Do Now
Which policies go under which heading?
Which policies benefit m/c and w/c?
Which policies do the following...
•reduce inequality,
•improve achievement,
•provide more choice,
•Increase marketisation,
•improve vocational training.
Education Policy
Coalition Government
(2010- present)
An attempt to improve education by making
schools and colleges compete for students in an
'education market'.
Key policies: 1988 Education Reform Act, Specialist
School status, Academies.
Academies are publicly funded schools which operate
outside of local authority control. The government
describes them as independent state-funded schools.
Essentially, academies have more freedom than other
state schools over their finances, the curriculum, and
teachers' pay and conditions.
A key difference is that they are funded directly by
central government, instead of receiving their funds
via a local authority. In addition, they receive money
which would previously have been held back by the
local authority to provide extra services across all
schools, such as help for children with special
educational needs.
What is the government's
vision for academies?
The coalition wants all schools to have
the chance to become academies,
including primary and special schools, as
part of an "education revolution". The
government says it aims to raise standards
for all children, narrow the attainment gap
between the most and least advantaged,
and create a "world-beating system".
What perspective does this link
The New Right- they are in favour of any
policy which moves the power into the
hands of schools, because they argue that
this will increase standards and give a better
choice to parents. However, moving the
curriculum (what will be taught) into the
hands of schools goes against their idea that
the national curriculum should teach shared
values- there is no guarantee of this if each
school is teaching something different
(particularly the case for religious schools).
What perspective does this link
New Labour- The first academies were
created by New Labour, but the policy
was slightly different. The academies had
sponsors (companies, universities,
charities) and they tended to be in
deprived areas. They are in favour of
policies which try to address inequality in
society, which academies may do.
What are the potential
problems with academies?
Labour and the big classroom teachers' unions
are the chief critics. Labour says the changes will
benefit more privileged neighbourhoods and that
the best schools will be able to "suck the best
teachers and the extra money", leaving those left
under local authority being regarded as second
 Critics also say that the ability of local councils to
provide extra services for schools such as help
for children with special educational needs will be
weakened if a lot of schools in an area become
What are the potential
problems with academies?
The NUT (National Union of Teachers) said the move
could spell the end of state-provided education and
the NASUWT (National Association of
Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) that it
could "segregate and fragment communities".
There have also been fears that the changes will give
too much freedom to faith schools or fundamentalist
agendas - for example that they would allow the
teaching of Creationism. These have been dismissed
by the Education Secretary Michael Gove. He says to
reach the necessary "funding agreement" with the
government; a school will have to show that its
curriculum is broad and balanced.
Free Schools
Free schools are schools which will be set
up by groups of parents, teachers, charities,
and trusts, religious and voluntary groups.
They will be set up as academies and will be
funded in the same way - directly from
central government.
They can appoint their own governing body
(the group of people who will make all the
important decisions about the school) and
can design their own curriculum without any
real interference from government.
Why do people have a problem
with free schools?
For much the same reasons as academies; people are fearful that
they will fragment communities, and will place too much power in
the hands of Governors, who will have very little ‘check’ upon their
Free schools also have the freedom to employ teachers who do
not have a teaching qualification, which some teachers’ unions think
could be a problem.
There is also an issue around who has chosen to set up free
schools. At the moment, it is mainly religious groups, and some
people have concerns over the potentially narrow/biased
curriculum that children at these schools may be taught.
Moreover, it could be argued that middle class parents have a
greater chance of setting up free schools, because they have the
advantage of cultural capital to help them in the complicated and
sometimes political process of setting up a school.
What perspectives does this
policy fit with?
The New Right would approve of this
idea; it is increasing choice for parents to
a greater degree- now, if they don’t like
the choice of schools available to them,
they can set up their own. This is the
ultimate parentocracy!
Introduction of the English
Baccaulaureate (or E-Bacc)
The E-Bacc is a way of measuring how
many students from a school leave with a
certain set of qualification. The measure
recognizes where pupils have secured a C
grade or better across a core of academic
subjects – English, mathematics, history or
geography, the sciences and a language.
Why was it introduced?
This measure enables parents and pupils to see
how their school is performing in these key
academic subjects.The government wants to
encourage more students to take these core
subjects. They argue that lots of schools were
encouraging children to take what they refer to as
‘non-academic’ subjects and this was putting
these students, who were usually from poor
backgrounds, at a disadvantage when it came to
applying for A-Level courses and University. They
want more schools to ensure that all children can
take the subjects which make up the E-Bacc, so
that more children have a core set of ‘traditional’
subjects at GCSE level.
Why are some people critical
of it?
Some people see the introduction of the
E-Bacc, and the subjects it includes, as
‘turning back the clock’ in education.
Critics see it as a way of slowly getting rid
of vocational subjects and even subjects
like Business Studies or Sociology (!)
which are newer to the curriculum.
Compulsory education to the age of
 Increased OFSTED inspections
 Higher entry requirements for
 Increased university fees
The end of EMA
Increased contributions from
Next Lesson
Exam Questions
 Outline
and assess the view that
government policy since 1988 has
increased inequality in education (50)
 Outline and assess the view that
education policies have raised standards
since 1988 (50)
 Outline and assess the success of
educational policies in the UK since
1997. (50)