Free Essay


In: Other Topics

Submitted By B1onic
Words 1269
Pages 6
Government and Politics Homework
The post war history of English education is simply the story of a lengthy struggle between egalitarians and meritocratic. Discuss
The English education has always been a topic of debate between the two political sides of spectrum and no more so than the struggle between egalitarians and meritocratic. Egalitarians believe that the education system should be rewarding for all and the meritocratic approach has been one where the education system should be a fight for the best e.g. you achieve the best based on merit and hard work, both have underlying flaws when either approach has been taking to policy.
One of the first changes to the English education system came in the 1944 Education act also known as the Butler act brought to power by R.A. Butler conservative politician. This education act changed the English system in the following way; changes to secondary schools meant that there were a tripartite system in place which consisted of 3 types of schools and these schools were Grammar schools only the very few 15% made it into them these schools consisted of a very hard work ethic towards education whereas the secondary modern was a very basic approach compared to the grammar school as they only focussed on woodwork basic arithmetic and basic understanding of other subjects, the third school was the technical schools and these were created slightly later but focused solely on employment for the students so they would learn skills to get jobs at the end of education. Students had to stay onto education until the age of 15 later changed to 16 in 1970s, to determine which school students went to all students at the age of 11 had to partake in the 11 plus exam and the top 15% would go to grammar schools about 80% went to secondary modern and roughly 5% went to technical schools. Overall the butler act was very much a meritocratic approach to education as it emphasised the importance of the 11 plus and made students compete with each other for the best education so this survival of the fittest approach very much stemmed from traditional Conservativism ideology. On paper the idea seemed good but there were very much faults with this approach as many thought particularly the labour party at the time that the 11 plus was culturally biased meaning that it favoured the middle class and this was in relation to questions such as “Who’s the odd one out” referring to an anagram of composers and phycology thinker Freud and not many working class children would understand this so the majority of children who managed to make it into grammar schools where from a middle class background there was also questions about the meritocracy of the system as there wasn’t any room for growth as the majority of students who got placed in those schools stayed in the schools so ultimately the achievement of education was defined at the age of 11 and many disagreed with this and results and progress were ultimately unfavourable to grammar schools as majority of students who went to grammar schools got into universities compared to secondary modern and technical schools. Although these three schools were available to everyone via the results of the 11 plus many middle class and affluent parents whose children failed to make the grammar schools decided to pay for public schools to take their child which ultimately undermined the meritocratic principle of the tripartite system as working-class parent cannot do this. So overall the tripartite system was meritocratic up to the age of 11 and even so kept a relative cultural reproduction system as middle class students went to grammar and public schools getting the best results and working class students went to secondary modern and technical schools getting lesser results.
As the tripartite system was seen to be the conservative’s idea toward a meritocratic system the 1965 education act saw labour introduced their take on a more fair and egalitarian approach to education as they removed the tripartite system and introduced this comprehensive school system which was referred to as “one school for all” the idea of this was to stop the culturally biased 11 plus and grammar schools and create a system where everyone goes to the same school so in theory no one will have an educational advantaged and the ones who achieve the best grades achieved them fairly so in essence everyone has the same education. But like the Butler act this to had faults as Public schools were still available to the affluent families so the purchase for education was still available to undermine this equal approach and because all students with differentiated ability were lumped together many saw students not achieve their potential as they were in classes which didn’t let them excel so it limited the growth of the individuals students this therefore created a weaker job sector for the future. So in all the comprehensive act was an egalitarian approach to education which made schools take no relevance to wealth or educational attainment ability when accepting a student.
In 1988 Margaret Thatcher’s Parliament introduced a new Educational system change and her party took a more meritocratic role and thoroughly emphasised on the idea of choice. The 1988 educational act introduced; A national curriculum this meant all schools follow the same process for what to learn and study and this meant that when it came to results everyone sat the same or similar exams making it fairer for the students who compete against each other, the system also introduced key stages so each year has a set of objectives for students to learn up to key stage 3 where gcse were taught and certificated were given out based on them. The gcse created a huge deal for schools and particularly parent as with the introduction of colleges for students to learn a more vocational course parents had a greater deal of power and not schools anymore as schools would compete for the best A*-C grades as this meant that more parents would send their children their but the problem with this is that schools who did not have the best grades would be given students who had little attainment ability and thus a cycle of underachievement was created meaning that all the best schools would be filled with the best students and the lesser schools would have lesser students and this was seen to undermine the education system as many students weren’t given the same chance compared to other schools as teacher in the lesser schools would teach at slower rate due to the students in the school and ultimately lead to inadequate learning.
In Conclusion post war English education has been the story of a lengthy battle between Egalitarians and meritocratic and this is due to the conflicts between political ideologies e.g. the right wing Conservativism and meritocratic and the left wing Socialism and equality so the policies created by the party in power would have been influenced directly because of this only until the late 201th century and modern society have we seen a tradition acceptation of predominately meritocratic or Neo Liberal approach to education introduced through tony Blair’s Labour government where he strongly argued that Education Education Education is the most important for society and taking similar policies to Margaret thatcher regarding academy and stateless controlled schools, so overall in today’s society with social political consensus of neo liberalism policies will be centred around this and policies will always be centred around the political ideology of who creates them.

Similar Documents

Free Essay


...TO OUR FRIENDS NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE BAR MITZVAH Bar Mitzvah is an expression that means “subject to the commandments,” meaning that an individual is old enough to take personal responsibility for fulfilling and celebrating the laws of the Torah.  This traditionally occurs in his 13th year. By reading from the Torah, saying the blessing for the reading, and by helping to lead the service, the Bar Mitzvah will show he has acquired the knowledge and skill to accept this responsibility and its privileges. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is not itself a religious service. That is, the Sabbath services are not being conducted because of the Bar Mitzvah. The reverse is true: The boy marks the fact that he is a Bar Mitzvah by participating in the Sabbath service. If no one was celebrating a Bar Mitzvah, the services would still be conducted and the portions read by the boy would be read by another adult member of the congregation. The Sabbath service at Congregation Tifereth Israel is a traditional service conducted almost entirely in Hebrew, the Jewish language of prayer. The form and structure of the service are 1,800 to 2,000 years old, with some sections dating back 2,500 years. For example, the "Musaf" service dates almost to the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. and was written to replace the sacrificial ceremony in the temple. (It is interesting to note that the synagogue itself, as an institution, dates to that event, when the Jews were...

Words: 1935 - Pages: 8