Assess the view that improvisation policies since 1988 have increased opportunities and achievement for all pupils in education ‘Educational policy refers to the plans and strategies for education introduced by government, for example through Acts of Parliament, together with instructions and recommendation to schools and local education authorities (cited in Webb et al). In this essay I will therefore be assessing the relationship between inequality and educational policy. In the late 18th and early 19th century, education was only available to a small number of the population.
Education was mostly offered to those who had money by taking them to private tutors. On the other hand, some of the poor were still offered education. This was held by the charities and churches. Besides, before 1833, the government decided to not spend public money on education. Seeing as then, the government has become gradually more involved in education. Also, its policies now have a massive impact on pupils’ opportunities and achievements in the near future. There are some educational policies that the government has put in place that have helped in reducing the difference between the rich and the poor when it comes to achievements.
Nonetheless, there are still some policies that have helped in maintaining and Justifying gender, class and inequalities. Similarly, in the late sass, the education that children received was based in their class background (rich or poor). Then again, schooling didn’t do much to change pupils’ class status. Middle- class pupils were given an academic set of courses to prepare them for careers in the working world. In contrast, higher-class pupils were given more educational support compared to lower classes in order to provide them with fundamental innumeracy and iterate skills needed for routine work and as a result go to a professional path.
Reflecting the growing importance of education, in 1880, the government came up with a decision in making education compulsory to children aged 5-13. Furthermore, in 1994, education brought in the tripartite system because children were to be selected and allocated to one of the 3 different types of secondary school, evidently according to their skills and abilities. These were to be known by the 11+ exam, which was taken by every child of the age 1 1 . As well, grammar schools offered an academic auricular and access to higher education.
Grammar schools were only offered to those who achieved the 11+ with academic skills. The majority of these pupils were from the middle-class. Moreover, secondary modern schools offered a non-academic yet practical curriculum and access to physical work for pupils who failed 11+. Surprisingly, these pupils were mainly in the working-class. The tripartite system and 11+ reproduced class inequality by separating the 2 social classes into 2 different types of school that offered totally different opportunities. The system also reproduced gender inequality.
This was done by discriminating against girls and often relying on them to gain higher grades than boys in the 11+ exam in order to Assess the view that improvisation policies since 1988 have increased opportunities and achievement for all pupils in education By ominous and class inequality through this idea. In 1965, the comprehensive system was introduced and it was aimed to overcome the barrier of class inequality and divide of the tripartite system. This comprehensive system was also introduced in order to make education more achievable.
The 11+ was put to an end along with grammars and secondary moderns. It was over as it was to be replaced by comprehensive schools so that all pupils within the area would attend. Besides, there is evidence that comprehensive schools helped to reduce the class gap in achievement. However, on the down side, the system continued to reproduce class inequality. In many comprehensives schools were ran into ability groups, with middle-class students placed in higher streams and working-class students in streams.
Douglas shows that streaming can lead to predictions in which the achievements of students in lower streams go down and those in higher streams tend to develop. Ball shows that although when streaming is not present, teachers may continue to label working- class pupils negatively and limit their opportunities. Comprehensives also support inequality, especially through the ‘myth of meritocracy. Since all pupils now went to the same school, it shows that they all had an equal opportunity regardless of class background.
Additionally, in 1988, the Conservatives government (Margaret Thatcher) introduced the Education Reform Act (ERA). This act established the principle of improvisation in education favored by the New Right. Improvisation refers to the recess of introducing market forces of consumer choice and competition between providers into areas run by the government, such as education or the NASH. ERA created an education market by reducing direct local council control over education and increasing both competition between schools and the parent’s choice of schools. More so, the New Right favors improvisation.
They argue that the government’s control leads to low values, inefficiency and lack of choice for parents. On the contrary, improvisation means that schools are run more like business that have to attract parents, who are seen as customers, by competing with each other in the market. Miriam David (1993) describes improvisation as a protectorate which is means ‘rule by parents’. This is because supporters of improvisation argue that in an education market, power is lost away from the chief executive officer to the students and parents. They claim that improvisation supports diversity among schools.
This is because it gives parents more choice; it also meets the needs of different pupils and raises standards and values. For example policies to promote improvisation include; publication of exam league table (nationally), Offset inspections and reports etc. Improvisation not only reproduces inequality but also accepts it by preventing its right causes and by Justifying its existence. Besides, Ball believes that improvisation gives the appearance of creating a ‘protectorate as well as Miriam David (1993). However, Ball argues that protectorate is not real but a simple myth.
Since 1997, the labor government have required both to decrease equality of achievement and encourage greater diversity, competition and choice. This is why they introduced the Competition law. More so, the Labor Party had focused more on promoting equality. After 1997, Labor governments introduced numerous policies aimed specifically at reducing inequality in achievement. This was done by targeting support on lacking groups such as designating some deprived areas e. G. Education Action Zone as well aspirations of groups who are under-represented in higher education.
Moreover, Education Maintenance Allowance is available to those who need it as a means of payment to students from low-income backgrounds and also to encourage them to stay and finish all educational sectors in order to gain excellent qualifications. In addition, Labor governments introduced policies to raise achievements in people and standards more generally, such as the National Literacy Strategy; literacy and innumeracy hours and reducing primary school class sizes. It is claimed that these policies are of greater benefit to lacking groups and so help reduce inequality.
More so, since 1997, Labor government has also aimed to promote greater diversity and choice. To promote diversity and choice, they have introduced a number of policies. For example, secondary schools were encouraged to apply for specialist school status in particular curriculum areas. By 2007, about 85% of all secondary schools had become specialist school. It is debated that specialist schools offer parents a greater choice and raises standards of achievement by allowing schools to build on their child’s strength and abilities.
Result has showed that specialist schools have exceeded those in non-specialist schools. However, it is uncertain whether this has reduced inequality between different social groups. Kenneth Thompson (1992) argues that in postmodern society, schools can overcome from the ‘oppressive uniformity of the old centralized ‘one size fit all’ mass education system, where all schools were expected to be the same. However, critics of postmodernism argue that it neglects the importance of inequality in education. Educational policies reforms were introduced under the former education secretary Michael Gave.
These changes have led some people to stress as we have witnessed the principal reforms in education since the Tripartite System. In fact, it could be insisted that both the policy of school academies and free schools have recovered the culture of the Tripartite System and save the 11+ examination. More so, in theses, females were mainly excluded from higher education. More recently, under the tripartite system, girls often had to achieve a higher mark than boys in the 11+ in order to obtain a grammar school place as they were relied on.
There have also been polices aimed at raising the achievements of children from minority ethnic backgrounds. An example would be the multicultural education policies which aimed to promote the achievements of children in the school curriculum, in that way raising minority in children’s’ self- esteem and achievement. However, Maureen Stone (1981) argues that black students do not fail for lack of self-esteem, so EMCEE is wrong. To conclude, many policies can also have an impact on other differences in achievements such as gender and ethnicity.
We can see that these differences had a major impact in pupils in both the past and present. Several laws were invented throughout time. However, although the discrimination act (1995) and the Equality Act (2010) were introduced by politicians, there are many citizens in particular pupils who are affected by discrimination. Besides, it is clear to see that improvisation policies have increased opportunities and achievement for all pupils and children in education as there has been programmer for students to improve education from the New Labor.