Social Class and Education
‘Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.’
(Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile, On Philosophy of Education)
Education is essential in society for a number of reasons. Firstly, education is important for developing skills for employment and living. If we did not have basic education, it would severely impact on society. Subsequently, it is possible that society could break down due to the absence, or poor quality of communication and basic skills. The World is dependent upon communication, which is developed through education (Mortimore 1986). Furthermore, another important purpose of education in society is to control unconformity. Education is a way in which people are taught the social and ideological norms which are dominant in society. Consequently, with the absence of education, it could foresee a delinquent future for society.
Mortimore (1986) stated that within society, it has always been evident that people fall into different categories termed as ‘Social Class’. This shorthand label could be defined in numerous ways, most prominently by the scale developed by the Registrars General. Categories are classified as a result of breadwinner occupation, which are managed into five categories: Social Class I and II, professional and managerial occupations; Social Class IIIa, would be other manual workers, Social Class IIIb, skilled manual workers; Social Class IV, semi-skilled occupations; Social Class V, unskilled occupations. This is a rather reductionist point of view to take when classifying people, as quality home, relationships, interests and lifestyles are not taken into account (Mortimore, 1986).
A way in which children are categorised in school based on social class, is the eligibility of free school meals. Schools provide free school meals to children whose family receive any kind of income based support, such as jobseekers allowance (Direct Gov)....