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Marketisation

of Education
An attempt to improve education by making
schools and colleges compete for students in an
'education market'. Key policies: 1988 Education
Reform Act, Specialist School status, Academies.

 Create competition between suppliers of a service.  Reducing state control  Increasing parental choice and competition between schools. .Marketisation…a bit more depth.  The process of applying market forces of consumer choice to education.

.  This policy of publishing league tables creates an “A to C economy” (Gillborn and Youdell) – the schools ration their time and resources to focus on the students who are capable of getting 5 grade A to C to boost the league table position.The A to C Economy?  Schools under pressure to stream and select pupils – if they want a good league table position and attract pupils and funding.

 Exam league tables – ranking each school according to exam performance  Increased competition between schools to attract pupils. . Introduced:  Funding formula – gives a school the same amount of money per pupil. typically in the 1980s and 1990s. Name six factors that led to marketisation of schools  External factors…decisions made by government.

 This will increase popularity and therefore funding will increase as the school will not be under subscribed.  While popular schools can “screen” pupils others are obliged to take students which may lead to a fall in results and the school becoming less popular and attracting less funding… .Competition and Selection  Marketisation can also explain why schools are under pressure to select more able and largely middle class pupils who will help the league table rankings.

Will Bartlett (1993)  The pressures from marketisation have lead to schools…  Cream-skimming – selecting higher ability students who gain the best results and cost less to teach. .  Silt-shifting – offloading students which learning difficulties who are expensive and get poor results.

. Selective schools often require parents to sign demanding contracts.  Gewirtz – contract which contained everything from attending parents evening to having a well stocked pencil case – a governor thought that such contracts would bring the “right sort of parent” to the school.Signing a contract…  One way that WC students can be disadvantaged is through the home/school contract.

. often at the expense of spending in other areas such as SEN.The cost…  Ball (1994)…schools have had to spend more on marketing themselves to parents.

diversity and choice. .Political Background  These policies come from the NEW RIGHT  Starting point is the 1988 Education Act introduces by the Conservative government under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher.  BUT  These policies were continued by New Labour post 1997 emphasising standards.

 Top – selective 6th form attracting middle class students providing highly academic courses leading to university  Middle – general further education colleges catering for WC students offering vocational courses  Bottom – government funded schemes providing low level courses leading to low paid jobs.A new three part system?  Sheila Macrae (1997) sees the same pattern in post sixteen education. .

Why? New Right believe…  State control leads to low standards  Inefficiency  Lack of choice for parents  By introducing market forces schools will improve to attract more customers or go out of business. .

Parentocracy  Miriam David (1993) describes this as a parentocracy as the power is moved away from the schools and the teachers and moved towards the parents.  Advocates believe that this creates greater diversity and choice for parents and that standards are raised through competition. .

Policies  Publication of exam league tables and OFSTED reports  Business sponsorship of schools  Formula funding  Schools being able to opt out of LEA control .

.The Myth of Parentocracy  The system “looks” fair – parents have the choice to send their children to a range of school.  But…do all parents have the same freedom to choose?  Do all parents have the same cultural and economic capital?  The system creates a myth that education is fair and equitable.

 Middle class pupils get the best education – the schools want these pupils as they get the best results so will compete for them.Effects  The reproduction of inequality – middle class parents working the system  Ball (1994) – these polices legitimise inequality. .  The funding formula means that the most popular schools will get the most money and provide better facilities.