Educational Attainment - modern society

Essay by Rakka November 2004

download word file, 5 pages 4.5

Social Class and Educational Achievement

Education should provide every student with equality of opportunity. Although this is the statement made, studies have shown that education does not contribute to significant upward mobility, and suggests that social background is the major determinant of the amount of education an individual receives. Whilst there are other possible situations which could affect an individual's educational achievement, social background still remains to be the one point that contributes most to the equality of ones opportunity in education.

The theory that defines the relationship between social class and educational achievement is often misinterpreted by many. It is often perceived that there is only the black and white theory that defines this relationship. This theory claims that; the more advantaged families will send their children to non-government schools, and the less advantaged families will send their children to government schools. Although recent studies have provided a new stance on the matter, proving this black and white perspective to be incorrect to a certain extent.

In 1994, it was recorded that 22% of families in the lowest income quintile, were able to send their own children to a non-government school. Likewise, an astounding 60% of families in the highest income quintile were sending their children to government schools. This indicates social morbidity.

It was recorded that 23% of parents who obtained professional occupations (such as doctors and lawyers), were in fact sending their child to a government school. Only 28% of those professionals were sending their child to a non-government, catholic school. The other 45.7% were sending their child to another private school. Despite the fact that 41% of parents who worked as manual labourers sent their child to a government school, there was a high 27.6% who were sending their child to a non-government school, which is...