History of Education in the Uk Essay examples

Words: 2764
Pages: 12

Historically education, in all its various forms and across a plethora of societies, has existed for thousands of years; at its most basic level ensuring the survival and continuation of the human race whilst providing enculturation and socialisation. This is a far cry from what we see today; a compulsory formal education system with a centralised curriculum that is state funded via taxation and free at the point of delivery. This essay will examine the historical origins and developments of the British education system, with particular emphasis on the development of education from World War Two to the present day and key political legislative acts and ideology behind them.

In pre 19th century Great Britain formal education was very
…show more content…
Very few secondary technical schools were ever built due to their expense and only 5% of children attended them. The 11 plus was perceived as a ‘pass or fail’ test, (failure caused low self-esteem for most schools and the children attending them) and not the selection aid for a merit-based flavour of secondary education it was advertised to be.

Derek Gillard’s (2011) argument of classism in the classroom is brought to light by the Attlee government increasing the barrier to entry into grammar schools, declining secondary moderns from introducing C.S.E. exams and rejecting numerous proposals from local authorities to introduce comprehensive schooling. The initial notion of ‘equal chance and opportunity’ education was increasingly viewed as more of a bipartite system of selective schooling; reinforcing the social class division within society rather than flying the flag for educational meritocracy.

Criticisms that the tripartite system was wasting talent and not providing the education and skills needed for economic growth, combined with a change of government (from Conservative to Labour) in 1965 led to the “reorganising of secondary education along comprehensive lines” (Haralambos 2004, p132). A comprehensive education system would bring the tripartite system under one roof, merging three schools into one; educating all children of all abilities regardless of class background. Pupils were all given the