Part One – An overview of the development of
Education in the UK which makes reference to key legislation and policy.
Part Two – An overview of a contemporary issue in education and an analysis of how the issue has been informed by historical perspectives.
Education aims to develop each individual intellectually and socially helping to bridge the gap between sustainability and social mobility (National Council of Educational Research and Training 2006). The development of education in England has undergone major change over the years, resulting in providing a more inclusive education, bringing about social change and improved educational practices. This assignment aims to provide an overview of the development of education in England. The 2010 election resulted in a hung parliament, forming the current coalition government between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. The coalition formed the new Education Act (2011) which takes forward the legislative proposals in the Schools White Paper (The Department of Education (DfE, 2010a) to reform education in England. As part of this proposal, the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove appointed an expert panel. The committee conducted a review of the National Curriculum, providing advice on the construction and content. The intention is to reduce the curriculum which has been criticized for been restrictive. According, to the Mr. Gove, the previous Labour government was too concerned with telling teachers how to teach (DfE 2010a). The coalition government cited a decline in England’s performance in The Programme for International Student Assessment league tables (DfE 2010b) giving their rational for introducing a new reform. However, Jerrim (2011) noted that a range of international test results show contradictory outcomes and that it remained uncertain whether England was rising or falling. Furthermore, trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, found an improved performance in England’s schools. Despite these findings under proposal in the white paper (DfE 2010a) the curriculum is to be condensed, focusing on essential knowledge that children should be learning and mastering key aspects such as English, Math’s, Science and Physical education and have non-statutory programmes of study based on international evidence. Prior to this England's National Curriculum was introduced in 1988, through the Education reform Act (1988). This Act changed the traditional system of the pre 1988 era where teachers and local authorities decided what pupils were taught, with minimal government intervention. The Curriculum was overseen by the newly formed National Curriculum Council which restricted ministers from shaping the curriculum to their own particular view point (Children, Schools and Families Committee (CSFC 2009). In comparison the coalition government wants to now provide schools and teachers with greater freedom over what is taught (DfE 2010a). However, according to Ofsted (2011) the quality of teaching is substandard, so to ensure the success of the new Curriculum the White paper proposes to reform teacher training and provide staff with more power to discipline pupils (DfE 2010a). Furthermore, all schools will be forced to meet tough new targets or face intervention and by turned in to an academy (DfE 2010b). However, this is not the first time the National Curriculum has been reviewed. On the back of complaints by teachers that the content and assessments needed to be reduced, John Dearing conducted a review called the Dearing report (1997). Following this review, the curriculum content was reduced and restrictions were placed only on Key Stage testing to the core subjects (Whitty 1998). The Education Reform Act (1996) replaced the majority of previous legalisation and policies and in addition to the National Curriculum added The National Numeracy Strategy (The Department for Education and Employment...