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Assess The View That The Comprehensive System, By Replacing The Tripartite System, Provided Greater Equality Of Opportunity For All Pupils.

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Assess The View That The Comprehensive System, By Replacing The Tripartite System, Provided Greater Equality Of Opportunity For All Pupils. The comprehensive system was brought in after criticisms of the Tripartite system were made. In this essay I am going to discuss the criticisms that were made about the Tripartite system and how the Comprehensive system attempted to overcome these problems. I will also outline the problems that the Comprehensive system encountered. The 11-plus was unreliable in saying how clever a pupil was at the early age of 11. It became increasingly clear that a young person's educational future could not be predicted by an IQ test at 11. When secondary modern pupils were finally allowed to take GCE O levels, some were getting better results than many grammar school pupils. In practice, many intelligent students failed the 11-plus and many less intelligent passed. One of the main reasons for this was that many less intelligent middle-class children got more family support for their school work (e.g. ...read more.


Three-quarters of students taking the 11-plus failed it. For most pupils, the alternatives at age 11 were a grammer or secondary modern school. There were relatively few technical schools. The 11-plus was intended as a selection device for allocating pupils to appropriate schools. It was soon seen as a pass/fail exam. Three-quarters of the school population failed and went to secondary modern schools. And with this failure came the danger of labelling and the self-fulfilling prophecy. Social class divisions still remained in British society. One of the main aims of the 1944 Butler Act was to widen educational opportunities for working-class pupils. But the class in education remained. Research indicates that two-thirds of boys from middle-class backgrounds went to grammer schools compared to only a quarter of boys from working-class backgrounds. From a social democratic perspective, everybody should have an equal chance to succeed. Clearly, the Tripartite system was not providing equality of educational opportunity. This was seen as both wrong and inefficient. A well-educated workforce leads to economic growth. The Tripartite system wasted talent. This reduced people's contribution to the economy, which meant that everybody suffers. ...read more.


Supporters of Comprehensive education hoped that class differences in educational attainment would be reduced by the Comprehensive system. In particular, they hoped that the examination results of working-class pupils would improve compared to those of middle-class pupils. Although the educational qualifications of all school leavers improved, class differences remained largely unchanged. In other words, examination results in general got better but the gap between top and bottom stayed more or less the same. Many of those who supported the Comprehensive system looked forward to schools attended by pupils from across the entire social class spectrum. They hoped that this social mix would help break down class barriers. However, most Comprehensives recruit from a local catchment area. Often, these areas are largely middle-class or working-class. As a result, many comprehensives are primarily single-class, so tending to reinforce rather than break down existing class divisions. Many Comprehensives divide pupils into ability groups, known as streaming. A disproportionate number of middle-class pupils are placed in the top streams and sets and a disproportionate number of working-class pupils in the bottom streams and sets. Some see this as another form of selection, not unlike the Tripartite system. ...read more.

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