2 Lecture Structure The Butler Act The comprehensive system Conservative education reformsNew Labour education reformsCoalition education reforms
3 1944 Education Act (Butler Act) Free and compulsory secondary education for all childrenCreates Local Education AuthoritiesEstablished the infant - primary - secondary and further education system based around ageCreated the tripartite system
4 Tripartite System Grammar schools Secondary Modern Schools For the ‘academic’ childSecondary Modern SchoolsFor the ‘non – academic’ childTechnical SchoolsFocused upon vocational educationCements a hierarchy of education that values ‘academic’ more than ‘vocational’Testing at eleven (11 plus)Effectively bipartite:Minority of pupils: GrammarMajority of pupils: Secondary Modern
5 The Comprehensive System Growing calls to scrap ‘unjust’ 11 plus and ‘class based’ school systemComprehensives will help modernise Britain – tap all potentialNo child held back because of test at 11Circular 10/65:LEAs to submit plans for transforming school systems into comprehensives
6 The white heat of technology 1960s ideal of Labour to modernise:Comprehensive schoolsUniversity building program (20 new universities)Inc. Warwick in 1965The Open UniversityTap adult potential as wellA technological revolution: modernise!
7 Conservative education reforms Thatcher (then Education Minister) reverses Circular 10/65 during early 1970sScraps free school milk in 1971:"Thatcher, Thatcher, Milk Snatcher"LEAs defy Thatcher and supply milk & also keep comprehensive systemDeep distrust of LEAs amongst Conservatives is the outcome.
8 Conservative education reforms Weaken power of LEAs, consolidate central control1980 Education Act:Parents have say in admissionsMilk scrapped again1988 Education Reform Act:Introduces grant maintained schools (outside LEA funding)National curriculumOfsted created in 1992Polytechnics become universities (30 new universities)Introduces ‘top up’ loans for university students – weakens grant system
9 Marketisation Increasing desire for parental choice Ranking of schools produces quasi-market:Ofsted reportsLeague tables (based on common curriculum)Competition between schools for best pupilsCompetition amongst parents to secure best school
10 New Labour education reforms Education, education, education.Blair’s solution to a globalised worldAnd to youth unemployment?Huge diversity of schools:Academies, technology colleges, beacon schools, faith schools…Comprehensives now seen as ‘bog standard’Targeting & testing:Charles Clarke: “the age of education for education’s sake has passed”
11 Monetising the systemTarget of getting 50% of children into universityEMA:Means tested fortnightly payment designed to improve retention (and increase university application numbers?)Tuition fees:1998 £1000 p/a2004 £3000 p/a
12 Coalition education reforms More of the same?Wider diversification in secondary education:Free schoolsFree from LEA control & national curriculumEMA scrapped and replaced with targeted bursaryTuition fees up to £9000 p/a
13 The market for education Secondary schools:‘Choice’ based on Ofsted reports and league tablesUniversities:‘Choice’ based on priceUniversities as ‘providers’, students as ‘customers’However, £9000 cap distorts market and result is clustering at top of fee scale
14 ConclusionsSince 1980s an erosion of Local Education Authorities’ powerIncreased diversification and weakening of the common school idealMarketisation of the system through fees, league tables and Ofsted reportsNational curriculum allows schools to be compared on result