Publication Year: 2013
Do you find it difficult to keep up with the pace of change in education policy? This essential book takes an historical perspective to illuminate current educational issues. The authors draw on documentary evidence to describe, record and analyze education policy in England and Wales since the Second World War.
Inside you will find in-depth interviews with a number of former Education Ministers, and others who were directly involved in the development and implementation of education policy. Key decision-makers such as David Blunkett, Ed Balls and Michael Gove are asked to discuss the historical context of their period of office and to consider the lasting legacy of the policies they have been responsible for.
This is a must-read for graduate students in education courses. It will be ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Section 1: 1944–1979: The Postwar Consensus
- Chapter 1: 1944–1960: The Postwar Consensus: Education for All?
- Chapter 2: 1960–1969: A Decade of Social and Legislative Innovation
- Chapter 3: 1970–1979: The Breakdown of Consensus
- Section 2: 1979–1997: Marketisation and Competition
- Chapter 4: 1979–1987: Introduction of Competition into Education
- Chapter 5: 1988–1992: Education Reform: A Period of Turbulence
- Chapter 6: 1992–1997: Education Practice Under the Microscope
- Section 3: 1997–2010: Blair and Beyond
- Chapter 7: 1997–2001: The First Labour Government Since 1979
- Chapter 8: 2001–2007: The Second Phase of the Labour Government
- Chapter 9: 2007–2010: The Final Part of the New Labour Project
- Chapter 10: 2010 and Beyond: Interesting Times
Education at SAGE[Page ii]
SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets.
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Find out more at: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/education
© Ian Abbott, Michael Rathbone and Phil Whitehead 2013
First published 2013
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.
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About the Authors
List of Abbreviations[Page ix]
AEC Association of Education Committees ALI Adult Learning Inspectorate APU Assessment of Performance Unit AQAC Assessment, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority BCU Birmingham City University BEC Business Education Council Becta British Educational Communications and Technology Agency BSF Building Schools for the Future BTEC Business and Technology Council CACE Central Advisory Council for Education (England) CPD Continuing Professional Development CRB Criminal Records Bureau CSE Certificate of Secondary Education CSG Curriculum Study Group CTC city technology college DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families DES Department of Education and Science DfE Department for Education DfEE Department for Education and Employment DfES Department for Education and Skills EAZ Education Action Zone E-Bacc English Baccalaureate EMA Education Maintenance Allowance EPA Educational Priority Area ERA Education Reform Act 1988 ETS Educational Testing Services FE Further Education FEFC Further Education Funding Council FTE full-time equivalent GCE General Certificate of Education GMS Grant Maintained School [Page x] GNVQ General National Vocational Qualification GTC General Teaching Council HMI Her Majesty's Inspectorate ICT Information and Communications Technology ITB Industrial Training Boards LEA local education authority LMS local management of schools LSC Learning and Skills Council MSC Manpower Services Commission NAHT National Association of Head Teachers NCC National Curriculum Council NCSL National College for School Leadership NCVQ National Council for Vocational Qualifications NEET ‘not in education, employment or training’ NFER National Foundation for Educational Research NQT Newly Qualified Teacher NUT National Union of Teachers NVQ National Vocational Qualification Ofsted Office of Standards in Education PFI Private Finance Initiative PSHE Personal, Social and Health Education PLTS personal, learning and thinking skills QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority RE Religious Education ROSLA raising of school-leaving age SACRE Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education SAT Standard Assessment Task SCAA School Curriculum and Assessment Authority SCCE Schools Council for the Curriculum and Examinations SEAC Schools Examination and Assessment Council SEU Standards and Effectiveness Unit SSAT Specialist Schools and Academies Trust SSEC Secondary School Examination Council STF Standards Task Force TA Teacher Assessment TDA Teaching and Development Agency for Schools TEC Technician Education Council TGAT Task Group on Assessment and Testing TTA Teacher Training Agency TVEI Technical and Vocational Education Initiative UCE University of Central England UTC University Technical College YOP Youth Opportunities Programme YTS Youth Training Scheme
This book had its origins in a series of conversations between the three authors who had worked together for a number of years in the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick. Our working experience as teachers and researchers ranged across higher education, further education, and secondary, primary and nursery schools over a period of fifty years. Obviously even before that we had been children in schools so it was perhaps inevitable that education policy would feature as part of the conversations.
As we shared our experiences it became clear that during our time ‘at the chalk face’ there have been comparatively few occasions when we had time to stand back and think about how education policy was being formulated at the highest level. Yet that policy had impacted enormously on our teaching lives and the lives of children/students in our care.
Among other things we had worked with two-year trained emergency teachers who in some cases had fought in the war; we had experienced the upheaval when comprehensive education had been introduced into our schools; seen teaching becoming a ‘degree only’ profession; taught classes in secondary modern schools when the school-leaving age was raised in the 1970s; read and implemented the newly published Plowden and Warnock Reports; seen teacher strikes; experienced Ofsted inspections; and been working when a National Curriculum was instituted. At a later stage we saw Academies and Free Schools introduced and we engaged with ‘Teach First’, a very recent method of teacher training which owes much to its American roots.
Indeed all of us had eventually been employed preparing aspiring teachers for a career teaching in schools and colleges and working with experienced teachers on their professional development.
As we talked reference was frequently made to those people who had formulated the policies which we had implemented. Thus we remembered the Education Secretaries (or whatever they were titled at any particular time), their ideologies and the governments of which they were part.[Page xii]
- What did we recall of the likes of Edward Short, Kenneth Baker and Shirley Williams, or know of Michael Gove – their backgrounds, legacies, feelings and convictions when they were in power and afterwards?
- And what of the others – many others?
- How were their policies developed within the political context and what was the context of the schools/colleges in which they were implemented?
This led to the realisation that in our experience the present generation of trainee teachers has little idea of how many aspects of the present state education system in schools and colleges have developed – and why they have developed in particular ways.
- Was there really a time when teachers were broadly in charge of the curriculum and politicians would never have dared to dictate what was taught?
- What happened when there was no formal inspection system, or league tables of schools?
- Why are local education authorities so much involved with some schools but hardly at all in others?
- How did it come about that that there are grammar schools in some areas of the country and ‘bog standard’ comprehensive schools in others?
- And how did the rather demeaning term ‘bog standard comprehensive’ arise?
These are the sort of questions which we found being asked by many students studying for initial and higher degrees in education, as well as students on the multitude of modular courses which include aspects of the history and development of our education system. Included among these are many courses studied by foreign students seeking to gain insights with which to inform education in their own countries.
The answers can only really come from reference to the development of education policy over the whole postwar period.
Research into the existing literature revealed that although there were some relevant texts about particular periods, and that some pertinent articles had been written at various times, our suspicion about the apparent lack of an overall text focusing on policy and on Education Secretaries was justified.
More formal discussions with a number of colleagues, ex-colleagues and students substantiated this view. A text which particularly looked at the development of education policy since 1945 and took account, as far as possible, of the insights of the Education Secretaries – with reference to their writings and the remarks of their contemporaries and later commentators – would be a valuable addition to existing literature.
[Page xiii]It further became clear that such a text would be much enhanced by the addition of responses to interviews carried out with as many Education Secretaries as possible. These up-to-date interviews would give the benefit of hindsight to the participants and enable the whole to be written up taking account of the political context and school/college context at the time.
Consequently, when the project was given formal support by colleagues in several university departments across the country, a list of education secretaries was compiled and invitations to interview were dispatched.
Kenneth Baker, Ed Balls, David Blunkett, Michael Gove, Alan Johnson, Ruth Kelly, John MacGregor, Estelle Morris, Gillian Shepard and Shirley Williams all indicated their willingness to participate and were interviewed over a period of two years. Many of these were still in political office and were interviewed in the House of Commons or the House of Lords, while others were interviewed privately. The interviews were designed to be flexible but nevertheless to follow roughly the same pattern and enable the interviewee to make individual points. Interviewing senior politicians created a number of issues and we soon discovered how difficult Jeremy Paxman's job actually is! However, all the interviewees were generous with their time, open about their period of time in office and relished the opportunity to talk about what for many of them had been the most important job in their political career. The interviews were recorded and the resulting insights used as the basis of the text of the book.
The writers hope that the result is a text which will help students, researchers, teachers, policy-makers and other interested parties to understand the development of education policy in the postwar years.
We wish to thank everyone who has helped with this project and in particular the Education Secretaries who agreed to be interviewed, Caroline Parker who was responsible for much of the secretarial work with the text and those at Sage Publications who supported the work.
We, of course, take responsibility for any errors in the final text.[Page xiv]
Appendix: Table of Ministers/Secretaries of State 1945–Present[Page 193]
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