• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the view that the main aim of educational policy is to reduce social class inequality

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the view that the main aim of educational policy is to reduce social class inequality One of the first pieces of education-related legislation goes back as far as 1870, when Free State education was introduced. Although school attendance wasn't compulsory, it did offer children from less privileged backgrounds the opportunity to attend school for free. This is clearly an education policy reducing social class inequality, as it is allowing those having no money being allowed to attend school without having to pay. A second piece of education policy that could be said to have a main aim of reducing social class inequality is The Education Act of 1944. Before this, only the middle class children could go to grammar schools and receive prestigious education due to the cost. However, The Education Act of 1944 introduced the 11+ exam and the 'Tri-partite system'. All children sat the 11+ exam. Those who passed could go to grammar school, those who failed went to secondary moderns, and those with special abilities went to the secondary technicals. This meant that even if a working class child didn't have any money, but successfully sat the 11+ exam, they could then go onto grammar school. ...read more.

Middle

Obviously, the middle class children will not have to worry about money or paying for things, as their parents can pay for everything. However, working class children aren't as financially well off. This often means that they have to work part time in order to support their studies, which in turn effects their education, as they can't spend valuable time studying and doing homework. So in order to reduce money issues and allow children to focus on their education, giving them the same chance as middle class children, EMA was introduced for households on under �30,000 p.a. and free school meals made available. This meant that children could receive a weekly payment whilst studying for their A levels. The introduction of academy schools in 2000 by Tony Blair is also an example of educational policy reducing social class inequality. The academies were established in order to drive up standards by replacing failing schools in struggling education authorities. Inevitably, the previous failing schools would have been attended by working class children, so the academies gave them a chance to improve their education. A report by PWC in July 2007 found attainment in academies is improving at a faster rate than comparable schools and the national average and pupils are doing better overall at key stage 3, GCSE and post-16 levels. ...read more.

Conclusion

A final educational policy introduced with the main aim of reducing social class inequality was the Assisted Places Scheme. The Assisted Places Scheme was established in the UK by the Conservative government in 1980. Children who could not afford to go to fee-paying independent schools were provided with free or subsidised places - if they were able to score within the top 10-15% of applicants in the school's entrance examination. By 1985, the scheme catered for some 6,000 students per year. This is clearly a policy that helped to improve class equality, as placements at top schools were based on reward and merit, rather on finance, something which the working class lack. Overall, over the past century there have been many policies which have helped to reduce social class inequality. However, it isn't always positive. For example, the replacement of grants with loans may have deterred working-class students from entering higher education, as those from poorer backgrounds are more likely to fear getting into debt. In addition, there are many factors that can affect educational achievement outside of the classroom, such as problems at home. Educational policies can only help to improve educational experiences within school, and are not always successful (e.g. Marketization of education). ?? ?? ?? ?? AS Sociology 15th March 2010 Education Chris Cartwright ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Identify current patterns of ill health and inequality in the UK. Explain probable ...

    7 Routine Occupations 28% 25% Class 8 never worked and long term unemployed 31% 28% This chart shows that the higher socio-economic group the least likely you are to smoke, it also shows that more men smoke than women. * Ethnic group- Smoking rates vary considerably between ethnic groups and between men and women within these groups.

  2. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    Racism has a massive psychological effect of the well being of the children". My conclusion is that Racism is a massive factor that affects so many ethnic minority children.

  1. Education social policy. Key changes in the development of education; such as the ...

    However the system became fraught with problems; one being the inequality it sustained. Grammar schools became disproportionately middle class, whilst the majority of working class children were allocated to secondary moderns; which did not offer the chance to obtain qualifications as the grammar schools did.

  2. Outline and assess sociological explanations for class inequality.

    Another theory which sociologists have developed to explain class inequality is very structural. They explain class inequality as being embedded in the structures, institutions and practices of society. They disagree with the functionalist view that inequality of talent causes class divisions and argue that inequality is the result of social

  1. Explain the influence of social class and gender on educational achievement

    such as the extent to which others support the label and the context in which the labeling takes place. Furthermore research by Bird (1980 cited in sociology in focus) found that 'academic labels' were more likely to be accepted than 'behavioural labels'.

  2. Should we assume that stratification is natural and therefore inevitable? Is class merely about ...

    In class system inequalities are not based on personal relationship such as between slave and master or lower and higher class individual. The major difference of inequality is of pay and working conditions. There is absolute poverty which relates with physical poverty and lack of fundamental requirements, absolute poverty can

  1. Introduction to social policy-To what extent is social policy fair?

    failed to conform by not achieving in terms of societys meritocratic value system, and so functionalists believe this is to blame on the individual members of ethnic minorities and not to blame on social policy. Evidence that I came across that supports the view that social policy is not fair

  2. Outline and assess the impact of the 1988 Education Reform Act

    One aspect would be the ?funding formula?; this procedure involves giving a school the same amount of funds for each of their student. This his can have an affect on working class children?s education because if the other schools have a higher fund due to parent?s choosing that school because

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work