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.

1992–1997: Education Practice Under the Microscope

1992–1997: Education practice under the microscope
  • Restructuring the National Curriculum
  • Inspection of schools
  • Incorporation of FE colleges
  • Publication of results


The period of government between 1992 and 1997 was the final stage of a Conservative-led government which had lasted since the first election victory of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. After the election of 1992, however, the government majority was only 21 seats.

In the field of education these final five years saw further development of the principles of the Education Reform Act and their implementation and extension. During the period the government became increasingly unpopular and in 1997 there was a ‘landslide’ victory for the Labour Party, although as will be seen in Section 3 many of the changes in education which had been enacted ...

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