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EQ206-15 Policies and Politics of the English Education System

Department Education Studies

Level Undergraduate Level 2

Module leader Jacqueline Dynes

Credit value 15

Module duration 10 weeks

Assessment 100% coursework

Study location University of Warwick main campus, Coventry


This module will introduce students to core areas of policy contention, innovation and development within education, as practiced in the English educational system.

Principal Module Aims and Outcomes
  • To explore the historical context in which education policy has been developed in England.
  • To identify and explore a range of cultural and social issues affecting the present educational landscape in England.
  • To analyse the position and status of education within current political and economic narratives popular in England
  • To explore developments in the professionalisation of teaching and to identify the different demands experienced by education professionals.
  • To critically explore the implications of recent policy developments on a range of pedagogical factors, including curriculum design, assessment processes and issues relating to access and inclusion
  • To explore how education and learning takes place outside of formal schooling environments and to explore the status and influence of informal learning experiences on the learner and the wider society.
  • To consider policy and practice impacts from the perspective of further and higher education.

This module will introduce students to core areas of policy contention, innovation and development within education as practiced in the English educational system. The module will include the following components:

  • Investigating how current educational policy and practice has been shaped by various education acts and understanding the historical context in which contemporary English education policy and practice has been developed.
  • Identifying and evaluating how major reviews of education conducted in the twentieth and twenty-first century have shaped developments in educational policy and practice. Through seminar and group discussion students will critically analyse the extent to which suggestions and ideas expressed in educational reviews have been embraced, rejected or diluted by policy makers.
  • Exploring policy and practice changes in relation to formal education assessment.
  • Critically evaluating the extent to which policy changes affect issues relating to educational equity and inequality.
  • Exploring how social and cultural changes within English society have affected both the English education system and the design and implementation of its curriculums.
  • Exploring historical perspectives alongside current provision on teaching training. Critically evaluating the values that underpin contrasting approaches to teacher training.
  • Evaluating trends relating to the marketisation of education in England.
  • Considering the impacts of informal learning experiences on pupils' and students' identity as learners.
Study Time
Type Required
Lectures 10 sessions of 1 hour (5%)
Seminars 10 sessions of 2 hours (11%)
Private study 120 hours (65%)
Assessment 35 hours (19%)
Total 185 hours
  Weighting Study Time
Presentation (10 minutes) 25% 12 hours
Presentation highlighting the main issues and debates of one of the topic areas covered in the module.
1200 word assignment 50% 15 hours
Focusing on the same policy issue as addressed in their presentation, in this Policy Brief assignment students will summarise and critically discuss areas of contention and debate as well as possible solutions.
Reflection and comments on presentation themes 25% 8 hours
Students write a reflective piece commenting critically on the issues and topics which others covered on their presentations.