SOCIAL POLICY - EDUCATION

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Flashcards on SOCIAL POLICY - EDUCATION , created by imsaffron on 05/08/2015.

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The 1944 Education Act Aimed to give every pupil an equal chance to develop abilities to the full within a free system of state education. The Act reorganised the structure of education in England and Wales into three stages. - Primary for 5 to 11 year olds - Secondary for 11 to 15 year olds - Further/ higher education
The tripartite system The major changes were in the secondary sector. They introduced a national test for 11 plus test - as a means of allocating children to one of three types of secondary school.
Grammar Schools were intended for pupils defined as bright and academic - those whose abilities lay in reasoning and solving logical problems. They were to study classics, mathematics, science and other 'difficult' subjects in preparation for GCE O and a level exams. Around 20% went here
Technical Schools Were intended for children with an aptitude for technical subjects. These schools emphasised vocational training and technical skills and were attended by around 5% of the population.
Secondary Modern Schools These children were seen as less academic and more practical. They were given a basic education with little opportunity to take external examinations until CSEs - a lower level exam - were introduced in the 1960s.
Conclusion The tripartite system was intended to provide separate but equal types of schooling geared to the particular talents of the child. The Act stated that each type of school should have equal status, or 'parity of esteem', with buildings, equipment and staffing being of similar quality. However these ideas did not work in practice.
Criticisms of the Tripartite system The 11 plus was unreliable - a young persons future could not be predicted by an 1Q test at 11. When secondary modern pupils were finally allowed to take GCSE O levels, some were getting better results than many grammar school pupils. -The selection process was unfair and wasteful - No parity of esteem (no equality) -Three quarters of students 'failed' / with this 'failure' came the danger of labelling and the self fulfilling prophecy. - Social class divisions
The comprehensive system Three into one - the tripartite system had provided three schools of unequal quality and unequal status. This simple solution would end inequality between schools. It promised equal opportunities for all young people to develop their talents and abilities in schools of equal status (IN COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS)
The development of comprehensives The labour government sent a circular to local authorities requesting them to submit plans to reorganise secondary education along comprehensive lines. When they came back into power, in 1979 over 80% of secondary schools pupils attended comprehensives.
The limitations of comprehensives There was a lot of hope riding on comprehensives. To some extent, this hope was justified. But it was too much to expect comprehensives to compensate for the inequalities in the wider society and provide equal opportunities for all.
Social class divisions supporters of comprehensive education hoped that class differences in educational attainment would be reduced by the comprehensive system. However, the remained largely unchanged. The examination results in general got better but the gap between top and bottom stayed more or less the same.
Breaking down class barriers Many of those who supported the comprehensive system looked forward to schools attended by pupils from across the entire social class spectrum. They hoped that this social mix would help to break down class barriers. HOWEVER, most comprehensives recruit from a local catchment area. Often, these areas are largely middle class or working class. As a result, many comprehensives are primarily 'single class' so tending to reinforce rather than break down existing class divisions.
Streaming and Setting Many comprehensives divide pupils into ability groups. A disproportionate number of middle class pupils are placed in the top streams and sets and a disproportionate number of working - class pupils in the bottom streams and sets. Some see this as another form of election not unlike the tripartite system.
Conservative Educational policy Lead by Margaret Thatcher - their aims were to - 1. Develop an educational system which met the needs of the industry 2. Raise Standards throughout britains schools and colleges.
The new vocationalism Until the 1970s - vocational training and training for work was seen as a responsibility for employers. However, schools were producing people who lacked skills required by the industry. And the industry in return was suffering from a skills shortage.
Training schemes Conservative governments introduced a number of training schemes for young people and also offered young people the chance to take vocational qualifications.
Vocational Qualification They allowed young people to keep their options open rather than specialise in a particular occupation. Such as, Art, Business, Health and social care have now been replaced by vocational a levels and gcses.
The new vocationalism - evaluation Jobs not training are needed - A number of critics argued that youth unemployment was sue to a lack of jobs, not to a lack of skills. The problem was with the economy now with young people and their education (Finn)
Quality and relevance of training Phil Cohen - Many trainees spent most of their time 'running errands' and 'being useful'. Few received any real occupational training, most were a source of cheap labour.
A second best option Middle class students usually avoided youth training, seeing it as a second best option to staying on at school or college. In practice, Youth Training students tended to be young people from WC backgrounds who couldn't get a job. It has been argued that Youth Training was training for the less able which channelled them into low status, low paid occupations (Lee)
Status of vocational qualifications Traditionally vocational qualifications have been seen as inferior to GCSEs and A levels. The introduction of NVQs and GNVQs may have improved their status. Vocational GCSEs and Vocational A levels may continue this improvement.
Raising Standards The first aim, was to make education more responsive to the needs of industry. The second major aim was to raise standards throughout Britain's schools and colleges. The aim was to create an education market place in which the providers - schools and colleges - completed and the consumers - parents and students - made choices. This would drive up standards since the consumers would choose successful schools, leaving unsuccessful schools to go out of business.
Education Reform Act 1988 - established the national curriculum for all state schools in England and wales and a national system of testing and assessment. -it reduced the role of local education authorities by giving greater control to individual schools and their governing bodies. -It established city technology colleges and grant maintained schools both independent and local authority control.
Competition and choice Parental choice means that schools will compete in order to attract pupils and money and in the process standards of education will rise.
Grant Maintained schools are created when sufficient parents vote to withdraw the school from local authority control. They are financed directly by central government. They are self governing and governors and head teachers taking decisions about the employment and staff, the curriculum, the provision of goods and services and the way pupils are selected for entry. The idea was to free schools to specialise - for example, in a particular subjects or particular types of pupils such as the 'more academically able'. In this way, the choice for parents was seen to be widened.
City technology colleges For 11 to 18 year olds are financed by central government and private sector sponsorship. Located mainly in inner city areas, they teach the national curriculum while concentrating on maths, science and technology.
The national curriculum The government told teachers in England and Wales exactly what to teach. From the age of 5 - 16 all pupils in state schools must study three core subjects / english maths and science / and seven foundation subjects. Pupils were tested in the core subjects by SATS and these results provided parents with information on which to judge the performance of schools.
League Tables All state secondary schools were required were required to publish the results of their SATS, GCSEs and A levels. Local and national 'league tables' of schools were based on these results. They provided parents with information on which to base their choice of school. They were also intended to encourage competition between schools by spurring head teachers and staff to improve their position in the league.
Evaluation of Conservative Policy!!! Choice - Do parents have a real choice? Popular schools are likely to be full, or to have only limited places. Where places are available, it is the articulate middle class parents with their social and cultural capital who tend to obtain them. Schools have more choice than parents - they are more likely to choose middle class pupils to keep their rank in the league tables. Therefore, what choice exists is not equal - it operates on class lines and favours the middle class (Smith and Noble)
League Tables Parents often look closely at examination results when assessing and choosing schools. But a simple league table which ranks schools in terms of results can be very mis leading. There is evidence that some of the best schools in Britain do poorly on this kind of league table. These schools, often in run down inner city areas, are achieving extremely good results given the social background of their pupils. They may be doing a far better job than schools well above them in the league table.
Selection There is some evidence of selection on academic on academic and social grounds in popular schools. They may be reluctant to accept pupils with special needs, low academic ability or so-called behaviour problems, seeing them as a threat to their standing in the league tables.
Marketing Schools Increased competition has led to schools using a variety of marketing strategies to present themselves in an attractive and positive light. These include glossy brochures, mission statements, open evenings and adverts in the local press. The resources devoted to marketing mean that less money is available to spend on things which directly benefit pupils - for example, teachers and textbooks. (Gewirtz) However this emphasis on marketing has it's benefits. Schools now give more attention to academic standards, to pastoral care, to discipline, and the state of their buildings. In the words of one researcher, schools have had to 'address their academic weaknesses and capitalise on their strengths'
Labour educational policy 1997 - 2008 Diversity and Choice - In many ways the labour government continued the conservatives policies of diversity and choice which were based on New Right thinking.
Modernisation and comprehensives Tony Blair REJECTED what he called the 'one-size-fits-all' idea of comprehensive education. He saw the existing comprehensive system as providing the same type of school for everyone. Schools should reflect the diversity of young people - their particular aptitudes and talents, and their varying abilities.
Specialist Schools To provide centres of excellence and expertise in particular subject areas. They are intended to raise standards of teaching and learning in these subjects.
Diversity within schools The diversity of aptitude and ability must also be reflected within schools. Tony Blair rejected mixed ability groups arguing that ability grouping is the best way of making sure that all pupils progress as far and fast as they can.
Evaluation (similar to conservative)
Competition and League tables Labour accepted their view that competition between schools would raise standards and they also accepted league tables. An additional based on social factors was introduced. This measure indicates what pupils might be expected to achieve given their social background. It means that schools in low - income areas with average exam results might score highly because their results are better than expected to view off the background of their students.
Evaluation Despite alternative league tables parents tend to accept the original measure - exam results. This encourages schools to prioritise results and 'teach to the test' rather than improving understanding and developing a wide range of talents.
Equal of Opportunity Sure Start - this programme is aimed mainly at pre-school children and their families in disadvantaged areas of England. It assumes that the early years are vital to a child's future and looks to improve their health, education and job prospects. It provides home visits, play centres and financial help for childcare.
Evaluation Sure Start Sure Start is difficult to evaluate because each local programme is different and only short term results are available. It's effects may only become apparent in early adulthood.
Education Action Zones These zones were located in deprived urban areas with low levels of educational attainment. Each zone was given 1 million to spend. Teachers and schools were encouraged to be flexible and innovative - for example, running saturday classes and a variety of work related courses.
Evaluation - Education action zones ploughed money and energy into disadvantaged areas, they encouraged innovation, and brought together expertise from local and national government. An Ofsted report found some improvement but no change at key stage 3 or GCSE. Like similar experiments in the 1960s such as Educational priority areas, EAZs may fail to make up for the economic and social disadvantages of pupils from low - income, inner city areas.
Excellence in cities This programme steadily replaced education action zones. It aimed to raise standards in low income inner city areas by providing: 1. Resources to stretch the most able pupils 2. Learning mentors to support and work with pupils 3. City learning centres with high quality ICT facilities 4. Encouragement for schools to specialise and network with neighbouring schools 5. Learning support units within schools for pupils at risk of exclusion.
Academies The aim of academies is to raise achievement in deprived areas by replacing poorly performing secondary schools or by providing new school places where they are needed. They are sponsored by individuals, businesses, faiths and charities and city education authorities.
Evaluation In terms of GCSE results academies are doing well. In most cases they have achieved better results than schools they replaced. They have improved at a faster rate than other secondary schools, and in terms of value added measures they are doing better than the average secondary schools. However their performance in 16-19 educations is well below the national average. Critics claim that the improvement at GCSE is largely due to extra money pumped in by central government and to academies taking fewer pupils with special needs or behavioural problems. (Tomlinson)
Further and Higher education Labour has attempted to reduce inequality of educational opportunity by increasing 1) The number of students and 2) The proportion of working class students in FE AND HE and it has succeeded in increasing numbers However labour has failed to raise the proportion of working class students in higher education.
Loans and tuition fees The widening class gap in higher education may have something to do with the replacement of grants by student loans and the introduction of tuition fees in 1998. A survey of nearly 2000 prospective higher education students found that fear of debt was greatest among students from low income backgrounds. And students who were afraid of debt were four times less likely to go on to higher eduction (Callender and Jackson)
Vocational education and training 1. to provide the training needed for a high wage/high skill economy, so that the UK can compete successfully in world markets. 2. to reduce unemployment, particularly for young people.
The new deal Labour introduced the New Deal in 1998. It offered education and training for young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who had been out of work for more than six months. It was later extended to older people. It provided personal advisors who offered direction and support to the unemployed, guiding them through the various options - academic courses, vocational training, self employment and voluntary work.
Globalisation and equal opportunity it is crucial for Britain to be able to compete successfully in the global economy. This means developing the talents of and teaching high level skills to all young people.
Conclusion Many sociologists believe that changes in the educational system are unlikely to reduce the attainment gap between the middle and working classes. They argue that a reduction in inequality in the wider society is necessary to reduce inequality in the wider society is necessary to reduce inequality of educational opportunity and close the class attainment gap.
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