A Case Study on Education Policy in the United Kingdom


The United Kingdom is home to many prestigious scientific and technical institutes. It promotes both international and national education goals through these institutions. The literacy rate of population groups has been more than 95% since the last decade within this country, showing how progressive it is in terms of education. The UK offers many scholarships to international students as well.

The national policies of education address every age group. In schools and tertiary education, every age group has the right to get knowledge. Fundamental laws also regulate educational policies. Current educational policies of the UK are working under the latest informative agendas. Within this context, essential aspects of the educational policy of the United Kingdom are discussed in this article.

The main reforms of the educational system can be highlighted in this case study by following four domains;

  • Market reforms
  • Curriculum reforms
  • Post compulsory schooling promotion
  • Higher education reforms

Right to education

National population groups that comprise children between 5 to 16 years follow the CSA rule. The compulsory school age (CSA) allows this age group to attend school on a mandatory basis regulated by the law. The age of 18 years and above is for higher education which depends on the students. The funding for schooling is low, which requires expensive fee schedules. Higher education also requires extreme tuition dues, along with excessive living expenses.

Market reforms

The market reforms on education are about the quality within this domain. The outcome that we get in the form of working-class makes the market value. School stakeholders complain about working under stress with small wages. Such a teaching scenario is increasing the general disinterest towards professional teaching. If the students are leaving school after 16 years of education only, it won’t acquire or ensure quality labour. You can say that they barely have any qualifications in this aspect. Some students get vocational training and end things there, which is not a good approach either.

The national policy promotes parents’ role in choosing the institute. This allows the parent to decide the type of school and education for their children. It also increased the credibility of public schools in general. Under this policy, many school-funded programs were also initiated. These included, for example, music classes, science projects, and art classes. The educational policies of the United Kingdom have diverse scholarship opportunities as well. This helps the bright students get a chance to build professionalism within themselves through the schooling system. This system gained media attraction and positive responses from the public.

The market reforms also addressed teaching quality in the schools. Funding for the teacher’s training and transparency of the recruitment criteria are also crucial aspects to be understood and implemented within this context. In the long run, the market value of the educational system depends upon the development of teaching faculty. Diversity regarding teachers’ training can increase the market value to another extent.

Curriculum reforms

The curriculum was set at the primary level in the prior system. The policy introduced a diverse curriculum with technical skills in primary education. It also addressed the concerns about the poor educational system. Although the curriculum was mixed, it was similar for all the population groups. It is known that the aspect of a national curriculum promoted acceptance among the teaching faculty as well.

The reforms of National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies are also parts of the policy. This makes it mandatory for all public schools to spend daily hours developing basic skills. The policy also updates evaluation criteria about this context. National testing services for the 7, 11, 13, 16 levels of education are also introduced here. The inclusion of critical evaluation criteria increases both credibility and transparency of the system.

Post compulsory schooling promotion

The problem arises when less than 50% of the students passing 16 years of age move to higher education. It might be due to a lack of essential technical skills. Some students prefer getting vocational training and diplomas. International evidence also suggests that too many students drop out of their education after school. At the same time, a small percentage of students opt for vocational training. The post-school policy addresses these young age groups. It states that they have a right to choose the type of education.

In this aspect, two policies are present within the Education policy of the United Kingdom. Firstly, qualification reforms. Secondly, Education Maintenance Allowance reforms. These qualification reforms address the quality of education. 25% of the 16 and 17-year-olds are in vocational institutes. Vocational institutes also hold a sizeable part of the Educational System of the UK. Still, it fails to achieve effective ensuring of self-esteem within the students.

The policy promotes efficient qualification from the vocational institutes. Poor students are also encouraged to take part in the continuation of education. To help poor students, funding allowances are available under the policy. This limits the students’ education by getting an allowance and ensures that they don’t drop out.

Higher education reforms

The higher education system of the UK has been flourishing since the 1960s. At the same time, it faces the challenges of poor and rich student imbalance. The gap in participation of the poor students regarding higher education is due to social-economic factors. This increases educational inequalities among the national groups as well.

Education Policy in the United Kingdom promotes higher education through various domains. The first domain ensures expansion of the sector, whereas the second one increases the chances of every social group to study. Poor students are also given subsidies in the form of scholarships. Student loans and grants are also available that are easy to pay off. It is also known that increasing the number of universities can provide more opportunities for students. In the long run, radical reforms regarding higher education levying tuition reforms can work. Private universities can also make their grants and funding sources this way. It will also reduce the imbalance of the class system within the higher education system. 


The development of reforms about the educational policy of the United Kingdom is historical. It is gaining reach for social and economic imbalances within the educational system. In the long run, radical reforms concerning each education sector can be of even greater help.

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