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To what extent did comprehensive schools enable working class pupils to succeed?

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Introduction

C) To what extent did comprehensive schools enable working class pupils to succeed? Comprehensive schools enabled working class students to succeed because when there was the Tripartite System the majority of working class pupils would go to secondary modern schools as the 11+ test was favoured towards middle class experiences and language. Pupils attending secondary modern schools were seen as a student failing, this then affected the attention the students got at school, the opportunities open to the students and they also gained a low self-esteem. It also creates a "self believing prophecy" from low self esteem. In addition to that secondary modern schools only had a third of the funding with 80% of the population attending them. This meant that there were fewer qualifications to gain and less good qualified teachers, which in essences was preparing them for unskilled manual work. The tripartite system legitimated inequality through the ideology that ability is inborn rather than the products of the child's upbringing and ...read more.

Middle

Whilst in others, mostly middle class. In addition to that, many comprehensives were streamed into ability groups, where middle-class pupils tend to dominate the higher streams. Even where ability groups were not present, Ball argued that teachers continued to label working class pupils negatively and to restrict their opportunities. More recently, both Ball and Whitty have examined how the policy of marketisation also reproduces and legitimates inequality. Marketisation is largely the result of the 1988 Education Reform Act, which reduced direct state control and introduced market forces into education so as to create competition between schools and increase parental choice. They state that marketisation reproduces inequality through exam league tables and the funding formula. Publishing each schools exam results in a league table ensures that schools that achieve good results are more in demand, because parents are more likely to be attracted to schools with good league rankings. This allows these schools to be more selective and to recruit high-achieving, mainly middle class pupils. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is probably due to the fact that there are more courses available, unlike secondary modern. There are vocational courses accessible to those who are less academic. More courses mean that the students have more of a valid choice on what to choose and work on strengthening their abilities. This then helps them gain confidence. Not only is labelling by the teacher a negative thing but also could be used in a positive way, by encouraging pupils. Of course we have to take into account not only the internal facts but as well as the external factors. The external factors include home background. Because of this, there was a policy designed to tackle the problem of cultural deprivation by introducing "compensatory education" in deprived areas. They provided extra resources to schools and communities in such areas. The compensatory education programmes attempt to intervene early in the socialisation process to compensate children for the deprivation at home. This then gives the child a bigger chance to succeed at school, by being in higher ability class sets ect. ...read more.

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