Sociology of Education
The 1988 Conservative Education Reform Act established the National Curriculum, the main advantage as cited in Haralambos & Holborn, (2000), was that it set a consistent standard across the country, in an attempt to promote equality. Children were regularly assessed to establish whether they were meeting key stages appropriate to their development, and to determine weaknesses that required improvement. The issue with key stage testing is that pupils feel pressured and stressed by the constant assessments. To ensure equality the National Curriculum teaches the same subjects, throughout the country and has been a considerable success to the education system. The drawback with the national curriculum is that everyone has to study the same subjects; this raises an issue with the lack of individual choice. As referred to in Blundell, (2001) results from the tests were drawn up into league tables which caused an unethical division of the education system. Parents, when selecting a school look at the league tables and this can be very misleading, as some of the best schools in Britain do poor in these league tables.
New vocationalism gave those that were unemployed an opportunity to learn skills required for work. This assisted in tackling unemployment and reducing levels of crime. The disadvantage of the vocational subjects was that the unemployed would be punished, by withdrawing their benefits if they did not achieve. Working class pupils were also often channelled into vocational subjects and consequently not receiving the chance to learn academically. Gender inequalities in the workplace were additionally yielded.
Ofsted (The Office for Standards in Education) was established in this
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