Education Policy and Contemporary Politics by Jack Demaine

By Jack Demaine

Tony Blair has declared 'Education, schooling, schooling' to be the pinnacle precedence of his management and Labour's landslide victory in 1997 unfolded a chance for the reform of schooling. however the new executive inherited a quasi-market approach from the Conservatives, and the path of reform throughout the coming years continues to be open to discuss. This publication examines more than a few concerns and rules that might stay at the schedule good into the recent millennium. the difficulty of choice, and questions of gender and racism are mentioned intimately. The politics of the nationwide Curriculum and difficulties surrounding evaluation are explored either on the subject of faculties and the wider factor of lifelong studying. questions about institution effectiveness and the advance of colleges are mentioned, in addition to ICT coverage. The ebook explores key questions round the destiny reform of schooling in modern Britain.

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Labour has indicated the possibility that the running of such schools or groups of schools might be handed over to private companies, as has happened in some states in America (Wilby 1998). In Britain, the National Union of Teachers has pledged ‘to block any scheme under the government's EAZ initiative to allow private companies to run schools’ (Bilefsky 1998). New initiatives which recognize and utilize opportunities to target appropriate funding and expertise to schools and children in need, rather than the profits of private companies, would be the way forward for a government that attached a high priority to the notion of social justice.

But other less visible and potentially even more unfair ways of establishing applicants' suitability include the use (notably by some grantmaintained schools) of application forms which bear little resemblance to the school's published criteria and which may include intrusive enquiries into family background. It may be significant that just over forty per cent of the heads of grant-maintained schools questioned by Cauldwell and Reid (1996) declined to comment on their admissions procedures, possibly indicating the significance of covert selection in the competition for those pupils most likely to sustain or improve a school's academic reputation.

In September 1997 the new Labour Government announced that from the academic year 1999–2000 ‘there will be no entitlement to maintenance grant’ (DfEE 1997, p. 9) and laid plans for a system of ‘up front’ means-tested tuition fees and student maintenance loans to replace grants. Labour avoided the use of the phrase ‘graduate tax’, although the government is said to be ‘looking at whether repayments might be collected through the Inland Revenue’ (ibid. p. 8). The notion of a ‘graduate tax’ had been on Labour's agenda in the early 1990s when Jeff Rooker was a Shadow Minister.

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