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British Academy Lectures 2013-14$
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Janet Carsten and Simon Frith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265864

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265864.001.0001

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Education and opportunity

Education and opportunity

Is the UK departing from a common tradition?

Chapter:
(p.101) Education and opportunity
Source:
British Academy Lectures 2013-14
Author(s):

Lindsay Paterson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265864.003.0005

There is an assumption in public debate that Scotland and England are drifting apart in social policy, whatever the outcome of the referendum in Scotland in September 2014 on whether Scotland should become an independent country. Three broad examples of policy divergence in education are discussed to examine the claim—in connection with student finance in higher education, with the structure of secondary education, and with the school curriculum. It is concluded that the apparent divergence owes more to rhetoric than to the reality of policy, of public attitudes or of social experience. Despite the origins of a shared educational philosophy in the post-war welfare state, and despite the partisan strife of current politics, a weakening of that state through greater Scottish autonomy does not in itself signal an end to the project of common welfare.

Keywords:   Education, welfare state, universalism, Scotland, England, curriculum, student finance, school governance

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