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ERIC Number: ED374523
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Choice, Competition and Equity: Lessons from Research in the UK.
Gewirtz, Sharon; And Others
This paper evaluates the recent education reforms in the United Kingdom (UK) in terms of their contribution to the establishment of an equitable system of education income distribution. The UK education market as it exists today was set in motion by a package of reforms introduced as a result of the 1988 Education Reform Act. That legislation was designed to deregulate both the demand and supply sides of state-provided education--to empower the customers and to make schools more responsive to consumer demand. This case study of three adjacent local education agencies (LEAs) in London obtained data from interviews with: 130 parents in the process of deciding on a secondary school for their children; and key informants in 15 schools, including administrators, teachers, union representatives, and bursars. Four key findings emerged: (1) the market is a middle-class mode of social engagement; (2) parental choice of school is class- and race-informed; (3) schools are increasingly oriented toward meeting the perceived demands of middle-class parents; and (4) the cumulative impact of the first three findings is the "de-comprehensivisation of secondary schooling." Across schools, there is an intensification of status hierarchies, provisional differentiation, and segregation within the state system. Choice, however regulated, is not the solution to inequity. From a needs-based perspective, primacy should be given to establishing comprehensive pupil intakes, to allocating resources in ways that will facilitate the realization of children's learning potentials, and to making schools responsive to the values and cultures of the children who attend them. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom