Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the claim that the main aim of education policies in the last 25 years has been to create an education market (20 marks)
Research suggests that it wasn’t necessarily the single main aim in education policies over the last 25 years to create an education market. It seems that the policies have always been changing and evolving in some way or another. Each government continues some policies from the former government but also make some changes adding in their own ideas. Whether it was an aim or not to create an education market is very debateable but nevertheless it happened. Some parties will argue it was an aim, whereas others will argue it was simply inevitable with the way education policies were being designed.
Schools and other educational institutes are ranked in various ways, both by academic standards and overall standards. Not to mention a number of other sub-rankings. The Education Reform Act 1988, introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government, introduced Ofsted. Ofsted officially inspects pretty much every educational facility in the country from nurseries to universities. In fact that is exactly what it does.
The problem with putting schools into league tables isn’t the fact that they are competing against each other, that is probably considered a good thing by many. It is the fact that the schools are often doing what is best for their league table sitting and their image rather than what is best for the students. For example, advising many of their students to take less academic subjects because they are deemed easier to achieve a grade C in. This problem has been almost completely eradicated with the introduction of the English Baccalaureate. This is a new performance measure that schools can be ranked on, it still includes that customary 5 A*-C but it is much more specific in what subject areas must be included. It’s a more academic measure. The 5 A*-C must be English, mathematics, a...