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.

1970–1979: The Breakdown of Consensus
1970–1979: The breakdown of consensus
Introduction

This chapter will describe and examine the range of educational policies and issues prominent during the 1970s and will consider the contributions to education policy and practice of the Secretaries of State who held office from 1970 to 1979. Contributions from the four Secretaries of State – Margaret Thatcher, Reginald Prentice, Frederick Mulley and Shirley Williams – were extremely variable and reflected the length of office served by each, the agendas that each had to work with, and the demands of party, career and office.

Context

The economic problems of the 1970s provided the background to ...

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