept that child
  • Admission policy in over-suscribed schools: If school is over-suscribed, pupils admitted to over-suscription criteria, should comply with SAC. This gives priority to- Children with siblings, catchement area, children who are elidgible for pupil premium. Most popular, highest performing schools, nearly always suscribed tend to be found om the wealthiest middle class neighbourhoods
  • Covert selection: Tough and Brooks- Hidden selection, cherry-pick those pupils who they think are likely to be of a higher ability, even though this is forbidden by SAC. Green, Allen and Jenkins- Free schools were socially selective and cherry-picked bright & wealthy pupils through CS. Involves discouraging parents from poorer socio-economic backgrounds, by giving impressiom of school being more suited & more appeal to MC

-Commisions 2013: Academies holding "social events" for prospective parents, enabled schools to select pupils from more privilledged families, where parents have  the requisite cultural capital to complete AF, in ways that will + child's chance

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Topic 4: The framework of education policy:

  • The privatization of education: Is where services that were once owned and provided by the state are transferred to private companies. Ball and Youdell identify two main types of privatization in education: 

-Privatization IN education-"Ednogenous" Privatization: Involves importing ideas and techniques from the private sector in order to make the public sector more business like, competition between schools, techniques aimed to make schools more like businesses

-Privatization OF education-"Exogenous" Privatization: Invovles the opening of state education to private profit-making businesses

The case FOR Privatization: More business-like and efficient schools, more children can be educated to a higher standard, more choice for parents, the profit motive may encourage private companies to provide schools and improve "failing schools"

The case AGAINST Privatization: Money may be drained from the education system, may only cherry-pick what they regard as the best schools or those that can be easily improved, going out of business- private companies may go out of business leaving children without schools

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Topic 4: The framework of education policy:

  • The marketization of education: Is the process whereby services like education that were previously controlled and run by the state have goverment or local authority control and support removed, they operate independently

Marketization of education= Schools become more independent, self governing institutions, compelling with one another for students in educational maket based on parent choice. Marketization is means of improving educational standards is rooted in the neoliberal approach- Idea of New Right- Chubb and Moe

-What are the main features of marketization?Independence- Allowing schools to control own affairs & run like private companies. Competition- Making schools compete with one another. Choice- Giving customers choice of schools, features backed up by quality control through inspections like OFSTED & PT

Marketization &parentocracy: The emphasis on "parent power" with parents having more right, choice of schools than ever. Brown- This parent power-parentocracy. In which child's education is increasingly depenedent upon wealth & wishes of parents

Marketization &school diversity: To satisfy consumer, since 1980's there has been growing range of different types of schools, offering parents more choice of schools than ever before. eg: specialists schools, academies, faith schools

Marketization &raising standards: M processes would lead to improvmenets of all schools, more satsfied parentstudents

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Topic 4: Gov. policies from 1980's & onwards

  • Conservative Party goverment policies 1979-1997: Reforms were based on New Right ideas; focused on- Widening choice within the education system &Encouraging more competion to create a "market"- Marketization

1.Education should link to the economy: The goverment introduced more vocational courses and more more placement schemes

2.There should be better standards in education: The goverment introduced a National Curriculum of compulsary education, OFSTED (1992)- Was set up to inspect schools, schools encouraged to opt out of local authority and become independent self-governing Grant-maintaned schools. Changes were made/ designed to make schools more responsive to local needs

3.There should be a system of choice and competition: After 1988, parents were allowed a free choice of school, parents could use league tables to help them choose, they show how many pupils pass their exams and the results. Schools worked liike businesses and advertised for students

4. There should be more testing & more exams: improve standards, ensure all students had access to same high quality curriculum. (1988)- Set up NC, followed by all school students-Critcisms: Whitty- MC parents had advantage in educational market, they have knowledge &attitudes CC to choose good school for child. They may have financial capital to move to area with better schools. Constant tests can be stressful, lead to SFP. Ball- the new NC was the "curriculum of the dead", emphaised core subjects was outdated

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Topic 4: Gov. policies from 1980's & onwards

  • Labour Party Goverment Policies 1997-2010: They wanted to intervene to do something about educational inequality, also wanted choice & diversity- Approach was called "third way politics". Continued the process of marketization, New right thinking made education more privatized

1. Policies aimed to promote gender equality: Girls- The 1988 National curriculum gave all pupils equal entitlement to all subjects for the first time, been credited with increased achievement of girls. Intiatives- WISE and GIST encourage girls to get involved with subjects thay have traditionally avoided 

2. Policies aimed to reduce class inequality: (Interventionist approach, compensatory polices) Sure Start began in 1999. It was a gov programme to improve early edu & childcare, offered up to 2 years free childcare/edu to 3-4 year olds. Education Action zones introduced in 1998, way of tackling educational inequality by area. Free school meals. The academies programme opened new schools in disadvantaged areas, where exisiting schools were judged to be "failing"

3. Specialists schools-1994:Special focus on chosen subject area, attempt to move away from what labour called "bog standard" comprehensive. Extra money, select 10% pupils by aptitude in specialist subjects

-Criticisms: Benn- Policies aimed at reducing educational inquality seemed to be inconsistent , threatened to increase it. EG: introduced uni fees of £1000 in 1998 and increased to £3000 in 2004, these fees are a barrier to HE for WC. Too contradictory, "New labour parodox"

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Topic 4: Gov. policies from 1980's & onwards:

  • Conservative- Lib Dem Coalition gov policies 2010-2015: Ball and Exley: The Conservatives were the dominant party in the coaltion goverment formed in 2010, mixture of "something old, and something new". SO- Refers to the traditional emphasis on parental choice and independence for schools, refers to emphasis on traditional subjects. SN- Refers to new form that these traditional policies took, EBACC and new style of academies and free schools, tackle inequality and the underachievement of most disadvantaged

1.New style of academies: After 2010, all state schools were encouraged to become independent academies, poorly performing schools forced into becoming academies

2.Free schools: Are all ability, state-funded independent schools, set up in responce to what local people's needs in order to improve education for children in their community, would provide more choice in disadvantaged areas

3.Pupil Premium: Extra money per head allocated for disadvantaged pupils, defined as those elligible for FSM. AIM: Reducing social inequalities, SAC 2014: Allow schools to discriminate on favour of those children entitled to PP.

4.Under Edu Sec Michael Gove, there were changes to National Curriculum: A levels changed to linear structure, exams taken at end of course. Coursework and modular exams removed in GCSEs. A new progress 8 measure of school performance, replacing grades. EBACC- real subjects and old methods= MORE DEMANDING

-Criticisms: Difficlult to track whether PP funding is actually being spent on disadvantaged pupils, or if it is being absorbed into whole school budget. The maximum budget fees in HE is + to £9000, can be socially exclusive, dettor WC students

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Topic 4: Globalization:

  • Globalisation: The idea that traidtional national boundries are breaking down across the world, people are becoming more connected by improving technology, multinational companies and increased migration.
  • Globalisation has affected education:

1.The British economy needs to be more competitive in global industries like technology, so british workers need to be trained- This has an impact on EP: Computer programming has been introduced to primary school curriclum.

2.Increased immigration-Heavier focus on learning about other cultures, schools need to provide specialist support for pupils whose first language is not English

3.Education ideas are shared between nations-Influenced by Finland, whose education is ranked highly. Kelly- Warned that education systems become increasinly similar, they'll become less relevant to the needs of individual nations

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Topic 4: Criticisms of marketization:

1.The myth of parentocracy: The MC has gained the most- Ball et al: Parental choice follows a pattern related to social class differences and contributes to reproduction of social class inequalities. MC parents have been able to make greatest use of parental choice, because of higher levels of income, social & cultural capital, they know more about how the system works. Tough & Brooks: Some of highest performing schools carry out covert selection and deliberately dissude poorer parents from applying by giving them impression that their school "is not for the likes of them"

2.Educational Triage: Teachers may allocate more resources and teacher time to brighter students, A report by HOC education commitee 2011: Introduction of EBACC lead to teachers devoting more time to pupils, who have a chance of achieving this standard, there was a serious risk that schools will simply ignore the less academically successful pupils-More likely to come from WC homes

3.Difficulties improving schools and colleges: Less successful schools lose income and may lack the resources to improve their performance to attract more students to match their successful rivals- The opposite of the improved standards marketization was intended to achieve

4."Dumbing down": The need for schools to retain students, retaining students may mean not pushing students too hard for fear of losing them,lead to "dumbing down" of teaching subject content 

5.Problems with the National Curriculum and Testing: Have been criticised for not giving teachers enough oppertunity to respond to needs of their pupils. External tests- Too much pressure, giving them a sense of failure early

6. Chaos in Education System: Headteachers frequently complained that the pace of education change

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Topic 4: Private education- The independent school

-Walford: Wide diversity of schools, in the independent sector. There are more than 60 evangelical Christian schools and more than 50 muslim schools. Many of these schools start up because of parents expressing their choice of schools; but, they do not necessarily lead to the elite careers

  • The Public Schools: There are very expensive private schools. Walford- "Entry to such scools have been as a passport to academic success, to high status uni's and to prosperous and influential careers". Significant implications for equality of educational oppertunity, having the money to access gives a huge advantage compared to those who lack resources. Children are from upper and upper middle class. 2014: 30,000 a year. 2 famous schools Elton and Harrow. A PS education means parents can almost gurantee their children will have a well-paid future careers bringing them power and status
  • The case FOR IS: Smaller classes & better facilities. Have much better chance of getting into top uni's like Oxford & Cambridge. Many schools are selective, with selection through enterance examinations, may defend PE on the grounds that parents should have right to spend their money as they wish
  • The case AGAINST IS: It is wrong to say that all children of the well-off should be given even more advantages than the poor. A PS education remains a prime qualification for the elite jobs in society. Research has shown that even when children who go to comprehensive schools, they still get the better jobs in the end
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