ED4 -  Education Policies 

This section will explore the aims of the education policies of the UK. 

There are four main aims to Education policy and there is a separate section to each of these. Many of the policies we will discuss will link to more than one of the four aims, but what sociologists are interested in is if the policy has been successful in achieving its aim and what were the latent effects of these policies on both the education system as well as the experience of education for staff and students. 

The four aims are: 

  • Raising Standards 
    1. Policies which were trying to improve the education system in comparison to both national and international benchmarks as well as improving the experience of education for the staff and students. 

  • Economic Efficiency
    1. Education policies which aim to support the growth and development of the economy by providing individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the workforce and contribute to the economy. This includes providing education and training programs that are aligned with the needs of employers and the labour market.
  • Marketisation 
    1. This policy aim introduced market forces to the education system. This means the the introduction of policies which are similar to those used in the business world. It is NOT about making more private schools. 
  • Educational Equality 
    • These policies can be broken down into 4 subcategories:
      1. Equality of Access - Making sure that all students have access to good schools and education.
      2. Equality of participation - Making sure that all student are able to take part in all aspects of the education system regardless of socio-economic background. 
      3. Equality of Outcome - That all students should leave each key stage with the best set of results they can. NOT that all students should receive the same outcome. 
      4. Equality of Circumstance - All students should start their educational journey with similar social and emotional skills to allow them to fully engage with the curriculum and school environment.