by Abstract The essay discusses several key changes in the UK governmental policies in the last two decades, in order to prove that in the UK education system, social background determines the student’s success and the fact that ‘Class Does Matter’ in UK education…
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Recently, some approaches came into picture which focused on: a) Raising the aspirations of working-class individuals, and b) On the diversification of the education market. Here, both these approaches are reviewed as well as analyzed. As an effort to find the remedy to this situation, the previous Labor government aimed to ‘drive up the standards’ through the diversification of the market and increased competition. The government took various initiatives including the academic program, and further ‘freeing’ of the market through allowing schools to gain their independence from local authorities. At this time came the concept of ‘free schools’ which in turn helped in analyzing emerging literature works as well as standards. At this point in time, the concept of the marketization of education worked perfectly as desired as per the closing of the social class gap in the field of education, and giving a stronger purchasing power to the middle-classes (Huat See, 2004). It increased their ability to ‘play the game’ successfully to their various social and cultural capitals. Early Reforms During the decade between the 1980s and the 1990s, the then functioning governments made a lot of standard changes to the education system of UK (DCSF, 2009). Some of these standard mechanisms included representation of parents on governing bodies, parental choice and creating a link between student enrolment numbers and school funding so as to bridge the gap. The explicit aim behind designing these reforms was the improvement of pupil achievement. The policy makers have also been concerned about the existence of poor basic skills found in the UK workforce, in comparison to other nations, especially amongst the younger population. Keeping in view all these issues, a nationwide standard curriculum was introduced by the government for the students in the age group of 7-16, so as to ensure that every student studied a minimum component of the curriculum (DCSF, 2009). In recent decades, higher education (HE) has been an important policy area, subjected to frequent reforms. As per the prevailing trend, higher education has been reserved as an area meant only for the higher socio-economic groups. Although, the recent decades have witnessed a gradual rise in HE participation, the lower socio-economic groups still score low on relative participation. Additionally, there is enough evidence to support the fact that the economic value attached with HE has not collapsed on account of its expansion. Indeed, the value of degree returns has remained very much intact during the period. Beginning from the late 1980s, a number of policy changes have been introduced in the education system of Britain (Huat See, 2004). Depending upon the type of educational system, the main content of these policy changes went through time based variations. However, the ultimate goal behind these changes was the creation of a standard policy framework which would make it mandatory for all schools and colleges to adopt the improvement agenda, as prescribed by Labour as well as Conservative Governments. The FEFC (Further Education Funding Council) has made an attempt to achieve the below given goals through the adoption of funding mechanism (DCSF,
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