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To show all students how to aim at a career became a prime and proud function of schools throughout the wealthy parts of the Western world after the end of World War II. Until 1939, in a country with very different systems of production, British schools largely expected to disperse their pupils to local industries and services according to the customs and expectations of neighbourhood and social class at a time when those were more settled and taken-for-granted than they are nowadays. Equality of opportunity wasn't at that time such a powerful political value, and as the subsequently notorious Norwood Report of 1939 put it, it just so happened that there were three types of pupil – the academic, the technical and the practical ...

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