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Marketisation of education

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"The marketization of education (since 1988) has raised educational standards and equality of opportunity (and so undermined the Marxist view of the education system." Assess the accuracy of this statement. Some sociologists suggest that the best way to improve standards within school is to encourage competition. This may be competition between two schools, grades or also facilities. When labour came into power they kept some of the conservative educational policies. They allow for businesses to take over a failing school and take care of the finances of the school. This can promote equal opportunities if they actually turn the school around. This in turn would increase pupil's chances and results. However, if a business man took over he could influence the pupils because of his viewpoints and this could help to recycle class inequalities. Therefore, I feel that this is not a good thing as they are not specialised in running schools they just see it as an investment. Another policy that is still in place is league tables and the notion of parental choice. ...read more.


However, the New Right are afraid that this will diminish the "gold standard" associated with A-levels. I think this policy supports the Marxist view of the educational system because it is producing more workers that are skilled in more different areas. Also, by them being in education it will ensure the workers are obedient and hard-working. The national curriculum and testing has changed a lot. Everyone is now taught the same thing so that everyone is given the same chance of succeeding but the tests favour the middle class. This could be things like in a simple IQ test adding composer's names that the working class are not likely to know. By everyone learning the same things it helps the teachers not to be confused as they know what they are supposed to teach and it raises standards of teaching. Since 1988 teachers have been pushing pupils more and exam results have gone up. This shows that although all grades are going up there is still an equality gap between classes. ...read more.


Only 7% of the population go to a private school but 50-60% take up the Oxford and Cambridge places. This massively undermines the Marxist view as a state school pupil could be clever but be denied a chance just because of where they were educated. Another issue within state schools is there are the well-able students that are there to learn and just one or two selfish individuals disrupt the whole class affecting their learning. It reduces social cohesion as it may cause problems such as resentment that they weren't able to learn. Therefore, I feel that this undermines the Marxist view as it makes the workers less obedient if they are used to messing around at school. Overall, I feel that the present educational system and the policies alongside it do help raise standards but in most cases does not raise equal opportunities. This shows that class is replicated and shows that in the world of work you are not very likely to progress further than your parents. Generally I feel that the Marxist view of the education system is undermined and to a great extent in some areas of schools and further education. Sian Taylor Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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