Summary of Key Points There are two contrasting views of education: liberal education and training.Education is a major contributor to the development of human capital and is regarded as a continuing need for all citizens.There are different levels of education provision: early years, primary, secondary, further, higher and continuing, though the last three are increasingly seen in terms of lifelong learning.Education policy has been devolved to the administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in some respects developed on different lines within the UK.Public schools still offer private education to a minority of children from wealthy backgrounds.Universal state education up to 15 was introduced in 1944.From the late 1960s comprehensive schools replaced the tripartite system of secondary education.A national school curriculum was introduced in 1988 and more power devolved to schools. Recent reforms have changed the former and enabled schools in England to become self-governing Academies.School education aims to guarantee minimum standards and especially in England to provide choice for parents and pupils.Further and higher education (FE, HE) have expanded significantly since the late twentieth century, bringing changes in their funding and governance and, particularly in England, increasing marketization. Continuing education has also become more important.Concerns over equality of opportunity in education have led governments to target extra resources on certain schools or categories of learners.Concerns over standards have led to new modes of quality assurance and performance management.
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