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AS Level Sociology and  Advanced  Level Sociology  : The Sociology of Education


  • Click here for the new AQA AS and Advanced Level Sociology Specifications with planning, teaching and assessment resources  

  • Click here for the new OCR AS and Advanced Level Sociology Specifications with planning, teaching and assessment resources

  • The WJEC Eduqas examination board  has  provided separate Specifications  for Welsh and Non-Welsh centres.  organisation and You may  click here  to access the WJEC Eduqas Specification for Welsh Centres and  click here to access the WJEC eduqas Specification for Non-Welsh centres.

  • Also you may click here for resources provided by Eduqas for the WJEC courses
  • Click here for the website accompanying Ken Browne's new textbook for AQA AS and Year 1 Advanced Level Sociology. The Resources section has some excellent Sociology of Education Assignments.



  • Please note that although my documents on the Sociology of Education certainly do take account of different theoretical approaches and research methods I do not  currently provide any information specifically on individual research Methods related to Education but students can consult their textbooks and other Sociology websites for this information.

  • For example you may access      very useful resources on Research Methods  via the dropdown Menu of the Sociology Stuff site. NEW link added October 2018

  • Also  Click here for Play list of Park Sociology Podcasts on Sociological Methods  

  • Also you may Click here for a series of detailed video lectures on Social Research Methods and Design by Graham R. Gibbs  of the University of Huddersfield NEW LINK added September 2014




Part One: PowerPoint Presentations

Functions of Formal Education Systems

Tripartite and Comprehensive Secondary Education

Thatcherism and Education Policy 

Social Class and Educational Achievement   Revised March 2017

"Race", Ethnicity and Educational Achievement

Gender Differences in Educational Achievement Revised March 2017 to include links to latest data

Coalition Education Policies NEW March 2016


Part Two: Teaching Notes



Guardian Interactive Map of UK Education System 

 Functions of Formal Education Systems : Marxist Perspective 

 Social Class, Ethnicity, Gender and Patterns of Educational achievement: the data   Updated: June 2020

Educational Achievement and Social Class: IQ, Subculture and Material Circumstances   Revised and updated to include latest DFE attainment data Feb 2020

Educational Achievement and Social Class: The Schools

Cultural Capital, Cultural Knowledge and Ability [External Link: A Paper by Alice Sullivan]

Compensatory Education   Updated February 2017

  Private Education This document is being redrafted. Meanwhile see below for new essay on Private/Independent Education

"Race" Ethnicity and Educational Achievement [Document includes an essay] Revised February  2020 to include latest DFE data


Gender Differences in Educational Achievement: Some Explanations Revised February  2020  to include latest DFE  data


Gender and Subject Choice  Revised August 2019

Gender and Educational Achievement: Higher Education Revised August 2016

Gender and Educational Achievement: GCE Ordinary Level Data [!]

Gender and Hidden Curriculum  

From Tripartite to Comprehensive Secondary Education  Revised March 2017

Conservatism, Thatcherism, the New Right and Education Policy 1979-1997

Conservative-Lib Dem Education Policies [External Links Only]

Coalition Education Policies 2010-2015 Updated September 2016

Coalition Education Policies 2010-2015: Assignment NEW January 2016

The Academies Programme  Updated June 2015 and March 2016

Conservative Government Education Policies 2015--[Links only] Updated March 2017


Part Three: Essays



Private/Independent Education and Social Class Differences in Educational Achievement New essay March 9th 2020

Sociological Perspectives on Education Policy and Pupil Achievement   New links added June-September 2018

Poverty and Educational Achievement  Revised February 2020 to include latest DFE  data

Working class subculture and educational achievement  Revised February 2020 to include latest DFE data

Labelling theory and educational achievement  New links added February 2020

"Race" Ethnicity and Educational Achievement [Document includes an essay] Revised February 2020 to include latest DFE data  

The functions of formal education systems

Education and the Economy 



Part Four : Assignments and Discussion Topics

Assignments1-3: : Educational Achievement and Social Class

Assignment4: Functionalism, Marxism, Socialisation and the Schools

Assignment 5: Coalition Education Policies




Part Five Useful Links  [See also: Conservative Education Policies Links]

Please note that in the following links section the dates refer to when the items have been added to this page not to the dates of original publication!

Click here for article from the Conversation summarising new research by E. Bukodi and J.Goldthorpe  on education and social mobility.

Lecture by Prof. Louise Archer on Education and Social justice

Lecture by Prof. Chris Husbands: The grand challenges of education

Using numbers in educational research [lecture]

Closing the Regional attainment gap [Parliamentary Report Feb 2019]

Unequal opps

Schools and Social Mobility

Parent Power 2018 [Sutton Trust Report]

Culture Club [Infographic on above Sutton Trust Report]

Video on Pierre Bourdieu [ Long but indispensable]

Public Accounts committee discussion of academies May 2018

Commons Education Select Committee discusses Selective Education .[Video of full session. Important new link  Nov 8th 2016]



A Level Entries 2016-18 [provisional data]

School Performance in Academy Chains and Local Authorities 2017

Social Class and Educational Achievement [Mary Bourne Ph.D Thesis]

Brief item on Conservative Education Policy

PPT on Setting/Streaming

Article on grouping students


Detailed paper on setting and streaming

Sutton Trust Report on Private Tuition

Institutional Racism and Ethnic Inequalities [C. Phillips]

Alice Sullivan on Pierre Bourdieu

Introducing Bourdieu's ideas

Brief introduction to Bourdieu's ideas

Bourdieu: Cultural Capital, Habitus and Field

Prof Mike Savage on Cultural Capital

J. Golthorpe's critical assessment of Pierre Bourdieu

J Goldthorpe critical assessment of Bourdieu

J. Goldthorpe on failure of education policy to increase social mobility

Sutton Trust Social Mobility Conference July 2017

Higher Education Funding in England [IFS July 2017]

Provisional GCSE, AS and A Level  subject entries 2017

Pakistani Students and Higher Education

The ABC of Gender Equality in Education [OECD /PISA Report]

Recent report on school behaviour

Trojan Horse affair

Trojan Horse Affair

What is Preventing Social Mobility? A Review of The Evidence

Streaming [PH. D thesis]

HESA data 2017 February 2017

Useful summary article from THES on above Report February 2017

Click here for a TES article on the following report January 2017

Click here  for a detailed research report on Gender, Ethnicity and Setting and Social Mobility January 2017

Click here for information from DFE on Progress 8  January 2017

Click here for detailed recent paper on Apprenticeships by Martin Ainley November 2016

Click here for Shadow Schooling: Private Tuition and Social Mobility in the UK [Dr Philip Kirby: Sutton Trust]

Click here for Radio 4 Analysis: A Subversive History of  School Reform July 2016

Click here for detailed research paper on selection/comprehensivisation etc from UCL/IOE July 2016

Click here for report of Social Mobility Commission on The Childhood Origins of Social Mobility June 2016

 Click here for BBC coverage of the above report June 2016

The underachievement of young men in higher education and how to tackle it [ HEPI Report] May 2016

Guardian coverage of above report May 2016

Centre Forum Annual Report:  Education in England 2016 April 2016

Click here and here for Guardian coverage of Centre Forum  Report April 2016

Click here  and here for BBC coverage of Centre Forum Report April 2016

The Educational Backgrounds of the UK Professional Elite [Sutton Trust Report] March 2016

Click here for Guardian coverage and here for BBC coverage of the above report. March 2016

Lecture [text and video] on The Truth about Our Schools [Melissa Benn and Janet Downs] February 2016

Low aspirations don't explain why working class children fall behind  [Dr H. Rolfe for NIESR 2015] February 2016

Ethnicity, deprivation and educational achievement at age 16 [Prof. S. Strand for DfE 2015] February 2016

Sutton Trust Report[ 2015]  : Subject to Background January 2016

Click here and here for Guardian articles on  above Sutton Trust Report  January 2016

Social Mobility and Poverty Commission Report [2014] on high attaining  but socially disadvantaged pupils January 2016

Primary and Secondary Education and Poverty Review [Institute  of Education 2014] January 2016

Higher Education, Student Enrolment and Qualifications in UK 2014/15 [HEFCE] January 2016

Higher Education, Student Enrolment and Qualifications in UK 2014/15 [HEFCE] January 2016

Declining enrolment  in Higher Education of part-time students [Guardian] January 2016

HE attainment, subject, student characteristics and schooling [Full detailed HEFCE report 2015] January 2016

Summary data on HE attainment and student characteristics [Guardian 2014] NEW January 2016

Background to Success [Differences in A Level entries by ethnicity, neighbourhood and gender: Sutton Trust] NEW November 2015

 Guardian article on above report NEW November 2015

Socio-economic, ethnic and gender differences in HE participation {Detailed IFS Report for BIS] NEW November 2015

Ethnicity and Participation in Higher Education [IFS Observation from above Report NEW November 2015

Will we ever have a fair education system?  [From the Fair Education Alliance] NEW November 2015

What is "Aspiration"? How progressives should respond [From Classonline] NEW October 2015

Thinking Allowed: Social Mobility and Higher Education NEW October 2015

Race, Education and Inequality in contemporary Britain [The Runnymede Trust] NEW October 2015

Reclaiming Schools Blog NEW October 2015

Education, Economy and Society [radicaled.com blog] NEW October 2015

BBC  Radio 4: File on 4: Colleges in Crisis  NEW October 14th

Professor Becky Francis, Educational Attainment and Social Class [Guardian] NEW October 2015

Mind the Gap: tackling social and educational inequality [Kate Pickett and Laura Vanderbloemen]  September 2015

Mind the Gap [TES article on report]  September 2015

Detailed Report on Access to Higher Education [From HEFCE]  August 2015

Aspiration and Educational Attainment [Joseph Rowntree Report from 2012] August 2015

Aspiration and Educational Attainment [Joseph Rowntree Report Summary from 2012]  August 2015 

Full Report of Independent Commission on Fees   July 2015

BBC Coverage  of Report of Independent Commission on Fees  July 2015

Guardian Coverage of National Union of Students survey of attitudes to maintenance grants July 2015

Report on Academy Chains from the Sutton Trust  July 2015

 BBC Coverage and The Conversation Coverage Of above Sutton Trust Report   July 2015

Very useful Information on Academies from the NfER  July 2015

Annual Academies Report from DFE  July 2015

Links to the "Coasting Schools Controversy: here and here  July 2015

Research on Wastage of talent among pupils eligible for Free School Meals/Pupil Premium [Sutton Trust]  June 2015 

Primary and Secondary Education and Poverty Review [From the Institute of Education]  September 2014

Setting by Ability: What's the Evidence ?[ Chris Husbands: IOE]  September 2014

Click here for IFS general Election 2010 Education Policy Briefing

Click here for New Labour's Education Policies [by D. Hill 2006]

 Coalition Education Policies: a lecture by Professor Chris Husbands of the Institute for Education

The Class Ceiling [BBC Radio 4 Series presented by Polly Toynbee]

A Series of Videos from the Podology Site   [Use the topic menu at the top of the Podology Home Page] 

 The Social Class Gap in Educational Achievement: A Review of the Evidence [Emma Perry and Becky Francis Dec 2010]  

[UN]Satisfactory? Enhancing life chances by improving satisfactory schools [Becky Francis Dec2011]

Who cares about the white working class? [A series of detailed articles from the Runnymede Trust; published 2009]

Tackling Low Educational Achievement [R. Cassen and G. Kingdon 2007]

Deprivation and Education: The Evidence on Pupils in England : Foundation Stage to Key Stage 4 [DCSF {now DFE} March 2009]

State of the Nation 2013: Social Mobility and Child Poverty in Great Britain NEW October 2013

Click here for Guardian coverage, here for Independent coverage and here for BBC coverage of the above Report NEW October 2013

Elitist Britain [published by Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission] NEW August 2014

Commons Select Committee Inquiry "Underperformance in education of white working class children" NEW December 2013

Michael Gove's Evidence to Commons Select Committee NEW December 2013

Genetics and Education: The Moral Maze  NEW April 2014

Intelligence: Born Smart, Born Equal, Born Different {3 Part Radio 4 Series] NEW April-May 2014

An Interview with Professor Stephen Ball NEW August 2014

Educational Achievement and White Working Class Pupils [Links to  Select Committee Report and Evidence Sessions] [NEW October 2014]

Academies and Free Schools [ Education Select Committee Report] VERY IMPORTANT NEW LINKED added January 2015

A Series of Podcasts by Stephen Joel from Gateshead College On Education, Family and Crime and Deviance NEW Link added March 2015