Assess the claim that the main aim of educational policy over the last 25 years had been to create an education market (20 marks)
Some sociologists such as Marx would argue that the main aim of the government reform in education over the last 25 years has been to create an education market (marketization) which perhaps had a lot of negative effects on society. However, others such as Functionalists, may disagree and say that the main aim of educational reform has been to help solve inequality in society.
In 1988 the Education reform act was introduced. This was a key act because it made six changes to the education system including; Ofsted inspections, tests at 7,11 and 14 (SATs), reduced the control that schools had over their budget (it was handed over to local authorities), opting out (schools that were maintained by grants), city technical schools and a national curriculum.
These changes contributed massively to the marketization of education because they now gave parents the power and choice over what school would be best for their children. Sociologists argue that marketization is positive because it has bettered schools and made them more effective/efficient because of the competition with other schools.
In 1988 there was other changes made to the education system. These included Vocational education being introduced; this meant children began to do work experience as part of their school curriculum, applied GCEs and NVQs. These changes were made to give the student a better, skilled future in the workforce; to familiarise them with the bigger world that is not all exams and school work. Also, National League Tables were brought forward, this meant all exam results were circulated publicly. - This promoted marketization further by making competition more brutal. After 1988 a lot of policies changed...