Assess the Claim That the Main Aim of Education Policies in the Last 25 Years Have Been to Create an Education Market

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Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the claim that the main aim of education policies in the last 25 years have been to create an education market

Over the last 25 years many policies have been introduced in education. Some critic’s say that an education market has been created but others disagree and say that the policies have helped create equality of opportunity.

Marketisation policies have been introduced, some examples are league tables and open enrolment, these aim to increase competition between schools and also increases parental choice. It is argued that policies like these will raise standards. A lot of these changes are said to be for the market place, these changes include; official statistics, Glossy
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Acting on the recommendations of the 1987 Black Report, the British government brought in the 1988 Education Act. Parents were treated as if they were customers and pupils became both clients and products. What is important about the act is that it involved increased state control over the content of education. The act brought; the introduction of the National Curriculum, with achievement targets set for all pupils aged 7, 11, 14 and 16, Schools being allowed to opt out of local Education Authority (LEA) control if the majority of the parents voting in a ballot wished to do so, the financial management of schools was switched from the LEA to the boards of governors and City Technology Colleges were introduced.
These changes intended to introduce principles of supply and demand into schools. Schools were forced to compete with each other for pupils and resources. Before the 1988 Act, entry to schools was based on catchment areas and they did not have to compete for children. After 1988, catchment areas still existed but parents had the right to go outside them. Competition was increased and a big part of that was due to league tables and statistics being produced. However, the 1988 Act contains contradictory messages. One message is concerned with increasing centralisation and state control and the second is concerned with parental choice

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