Education (later 20th Century) Essay

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Education (later 20th Century)

1944 Butler Education Act – into effect in 1947
Elementary – state, free
Private fee- charging preparatory schools for m/c
Modern (attended by 80%): non-selective, co-educational, vocational education for those aged 11-15
Grammar (12%): selective through 11+ exam, single sex, academic = professions and universities. 11-18yrs
Technical (5%): selective through 11+; technical and academic from 11-15/18. Second cut of 11+ candidates went to technical schools. Very few LEAS built.
Continuation of public school system.
Conservatism of model
School leaving age extended, but examinatiosn to selct and motivate; success meritocracy through scholarships.
Successful w/c pupils in system may be rewarded and advamced
1944 Act distinguished: Those ‘interested in learning for it’s own sake’; Those interested/ or with insight in the machine; Those who could deal with ‘concrete things rather than ideas’

Was the 11+ fair?
‘Equality of opportunity’ vs structural inequality: an equal opportunity to get into an elitist system
Cyril Burt and intelligence testing: assumptions underpinning the 11+ exams, how to assess the intelligence esp. re: language that is shaped by environment, class and ethnic backgrounds. Advantage to m/c background
Early sociological studies showed that grammar schools educated m/c
Those in top stream were educated to pass = passing 11+ = self-fulfilling prophecy. M/c culture ensured they benefitted form the system.

Early Leaving
Concerns raised by educational researchers about the number of grammar school pupils who didn’t stay on to 6th form, but chose to leave at 15. 1959; 11% left at 15.
Reasons given for leaving; Low ability; home conditions; no will to work
Higher proportions of the minority professional/clerical classes get the majority of A levels.
Those that passed the 11+ benefitted hugely.
HOWEVER: set up a situation where majority (75%) of pupils think themselves as failures, 65% of children left school without any qualifications in 1964.
Douglas: ‘being middle-class roughly doubles the chances of educational success’ (1964)

The Comprehensive School
Pioneered in 1945, Windermere.
By 1980s educated 88% of population- leaving age had also increased to 16 in 1976.
1979: MaggieT permitted the continuation of grammar schools.
Only 9% of leavers had no qualifications (1984) – drop from 20 years prior of 65%
1998: 66% of 16-18 yr olds in education. Sig high than earlier decades, but behind other countries (FRA 92%, GER 91%)

The Independent School
1948 Film the Guinea Pig commentary on the w/c lad made good: sense of discomfort from those with w/c origins in grammar/public school as lost their sense of belonging to a class.
Public schools training for the social elite in postwar period
Public schoolboys monopolise the top jobs- Physicians and surgeons (60%) Military top jobs (50%) Judges/governors of BoE, C of E bishops (80%)
Expansion of private schooling. Maggie T = assisted