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 a valuable resource to undergraduates studying modern history and social policy, as well as international students who wish to gain an insight of the English education system. From Butler to Balls and beyond, this book provides a unique insight into the impact and legacy of education policy.

1979–1997: Marketisation and Competition

1979–1997: Marketisation and Competition
1979–1997: Marketisation and competition


Looking back at the history of electioneering in the later half of the twentieth century it is evident that ‘education’ has been a significant factor in the election campaigns of all major parties and in the perceptions of the electorate (Ranson, 1985; Roberts, 2001).

For some politicians ‘education’ was always seen as a way of signalling their political intent, for example improving ‘social mobility’, emphasising ‘market forces’, etc., while for the majority of the electorate it was simply a means of improving the lot of their children.

Clearly the policies put in place over the years have reflected the culture and ethos of the times, so that the Education Act of 1944 was set within a rather different context from ...

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