Throughout the years, educational policy has been changed in many ways and forms to boost educational achievement among pupils. An educational policy refers to different plans and strategies for education which are introduced by the government.
During 1880, education - and the level of education that you did in fact receive - was heavily based on social class differences. This was down to the fact that during this time period, if you did not have the right family background or enough money, then you would not be able to have a high standard of education. Education in the 1880’s reproduced ascribed status – the position that you are born into – and education did little to change this. Working class pupils were taught enough to equip them with the basic literacy and numeracy skills needed for factory work, and it was also instilled into them to have obedient attitudes towards superiors.
The first main policy introduced was in 1994, whereby the Education Act brought in the Tripartite System. This was first brought in because education was beginning to become shaped by meritocracy, the idea that individuals should achieve their own status in life through their efforts and abilities. The tripartite system involved being selected and allocated to one of three different schools, however only two of these schools were really used – Grammar schools and Secondary modern schools – and the last school, the technical school, existed in very few areas. An 11+ exam was introduced, which determined which school the pupils were accepted into. Grammar schools were more based around an academic curriculum, and were so directed to more middle class students. On the other hand, Secondary modern schools had a practical curriculum and were a school for those who failed the 11+ exam – typically working class students. Thus, the tripartite system did not promote meritocracy but reproduced class inequality. This system did not do anything to improve educational achievement, and if anything, made it worse by the class divide that it instilled. Similarly, the 11+ exam produced gender inequality due to the fact that girls had to achieve a high mark in their exam than boys to actually be accepted into grammar schools.
In 1960, the Comprehensive system was first introduced by the Labour government at that time. This system was introduced in many areas from 1965 onwards and aimed to overcome the class divide of which the tripartite system instilled. During this time, the 11+ exam was abolished, along with grammar schools and secondary modern schools. The tripartite system was abolished due its heavy influence on gender and class inequalities. In their place,