comprehensive education

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comprehensive education

a form of secondary education in the UK in which pupils are generally taught in mixed ability groups or classes and for which there is no selective entry requirement.

Moves to develop a comprehensive system in England and Wales began during the 1960s after educational research demonstrated that secondary-modern school pupils designated as ‘non-academic’ were often highly successful in public examinations such as the General Certificate of Education (Floud, Halsey and Martin, 1956; Crowther, 1959; Jackson and Marsden, 1962). In addition, the 1960s were characterized by a growing concern with issues of inequality Theorists began to argue (Halsey, Floud and Anderson, 1961; Swift, 1967) that the continued separation of social classes in education engendered by the tripartite secondary system (see EDUCATION ACTS) produced continual inequalities in education provision.

The Labour government of 1964-70 saw the introduction of comprehensive schools as a means of reducing such social divisiveness and ending separatism in education, thus creating greater equality of opportunity. It also saw it as a response to overwhelming technological and popular demands, and the elimination of a waste of talent (Marsden, 1971).

The implementation of comprehensive education has been uneven and incomplete. It has been estimated that only about 20% of secondary pupils attend ‘true’ comprehensives. In some local education authorities selective grammar schools exist side by side with comprehensives or are being reintroduced. Many middle-class children continue to be educated in the private sector. Thus middle-class pupils with ability are ‘creamed off’. In some comprehensives children are 'S treamed’ (see STREAMING). In most they are organized in sets or bands for particular subjects, although some schools teach pupils in mixed-ability groups during years 1-3.

Whilst supporters of comprehensive education argue that it provides the only means of reducing inequality of educational opportunity (see Hargreaves, 1982), there exist major difficulties in realizing this aim (e.g. in inner city schools) and this is one reason why there is relatively little resistance to a retreat from comprehensive education.

References in periodicals archive ?
10 ( ANI ): A retrospective cohort study has found that readmission rates at three months for kids hospitalised for acute asthma dropped when families received comprehensive education prior to discharge from the hospital.
Lord Adonis, as an education spokesman for the Labour Party, once said that one of the effects of comprehensive education was that it had substituted "selection on merit" with "selection on postcode and money" - because the only successful comprehensive schools are in areas of affluence where house prices exclude any hope of working-class parents getting an opportunity to get their children into those schools.
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He said he received a comprehensive education in the singer's impact on music.
Abdullah bin Juma al-Shibli, GCC Assistant Secretary General for Economic and Development Affairs at the GCC Secretariat General said that the agenda of the meeting, on top of which are the decisions of the GCC Supreme Council, provides the required support for a serious leap in the comprehensive education development at the GCC higher education institutions.
50 years of comprehensive education and political posturing and meddling have been a disaster an opinion shared by teacher friends of mine and worst of all have betrayed generations of childrens hopes of aspirations.
Flanagan said: "Scotland is rightfully proud of its education system, which continues to offer a high-quality comprehensive education to all pupils and free access to high-quality further and higher education opportunities."
The comprehensive education ecosystem also offers customization apps, video tutorials and how to's, in addition to a wide range of curriculum resources.

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