Educational Policy and Inequality
Educational Policy and Inequality
refers to introducing market forces of consumer choice and competition between suppliers into areas run by the state. have created a market by - reducing direct state control over education. - increasing both competition between schools and parental choice of schools.
policies to promote marketization include: - publication of league tables and Ofsted inspection reports that rank each school according to its exam performance and give parents the information they need to choose the right school. - Business sponsorship of schools. - open enrolment, allowing successful schools to recruit more pupils. - specialist school, specialising in IT, Languages ect, to widen parents choice. - Formula funding, where schools receive the same amount of funding for each pupils. - schools being allowed to opt out of local authority control. - schools having to compete to attract pupils. - introduction of tuition fees for higher education. - allowing parents and others to set up free schools.
The reproduction of inequality -
despite the claim of marketization its critics argue that it has increased inequalities.
League tables and cream-skimming -
the policy of publishing each school's exam results in a league tables ensures that schools that achieve good results are more in demand. - cream-skimming 'good' schools can be more selective, choose their own customers and recruit high achieving, mainly middle-class pupils. so pupils gain advantage. - silt-shifting 'good' schools can avoid taking less able pupils who are likely to get poor results and damage the school's league table position.
The funding formula -
Shoos are allocated funds by a formula on how many pupils they attract. as a result, popular schools get more funds and so can afford better-qualified teachers and better facilities. and attract more ambitious children.
Privileged-skilled choosers -these were mainly professional middle-class parents who used their economic and cultural capital to gain educational capital for their children. being prosperous, confident and well educated. - Disconnected-local choosers these were working-class parents whose choices were restricted by their lack of economic and cultural capital. - semi-skilled choosers these parents were mainly working-class, but unlike disconnected-local choosers, they were ambitious for their children.
The myth of parentocracy
marketization legitimates it by concealing its true causes and by justifying its existence. Ball thinks marketization gives the appearance of a parentocracy, he says it is only an appearance. Gwirrtz says middle-class is better off at choosing school.
New labour and inequality
- Designating some deprived areas as education action zones and providing them with additional resources. - the aim higher programme to raise the aspirations of groups who are under-represented in higher education. - Education maintenance allowances: payments to students from low-income backgrounds to encourage them to stay on after 16 to gin better qualifications. -introduction of the National literacy strategy, literacy and numeracy hours, and reducing primary school class to disadvantaged groups so help to reduce inequality. - City academies were created to give a fresh start to struggling inner-city schools with mainly working class. - increased funding for state education.
The privatisation of education
involves of public assets such as schools to private companies.
Blurring the public/private boundary
Many senior officials in the public sector, such as directors of local authorities and head teachers. these companies then bid for contracts of provide services to schools and local authorities.
Privatisation and the globalisation of education policy
Many private companies in the education services industry are foreign-owned. The edexcel is owned by the us educational publishing.
The cola-isation of schools
the private sector is also penetrating education indirectly. this process has been called the cola-isation of schools. according to Molnar (2005) schools have been targeted by private companies because schools nature carry enormous goodwill and can thus confer legitimacy on anything associated with them. (product endorsement)
Education as a commodity
a fundamental change is taking place in which privatation is becoming the key factor shaping educational policy. is increasingly focused on moving educational services out of the public sector controlled by the national-state, to be private companies instead. Privatisation means that the state is losing its roe as the provider of educational services.
Policies on gender and ethnicity
in the 19th century, females were largely excluded from higher education. since the 1970s policies such as GIST have been introduced to try to reduce gender differences in subject choice.
policies aimed at rising the achievements of children from minority ethnic backgrounds have gone through several phases:
- focused on the need for pupils from minority ethnic groups to assimilate into mainstream British culture is a way of raising their achievement. -
policies through the 1980s and into the 190s aimed to promote the achievements of children from minority ethnic groups by valuing all cultures in the school curriculum. -
of pupils from minority ethnic groups, and policies to raise their achievements, became thee focus in the late 1990s. - detailed monitoring of exam results by ethnicity. - Amending the race relations act to lace a legal duty on schools to promote racial equality. - help for voluntary Saturday schools in the black community. - English as an additional language programmes.
Coalition government policies from 2010
The conservative-liberal democrat government elected in 2010 accelerated the move away from an education system based largely on comprehensive schools run by local authorities.
all schools were encouraged to leave local authority control and become academies. funding was taken from local authority budgets and given directly to academies by central government, and academies were given control over their curriculum. by 2012, over half of all secondary schools had converted to academy status. some are run by private educational businesses and funded by the state.
Although funded directly by the state, free schools are set up and run by parents, teachers, faith organisation or businesses rather than the local authority. supports say they improve educational standards by taking control away from the state.
promoting academies and free schools has led to both increased fragmentation and increased centralisation of control over education provision in England. - fragmentation the comprehensive system is being replaced by a patchwork of diverse provision, much of it involving private providers, that leads to greater inequality in opportunities. - centralisation of control central government alone has the power to allow or require schools to become academies or allow free schools to be set up.they are funded directly by central government.
Coalition policies and inequality
-free school meals for all children in reception, year one and year two. - the pupil premium money that schools receive for each pupil from a disadvantaged background. but people have found that pupil premium is not spent to help pupils with bad backgrounds.
Selection: the tripartite system
Selection: the tripartite system -
From 1944 education began to be influenced by the idea of meritocracy - that individuals should achieve their status in life through their own efforts and abilities, rather than class. The education Act brought in the tripartite system, so called children were to be selected and allocated to one of three different types of secondary schools. these were to be identified by the eleven plus exam.
Grammar schools - offered an academic curriculum and access to non-manual jobs and higher education. they were mainly middle-class
Secondary modern schools - offered a non-academic, 'practical' curriculum and access to manual work for pupils who failed the eleven plus, mainly working-class.
technical schools - existed in a few areas only, so in practice it was more a bipartite than a tripartite system (justified inequality through the ideology that ability is unborn)
The comprehensive school system -
This system was introduced in many areas from 1965 onwards. it aimed to overcome the class divide of the tripartite system and make education more meritocratic. schools that all pupils within the area would attend. but it was left to local education authority to decide whether to go comprehensive and not all did.
Two theories of the role of comprehensives -
Marxists and functionalists see the role of education very differently. functionalists see it as fulfilling essential function such as social integration and meritocratic selection for future work roles. Marxists see education as serving the interests of capitalism by reproducing and legitimating class inequality. Functionalists argue that comprehensives promote social integration by bringing children of different social classes together in schools. Julienne Ford (1969) found little social class mixing.
Educational policy in Britain before 1988 - there were no state schools. education was available only to a minority. it was provided to the well-off people. in 1880 school was made compulsory from ages 5 - 13, in this period, the type of education children received depended on their class background. middle class got education to suit office jobs and working class got little education to equip them for factory work.