To what extent did comprehensive schools enable working class

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To what extent did comprehensive schools enable working class pupils to succeed? Comprehensive schools enabled working class students to succeed because when there was the Tripartite System the majority of working class pupils would go to secondary modern schools as the 11+ test was favoured towards middle class experiences and language. Pupils attending secondary modern schools were seen as a student failing, this then affected the attention the students got at school, the opportunities open to the students and they also gained a low self-esteem. It also creates a “self believing prophecy” from low self esteem. In addition to that secondary modern schools only had a third of the funding with 80% of the population attending them. This meant that there were fewer qualifications to gain and less good qualified teachers, which in essences was preparing them for unskilled manual work. The tripartite system legitimated inequality through the ideology that ability is inborn rather than the products of the child’s upbringing and environment, and thus can be identified early on in life Because the 11+ test favoured middle class, it was mostly middle class students that went to grammar schools. This created a social class division when one of the reasons for having Free State education was more ‘equal’ opportunities. When comprehensive schools were introduced in 1965, it was designed to overcome the unfairness of the tripartite system by abolishing the 11+ exam and sending all pupils to the same type of secondary school (with the exception of private school students who continued to go to private schools). Since the schools joined, there were more qualifications on offer to students. Middle class and working class worked together. But never the less, the system continued to reproduce class inequality. Some secondary modern schools were placed where the majority of working class students lived, so in some schools it was still mainly working class. Whilst in others, mostly middle class. In addition to that, many comprehensives were streamed into ability groups, where middle-class pupils tend to dominate the higher streams. Even where ability groups were not present, Ball argued that teachers continued to label working class pupils negatively and to restrict their opportunities. More recently, both Ball and Whitty have examined how the policy of marketisation also reproduces and legitimates inequality. Marketisation is largely the result of the 1988 Education Reform Act, which reduced direct state control and introduced market forces into education so as to create competition between schools and increase parental choice. They state that marketisation reproduces inequality through exam league tables and the funding formula. Publishing each schools exam results in a league table ensures that schools that achieve good results are more in demand, because parents

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