Wednesday, May 26, 2010


One can only wonder whether our new coalition government’s package of education reforms will do anything at all to reduce the inequities of our system. The market logic of the proposed increase in academies (schools deemed to be successful through accountability measures) doesn’t seem particularly promising. And in Higher Education, despite widening participation, we learn from Sir Martin Harris, the Director of Offa, that the ‘most advantaged 20 per cent of the young population are now around seven times more likely than the most disadvantaged 40% to attend the most selective institutions’ (here). Reading this against Annette Laureau’s well-written and nuanced account of unequal childhoods in America just reinforces the view that inequality is deeply embedded in both cultures, and is just lightly touched by the rhetoric of hope and opportunity.

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