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Education policies

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In the past there have been a lot of policies to try and change the educational system for the better. They have introduced the 1944 education act to try and give equal opportunities to pupils within a free system of state education. There was also the tripartite system that consisted of the three different types of secondary schools and the 11-plus exams. There were also other policies and they all tried to do the same thing; improve the education system to make it better for everyone to achieve good qualifications and get a good job in the labour market. They also tried to close the gap between the working class pupils and the upper class pupils. One policy that had the most significance during its time was the 1944 education act. After the 2nd WW, there was a debate about the kind of society that should follow the war. Education was significant in this debate. It was felt that the talents of people were not being made full use of, particularly working class. Changes were made in the education system to try and fix this. The act aimed to give equal opportunities to pupils to develop abilities to the full within a free system of state education. The act reorganized the structure of the education system in England and Wales into three stages. There was primary schools for 5-11 year-olds, then secondary schools for 11-15 year-olds and lastly further/higher education for anyone over the age of 15. ...read more.


child got into a secondary modern school, they would not let them stay there as they can afford for their child to go to public schools instead of a poorly rated state school. Also feminists would say that the tripartite system benefits the male pupils because the pass mark for the 11-plus exam was made higher for the female pupils than their counterpart males as they thought since that girls matured earlier, then their pass mark should be higher than that of boys. There are many criticisms of the tripartite system. These include the fact that there was no parity of esteem - secondary modern schools were seen as second rate by parents, pupils and employers. Grammar schools always had higher status because they specialized in academic subjects that led to well-paid, higher-status occupations. As a result, there was no parity of esteem - no equality of status - between the schools in the tripartite system. Another criticism is that although one of the aims of the 1944 education act was to widen educational opportunities for working class pupils. But the class divide in education remained. The study by Halsey et al indicates that two-thirds of boys from middle-class backgrounds went to grammar schools compared to only a quarter of boys from working-class backgrounds. The tripartite system was clearly not providing equality of educational opportunity. ...read more.


From this point of view parental choice means that schools will compete in order to attract pupils and (and money) and in the process standards of education will rise. In an attempt to offer real choice, the education reform act encouraged diversity. It introduced two new types of schools; grant maintained and city technology colleges. Grant maintained schools were self-governing and parents voted to withdraw the school from local authority control. Governors and headteachers made decisions on staff to employ, the curriculum, and the way pupils are selected for entry. The idea was to free schools to specialize - for example, in 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 were for 11 to 18 year-old and are financed by central government and the private sector sponsorship. Located mainly in the inner-city areas, they teach the national curriculum while concentrating on maths, science and technology. The downside to the city technology colleges was that sine they were governed by the private sector, they had a say in what went on in the schools. Marxists would still stick with their argument that everything benefits the upper class. This would still apply because even though there are all these new policies and new schools being introduced, it still doesn't change the fact that public schools still existed throughout this whole phase and will always continue to exist and while there are any public schools around, there will never be equality. ...read more.

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