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Social Policy Review 18Analysis and debate in social policy, 2006$
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Linda Bauld, Karen Clarke, and Tony Maltby

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348449

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348449.001.0001

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A ‘pivotal moment’? Education policy in England, 2005

A ‘pivotal moment’? Education policy in England, 2005

Chapter:
(p.49) Three A ‘pivotal moment’? Education policy in England, 2005
Source:
Social Policy Review 18
Author(s):

Alan Dyson

Kirstin Kerr

Mel Ainscow

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861348449.003.0003

This chapter argues that the Labour government reached a pivotal point in its third term, in relation to its two long-standing objectives of raising educational performance, while also reducing social class differences in attainment. It observes that evidence on progress towards these objectives in 2005 was mixed, with some indications that measurement of pupil performance in terms of test and examination results had produced some perverse effects and social inequalities in educational outcomes had increased rather than decreased. It argues that the 2005 Schools White Paper proposed two somewhat contradictory mechanisms for attaining the objective of excellence and equity. It points out on the one hand, that there is the mechanism of parental choice and reliance, again, on the quasi-market to produce improved educational standards and performance.

Keywords:   Labour government, educational performance, social class differences, pupil performance, test and examination results, 2005 Schools White Paper, excellence and equity, parental choice, reliance

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