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Analyse the main ways in which the government have sought to raise educational standards in Britain since 1979? (45)

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Analyse the main ways in which the government have sought to raise educational standards in Britain since 1979? (45) The compulsory education system was introduced by the labour party in order to get rid of ignorance which was one of the five evils that the welfare state aimed to fight. Traditionally there has been conflict between the two major parties of UK. The conservative wished competition and variety in education while the labour party had been in favour of comprehensive schools. Over the past few years the parties policies with regardto education have been similar and there has been a general consensus between the parties. This essay would aim to look at the measures taken by the government to improve and assess their effectiveness. One of the ways in which the government have sought to raise education standard is through the introduction of national curriculum which was passed as part of the education reform Act 1988. This Act specifically stated the subjects that needed to be taught in school between the ages of 5 to 16. It also stated the amount of time spent on each subject. ...read more.


This is because those schools were able to pursue their own education policies, but within the constraints of national curriculum. Schools also had power over staff recruitment and the funding of schools. Those schools would receive funding directing from the government rather than local authorities. In order to check the standards of schools a system of inspection was introduced which applied to all schools across the country. It provides a consistent inspection of schools based on same criteria. This reinforced national standards because the inspection treated all schools equally regardless. In 1990 when major came to power the standard attainment tests (SATs) was introduced as a way to improve educational standards. They were standard examination for all pupils in state schools at ages of 7, 11, 14 and 16. It provided a means by which children's performance could be monitored. It also allowed for performance of teacher and schools could be compared. It was an aid to the national curriculum as it ensured that standards set in the national curriculum was met. However critics have argued that the system made schools less effective and less creative. ...read more.


The target in schools is an example of this. Schools were given target to achieve. The targets required a minimum number of pupils to achieve the four attainment levels at four stages. This measure also aimed to raise educational standards through the means of competition. This is because school were encouraged to get the levels and therefore produce better results than other schools in order to attract consumers. However this may lead to a situation where schools refuse low ability students in order to minimise their chances of being closed. In conclusion the education standards have been raised by government polices since 1979. All of the policies had their strengths and limitations in achieving their aim. However because education is a complicated issue and not one which has been in the hand of politician for a long period of time different methods needed to be tested in order to decided which one delivered the most benefits. We cannot therefore blame government if not all the policies delivered maximum aid to the needs of people. However the parties could be blamed for making the system inconsistent and therefore restricting us from seeing whether a system worked or not. ...read more.

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