Education Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sonia Exley OLD.2.64


This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics and BSc in Social Policy and Sociology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to the main issues in educational policy. It draws on interdisciplinary research literature and has a comparative and international focus. The course aims to show how major concepts used in social policy can be applied to the study of education, for example, equality of opportunity, equity and the distribution of resources. 

Issues to be addressed include: policy goals of education; historical development of education and the role of the state in provision and funding; the impact of social characteristics on educational outcomes (class, gender, ethnicity and ‘race); education of children with special educational needs and disabilities; financing education; private schooling; privatisation and the changing role of the state; early years education; school-based education; post-compulsory education including higher education; education systems in comparative perspective and education regimes, decentralisation and devolution. Not all of these issues are covered as separate weekly topics.



Courses in Social Policy will follow the Teaching Model which has been adopted by the Department of Social Policy during the period of the pandemic. This is outlined HERE: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy

This course will be taught through a combination of either a recorded lecture plus a follow-up Q and A session or a ‘live’ on-line lecture; and classes/seminars of 1-1.5 hours (with size and length of classes/seminars depending on social distancing requirements).

Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.

Formative coursework

There will be three pieces of formative work for students to complete:

One formative essay in MT

One formative essay in LT

One mock online assessment essay in LT.

Indicative reading

Some introductory texts are recommended:

Arthur, J., Peterson, A. (eds) (2011) The Routledge Companion to Education. London: Routledge.

Lauder, H., Brown, P., Dillabough, J., Halsey, A.H. (eds) (2006) Education, Globalization and Social Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Specialist reading lists for each topic will be provided.


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2020/21: 26

Average class size 2020/21: 9

Capped 2020/21: Yes (28)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills