‘The Future of Education in England’ an event at Royal Society for the Arts, London, was held on October 5th 2015 by the Inequality in Education Team.
Inequality in Education…turning the tide (IETT) is a movement to alter the balance of educational opportunity in the UK. In England inequality is a key social and political issue. Education has a vital role to play in abolishing inequality in society. Young people’s destiny is still determined largely by their social position at birth.
Presenting arguments demonstrating the inequality in our current education system were; Dianne Reay, Professor of Education, at the University of Cambridge, UK, and Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography of the School of Geography and the Environment of the University of Oxford, UK.
(SmithMartin Partnership is pleased to support the IETT in delivery of their website and engagement with partners. Education is key to our work and every day we see the effects of inequality in education in communities across the country.)
This is both unfair to children and their future lives but also a waste of opportunity and economically disadvantageous to our society as a whole.
Those societies who truly value children and education will thrive in the future.
Professor Diane Reay led with questions;
What needs to change to achieve greater equality in schooling?
What needs to change for the key indicators below to improve?’
Key indicators are;
” The degree of difference in educational attainment levels across different classes and ethnic groups.
” The levels of well-being and happiness of school students
” The difference in spending per pupil across different types of schools
” The levels of segregation and polarisation between schools and within them
” The degree to which all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum
” Teachers levels of professional satisfaction and autonomy
Professor Danny Dorling, who studies the social implications of educational under achievement from a geographical position posed four interesting questions.
” Is a more expensive education really a more privileged one?
” Have you learnt a great deal if you are awarded many A*stars?
” Do we value memorising above problem solving and experimentation?
” Can we imagine a schooling system without so much testing of children?
There was considerable discussion and examples of an educational system that is built on test results and ‘cut throat’ competition, with major funding discrepancies.
Inequality in Education, Turning the Tide (IETT), is developing across the UK and will continue to create a body of opinion with educational practitioners and academic research leading the way to unravel the current inequalities, present a reasoned argument and hold to account those who implement policy and direction of education in the UK.
We believe that education is a fundamental right as quoted in Unesco – The Right to Education, and that the UK should be delivering a free, equal and fair education to all its children.
Sue Martin – Educational Consultant SmithMartin Partnership LLP
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