Education Provision in England and Term Paper

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" (Chan, East, Ali and Neophytou, 2002; p.6)


The work entitled: "Doing Comparative Education: Three Decades of Collaboration" relates the fact that the post-World War II world in England "left a series of emergencies for which immediate answers had to be found. There were shortages of staff, equipment and building..." (Eckstein, 1960) Eckstein additionally states: "Post-war legislation has generally been characterized by radical thinking and optimism. However, the euphoria brought by the end of a war is so often soon dissipated in the exhausting battle of the peace. At such a time, the ambitiously optimistic spirit of reconstruction may also be lessened. A more cautious planned expansion replaces the scheme for extensive reconstruction, ideas of reform have once again to vie with practices which are entrenched in the typical ways of thinking of a people. The educational legislation of the last five years or so has been characterized by such an approach, by plans for reform and expansion which reflect the changes in the spirit of nations since 1945." (1960) in 1948 England and Wales had 1,875,997 children enrolled in secondary education of all kinds while in France the number in 1950 was only 794,070 with only slightly more in Germany in 1950 at 828,631 and in Italy the same year children enrolled in secondary education of all kinds is stated to have been 503,943. This work states that: "Much of the effort in education in Europe is still directed toward making good deficiencies for which World War II was responsible." (Eckstein, 1960)


The work of Riddell and Salisbury (2000) relates: "...concepts of educational equity and inclusion have come to mean different things in different parts of the UK in the post World War II period depending on which aspects of social identity are seen as having greater salience. (p.8) for example it is related that in Wales, the Welsh culture and identity 'has been reflect in concerns to promote schools with Welsh as the first language of instruction." (Riddell and Salisbury, 2000) it is additionally stated that in the United Kingdom between 1945 and 1970 that predominant political and ideological trends have shaped the educational system according to "conventional gender stereotypes and narrowly-held conceptions of nation and identity." (Riddell and Salisbury, 2000) the male-orientation of school subjects eventually came under challenge due to the failure and underachievement of girls in the schooling system. Issue genders relating to achievement came to the forefront of the public attention in the years following World War II as did achievement relating to social class and economic class membership which was greatly determinative in the schooling opportunities of students and ultimately their potentiality of achievement.


While the school system left much to be desired in reality the post-World War II system of schools in England and Wales, pieced together a system that formerly was loosely constructed and while there were still issues of education provision in terms of equity as to what possibilities were available according to class and gender and economic status, yet still the schools in England and Wales made progress during this time. Educational achievement was not equitable in terms of possible achievement due to the tripartite system of schooling in England and Wales however, in the decades following the Education Act 1944 reforms did take place that made the provision of education as well as the potentialities of educational achievement for all students more realistic.


Chan, Sui-Mee; East, Pat, Ali, Sabia; and Neophytou, Maria (2002) Primary and Secondary Education in England and Wales: From 1944 to the Present Day - 8th Edition. August 2002.

Lopez-Muniz, Jose Luis Martinez; De Groof, Jan; and Lauwers, Gracienne (2006) Religious Education and Collective Worship in State Schools: England and Wales" published in the Religious Education in Public Schools: Study of Comparative Law - Yearbook of the Association for Education and Policy (2006)

M.A. Eckstein, "Present Trends in Public Secondary Education in Western Europe," the High School Journal, 44 (October, 1960): 8-19. Reprinted by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.

Riddell S. & Salisbury J., (2000) ' Introductions: educational reforms and equal opportunities programmes', in Salisbury J &…[continue]

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