I am going to start firstly, by looking at how the family was in the years of the industrial revolution and how education was shaped and changed in this period. Secondly, I will look into the post-war immigration and how education was implicated, due to the introduction of new cultures. Citizenship classes have been introduced to cater for the changes and I will explain why some parents disagree to them. Thirdly, I will explain about the different types of families in the modern day society, looking at how education has not only changed in schools but has also been linked to the home and educating parents in some aspects of family life. I will specifically look at single-parent families and how it has been reported that these children already have a disadvantage in education, if they are from this type of family.
In the nineteenth century, the family structure was shaped by the industrial revolution. It spread throughout Britain and there was a massive increase in the number of factories. As the number of factories grew, people moved from the countryside into towns looking for better paid work. The towns were not ready for this great increase of people and housing was very overcrowded. Rooms were rented to whole families. Family size at this time was between six to twelve children and they all slept and fed in a single room. Muncie, et al (1993) cited that Smith (1986:pg 18) showed that in 1860 the average marriage produced seven children. Also part of the family living in one room were the grandparents, this is known as an extended family. Grandparents lived and were looked after by the family because they were a valuable resource, as a childminder. “Kin were an important source of aid in ‘critical life situations’ for example, aging parents, who lived with and were supported by their married children, provided a child-minding service which allowed the mother to work”. (Elliot 1986:p46).
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, schools were not very common and none were provided by the state. Children, in the working-class, were seen as benefits to the family as they were sent to work in the factories to help bring in money for the family. There was no compulsory education but Burnett (1982 ) explains that expansion of the Sunday school movement was of a great importance. It brought education opportunities to those who worked 6 days a week. Burnett (1982) also explains that sometimes even the very poor children could not attend Sunday school as they did not have suitable clothes or shoes, and the rich attended much better Sunday schools. Even before state education was around, the class divide was great, the rich had better education and the poor couldn’t even attend due to being so poor. England was introduced to universal, free education by these Sunday schools and this developed the system of day-schooling.
As the types of work became more diverse, the machinery in the factories became more technical and needed skilled workers to...