Press release issued: 11 December 2013
Britain’s education system is ‘doubly divided’ and needs to be addressed to give all young people the same opportunities, a new book published by a University of Bristol academic has found.
Professor Rosamund Sutherland’s latest book, Education and Social Justice in a Digital Age, uses the example of Bristol to highlight examples of severe injustice that pervade the educational system within the UK.
She argues that the system is doubly divided, firstly between private and state schools, and secondly between state schools that provide excellent educational opportunities for young people and those that do not - estimated as being approximately a quarter of state-maintained schools in England.
This resonates with the latest Ofsted report from the Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw, which is published today [11 December] and claims that ‘white working-class children are being written off far too often in England's schools’.
Professor Sutherland, from Bristol University’s Graduate School of Education, said: “Something urgently has to be done about our divided educational system. It cannot be right that some people can choose to live in areas where a good education is a possibility while others have no choice about the quality of education on offer to their children.”
She questions how educational injustice can continue into the 21st Century, and asserts that a collective responsibility has to be taken at a local level to engage with the tension between competition and cooperation between schools.
The book also examines how schooling is changing during the digital age thanks to the wealth of technology and the opportunities for online learning. It warns that while such technology can have a transformative role to play in education, it can also exacerbate inequalities amongst pupils.
Education and Social Justice in a Digital Age is available to buy from the Policy Press website.
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