Considering the evidence on the association between media and crime, would you recommend that young children be forbidden to view films with violent content?
This essay discusses influences of social policy development in education over the last 30 years. It also discusses the impact of these policies in relation to social exclusion, inequality and poverty. Throughout the post-war period, there have been many attempts to reform the UK education system, often with an explicit intention to raise standards and make it more productive. Notable reforms have included a nationally prescribed curriculum, vigorous attempts to raise participation in post-compulsory schooling and the introduction of tuition fees for higher education. In addition to concerns about widening access and educational inequality, in the 1980s there emerged widespread fears about poor and falling standards in UK education system (Machin and Vignoles, 2006). Specifically, there were concerns that too many individuals were leaving school too early and with little in the way of basic skills. Examination underachievement had also been recognised by education policy-makers as a particular problem (ibid). In the light of these concerns, successive Conservative governments in the 1980s and 1990s increased the pace of reform and introduced so called “market mechanisms” into the UK education system, in an attempt to force schools to raise standards. The move towards a ‘quasi-market’ in education, was kick started by a significant piece of legislation – the 1988 Education Reform Act – which not only introduced the market reforms discussed here, but also the National Curriculum. At the last election, Labour swept to power on the catchphrase “education, education, education” however, according to (Wood, Jaffrey & Troman in Fielding, 2001) there has been widespread disappointment in New Labour’s education policies, which on the whole have not steered too far wide of those put in place by Margaret Thatcher. David (2003) also agrees with this notion but argues that New Labour continues to develop educational policies on excellence, introducing notions of social exclusion and inclusion and identifying policies specifically to tackle issues of poverty through education. It may therefore be argued that raising education standards for all is important not only to the success of a modern economy but also to the creation of a socially just society. Since the 1990s, New Labour’s political values have shared many neo-liberalism characteristics especially in moving what has been called a post-welfare society. In implementing many of their education policies, they have continued with an emphasis on moral values, individuality and personal responsibility (Jones, 1996, pp.17-18). However, David (2003, p.356) argues that New Labour redefines such notions on an individual basis rather than on the basis of social groups, such as social class or those economically disadvantaged on the basis of family circumstances. This raises a question about fairness of opportunity in education for some social groups, for example Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups face additional barriers to ‘inclusion’ relating to their ethnicity and are disproportionately likely to perform poorly and suffer exclusion, including; employment, educational out comes, truancy and school exclusions (SEU, 2004).>GET ANSWER