• 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 social policy has been to reduce social class inequality in education

Extracts from this document...


Assess the view that the main aim of social policy has been to reduce social class inequality in education Many governments of the last century have attempted to tackle the issue of class inequality through the education system. Both Labour and Conservative governments have aimed to reduce social exclusion through the provision of education to a wider section of society. The 1870 Education act provided free state education for the first time. Prior to this, the majority of working class families had been unable to afford the expensive private education that had served the wealthy upper class before. Although the 1870 act did provide new opportunities for the working class, it could be argued from a Marxist perspective that the act served more to reproduce class inequalities than reduce the gap between social classes. This could be the case, as the act was partly implemented to create a more suitable workforce for the new jobs created by the industrial revolution- the ruling classes needed competent employees in order to continue profiting from their labour. ...read more.


who received greater help in preparation for the test and benefited from being socialised into middle class norms and values. In addition to this, material deprivation meant that many working class children who did pass the test could not afford the transport or uniform costs of attending the nearest grammar school. In this respect, the tri-partite system failed to reduce social class inequality in education. Further educational reform came in 1965 under a Labour government, with the introduction of comprehensive schools. Comprehensive schools put students in different classes according to ability. They aimed to take an inclusive approach - all pupils in a local education authority were to attend the same type of school, regardless of potentially dividing factors such as social class. Many argue, however, that the 1965 act did not go far enough- private education is still an alternative option for more affluent families and divisions are often evident within schools due to streaming/banding/setting. ...read more.


Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a form of compensatory education designed to try and persuade more working class pupils to remain in school after 16. Up to �30 a week can be awarded to students from low income families, supposedly to be spend on educational resources, transport, lunches etc. Critics of EMA argue that the government use it as a way of reducing unemployment statistics by encouraging more young people into further education. There is also no control on how students spend the allowance, which could mean that it may not benefit their education anyway. All in all, there have been a number of changes to the British education system. Many have been instrumental in creating a more meritocratic society, although it can be argued that not all were in the best interests of working class students. However, it cannot be denied that the last century has seen a huge shift away from the educational system of the 19th century which only benefited the richest in society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Anna Gettings ...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. The education system is meritocratic

    not wasting talent but many social democrats believe this is not yet happening. Feminists believe that gender differences mean that the education system cannot be meritocratic because for good or for bad there are gender differences in attainment and because of such obvious differences they see that their can't be fairness.

  2. Changes in the social structure of education and its impact on class and gender ...

    were given increased funding to improve teaching practice. Foundation schools were allowed to set their own curriculum and the policy was to close 'failing schools' and replace them with city academies, established in partnership with private sponsors, located in disadvantaged areas and encourage to specialise in certain curriculum areas.

  1. Outline and assess sociological explanations for class inequality.

    He stated that such power could appear in a number of different ways, for Weber, class and inequality were merely one example of power, whereas Marx believed that ultimately all forms of power have economic origins. Weber argued that a group who shared an identity and acts as a community

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

    Also older people especially women are more likely to be victims of theft; this is likely to be due to their venerability. People from minority ethnic groups are at a greater risk of violent crime and racial harassment. Fear of crime can also be a cause of mental distress and social exclusion.

  1. Assess the view that the main function of education is to reproduce and legitimise ...

    this is right from the very foundation of society with young students at the early part of their life being taught ideological views. A flaw of this particular viewpoint on education is that the main emphasis is on a view of the students being irresponsive and ?passive puppets? which suggests that it is very deterministic.

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

    and most successful school available for their children, meaning that in order for the schools to attract the parents they would have to improve their standards in order meet the parent?s requirement. In a marketised education system public money is followed by parental choices, therefore it allows successful educational institutions

  1. Outline and assess the view that the role of the education system is to ...

    over their last 18 months at school, and their first few months at work. The main difference between Paul Willis?s theory and the Marxists theory is that, Willis believes that the education system failed to manipulate the personality of the pupils and create the ideal worker.

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

    persons having a definite status in society which permanently determines their relation to other groups[6]?. Social class include those people who share a common relationship to the means of production. The class system is universal in nature. It is found in almost all modern complex societies.

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