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Making social policy work$
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John Hills, Julian Le Grand, and David Piachaud

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349583

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349583.001.0001

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Schools, financing and educational standards

Schools, financing and educational standards

(p.85) five Schools, financing and educational standards
Making social policy work

Anne West

Policy Press

This chapter brings out some of the tensions that arise when trying to meet different goals in education policy. It describes the evolution of the Labour government's policies towards school education, including the overall level of resources available, their distribution between areas and schools, and particular initiatives focused on schools. The evidence suggests that some of these, such as the numeracy and literacy hours, and ‘Excellence in Cities’ have had positive results. In general, the expansion of parental choice and school competition have raised overall standards, but improvements have been mostly concentrated on average and above-average achievers, leaving behind pupils who are low achievers or from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is also evidence of ‘cream-skimming’ by schools in affecting their intakes, responding to some of the incentives facing them, again to the detriment of the less well off.

Keywords:   education policy, Labour government, school education, Excellence in Cities, parental choice, school competition

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