Education Essay

1799 WordsFeb 21, 20118 Pages
How have functional views of education been applied to education policy in modern Britain? Learning targets: • The New Right believes society should develop economic growth and efficiency by encouraging competition in all sectors of society. • This includes in the provision of public services such as education and health which were seen as wasteful and expensive for the state. • Parental choice is in schools is believed to raise standards • The New Right support national standardised tests, League Tables and examinations, which permit the direct comparison of schools with each other. Key questions (AO1) Who is the New Right? (AO1) What policies have the New Right introduced into the British education system? (AO2) What impact have these policies had on British education? (AO2) How have the New Right been challenged? Summary of key points The functional standpoint on education tends to concentrate on the positive contributions of education to social order. Functionalists believe that schools operate according to meritocratic principles, and status is gained on the basis of merit. This theory has been developed into a political philosophy by the New Right. In 1976, in an address at Ruskin College, the Labour Prime Minister, James Callaghan, called for the 'Great Debate' on education. At a time when unemployment was rising and Britain's economy was declining, it was feared that education was failing to produce young people with the appropriate skills for the world of work. He said it was necessary for schools to improve vocational education and training in order to satisfy the needs of industry. Although it was a Labour prime minister who instigated the 'Great Debate', New Right and Conservative Governments from 1979 onwards reflected his viewpoint and it became one of the beliefs of the New Right. The New Right is a set of

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