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About the SeriesThe SAGE Key Concepts series provides students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension.Key Concepts in Education provides students with over 100 essential themes, topics and expressions that Education students are likely to encounter, both during their courses and beyond in professional practice. Co-authored to draw on experiences of working within academia, local authorities and the classroom, the entries provide:a definition of the concepta description of the historical and practical contextan explanation of how the concept is appliedan evaluation of the concepthelpful references and suggested further readingThis book will be essential reading for students of Education, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers. About the AuthorsFred Inglis is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Sheffield. Lesley Aers is a senior member of a local authority school improvement service and an Ofsted inspector. Both authors are former schoolteachers.  


The word ‘comprehensive’ comes from ‘to comprehend’, which means to understand but took on the meaning of a full, overarching understanding, as in the title of a book published in 1875: A Comprehensive Survey of the Philosophy of Plato. It is this sense of being all-inclusive that is signified in the term ‘comprehensive schools’.

After the 1944 Education Act, local education authorities (LEAs) operated a selective system of grammar schools for those children who passed the ‘11 plus’, and ‘secondary moderns’ for the rest. This system was full of inequalities and anomalies. For example, some authorities had far more grammar school places than others. More girls than boys passed the 11 plus, but there were not extra places available for them, as many authorities had ...

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