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Towards a more equal society?Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997$
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John Hills, Tom Sefton, and Kitty Stewart

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847422026

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847422026.001.0001

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Education: New Labour's top priority

Education: New Labour's top priority

(p.70) (p.71) FOUREducation: New Labour's top priority
Towards a more equal society?

Lupton Ruth

Heath Natalie

Salter Emma

Policy Press

This chapter examines the success of education policy – Labour's top priority in every manifesto – in reducing inequalities in educational attainment in compulsory and post-compulsory education. It looks at what happened to educational inequality during this period of investment, growth, and reform. The chapter adopts a conventional approach used in education research, looking at the differences in attainment between different social groups rather than simply at the overall distribution of attainment, thus reflecting historic welfarist aspirations for universal state education as an equalising force in society. It focuses primarily on social-class inequalities in England.

Keywords:   New Labour, education policy, post-compulsory education, educational inequality, education research, social-class inequalities, England

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