chapter  16
10 Pages

Secondary Education and the Social Structure

We need to know how far, in Dent's phrase, 'the educational system conditions the development of society'; to what extent and under what circumstances it can initiate social change, and under what conditions it merely reflects the prevailing organization. The present study does not presume to offer a complete answer to this question. It does, however, attempt to illustrate the dominant role the social and occupational hierarchy has played in the history of English secondary education during the past fifty years, and to suggest that during this period at least, development within secondary education has had to wait upon changes in the social structure.