Topics: Religion, Theory, General Certificate of Secondary Education Pages: 9 (3935 words) Published: September 17, 2014
GCE Advanced Level

MARK SCHEME for the May/June 2014 series


Paper 3 (Social Inequality and Opportunity),
maximum raw mark 75

This mark scheme is published as an aid to teachers and candidates, to indicate the requirements of the examination. It shows the basis on which Examiners were instructed to award marks. It does not indicate the details of the discussions that took place at an Examiners’ meeting before marking began, which would have considered the acceptability of alternative answers. Mark schemes should be read in conjunction with the question paper and the Principal Examiner Report for Teachers.

Cambridge will not enter into discussions about these mark schemes.

Cambridge is publishing the mark schemes for the May/June 2014 series for most IGCSE, GCE Advanced Level and Advanced Subsidiary Level components and some Ordinary Level components.

Page 2

Mark Scheme
GCE A LEVEL – May/June 2014



Section A (where applicable)

(a) Explain the obstacles to educational achievement that a child from a poor family may face.

A few points about social class and educational achievement, with little or no sociological backing, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A simple account of one or two reasons why a child from a poor family may face barriers to educational achievement, with no further development in relation to the question, could gain up to a maximum of 4 marks.


Lower in the band, answers are likely to describe two or three barriers that a child from a poor family may face in education. Relevant factors to consider include: material deprivation, cultural deprivation, peer group influences, labelling, and responses of teachers. Higher in the band, the barriers will be described in greater detail and/or a wider range of relevant barriers will be considered.

(b) 'Educational policies designed to overcome inequality in schools can never be successful'. Assess this view.

A few simple points about educational policies, with no direct links to the question, would be placed in the lower part of the band. An answer that offers a few simple points about why educational policies to overcome inequality in schools might fail, with no wider analysis or links to appropriate sociological material, would merit being placed in the upper part of the band.


A sound sociological account of the difficulties associated with overcoming inequality in schools, with only limited reference to educational policies, would be placed in the lower part of the band. To reach the higher part of the band, there must be more of a focus on educational policies specifically. This might be achieved by referring to one or more specific policies, such as compensatory education or curriculum reform, or by discussing education policy in a more general sense. Educational policy could also be interpreted as referring to the policies that are implemented by particular schools or local authorities. The introduction of free state education could also be viewed as an example of ‘educational policy’.


The idea that educational policies may be limited in what they can achieve in terms of reducing or removing inequality in schools, will be explained in reasonable detail at this level. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band, the assessment may be limited to a few general comments about the difficulty of combating the influence of factors such as poverty and social class on educational achievement. To be placed higher in the band, there must be a more detailed assessment of the factors that might limit the effectiveness of educational policies designed to end inequality in schools. High-quality responses might distinguish between different examples of educational policy or might consider the impact on different groups of pupils...
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