• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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. Outline and Assess the Usefulness of Conflict Theories in Explaining Social Class Inequalities in ...

    Therefore, it can be argued that Neo-Weberian theory gives the same explanations for class inequality as Weberian theory. Weberian theory is not a reductionist as Marxist theory; Weberian theory looks are factors other that economic factors such as party and status.

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

    Although initially each school was supposed to have a mix of social classes, in practice the formation of 'catchment areas' meant that working class children tended to go to their nearest school in the 'working class area', usually inner cities, and middle class children went to the 'middle class school' in their area, in the suburbs.

  2. sociology of education

    There is evidence to suggest that young bright pupils, who are members of a poor family, are not achieving as well as less academically able students who are born into a wealthy family.

  1. Social Class and Education.

    I also aim to collect qualitative data because it's the typical data collection form that interpretivists take. I will firstly aim to undertake a Pilot Study of 3 pupils in comparison to 3 teachers. This will enable me to recognise and eliminate potential ethical and practical problems, so my interviews will be more successful for the real study.

  2. 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.

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

    the culture of wider society, and this all comes down to the matter that ethnic minorities are possibly not given equal opportunities and thus social policy can be proved to be unfair. Further research that I found on social policy with reference to race/ethnicity related issues, showed that ?Public expenditure

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

    to failure and therefore does not account for the success of the working class. Bourdieu does not acknowledge that working class pupils may choose to negotiate their way through the education system or may even reject the value of education.

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