First, what is new about these manifestations is their scale, scope and penetration into almost all aspects of the education endeavour – from the administrative apparatus to policymaking, and from formal provision in education settings to out-of-school activities, such as private tutoring. Second, what is particularly controversial about these developments is how education itself is being recast; as a sector it is increasingly being opened up to profit-making and trade, and to agenda-setting by private, commercial interests. Third, the learner is increasingly conceptualised as a consumer, and education a consumer good. The case studies therefore enable us to see more clearly how different forms of the private in education alter what is at stake, for whom, and with what outcomes, and the consequences for individuals and societies. In turn, these raise the very important question about what they mean for our conceptualisations of education, learning and teaching, on the one hand, and for education as a site and means for emancipation, on the other.
These are profound social justice concerns, and ones that make this volume distinctive. This book sets out to address these hard, but urgent, questions and will be of interest to academics and students of education, education researchers, government personnel and policymakers.
On the 1st May 1997 the British electorate witnessed a watershed moment. After an eighteen year Conservative rule, a New Labour government took office. When asked what his top three priorities were for the first term, Tony Blair stated that they would be ‘education, education, education.’ This book questions the extent to which the policy has met the rhetoric; examining Labour’s education policy, practice and achievements during Blair’s two terms in office.
This selection of writings by highly respected academics in this field charts and evaluates the effects of policy changes on the various sectors of the educational system and on the major indicators of inequality.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the Oxford Review of Education.
From 2010, under the coalition government, two new types of Academy were introduced. While the original Academies were based on the idea of closing poor schools and replacing them by dramatically redesigned and restructured ones, the 2010 Academies Act allowed existing highly successful state-maintained schools to apply to become Academies as well. Further, while Labour had restricted Academy status to secondary schools, the Coalition extended it to primary and special schools. The result is that there has been a dramatic increase in the number and diversity of Academies.
In addition to this, the 2010 Act introduced Free Schools, wherein groups of parents, teachers, or other sponsors can apply to start their own state-maintained, but officially ‘independent’, schools. These schools can either be completely new or the result of existing private schools applying to become state-maintained. The results of these changes remain under-researched.
This book puts forward new research that examines the history and nature of Academies and Free Schools, the processes by which they have come into existence, and their effects in terms of social justice. The contributors do not all speak with one voice, but rather present a diversity of views on these important topics. Included in the collection are the results of research on pupil outcomes and socio-economic segregation; issues of identity and ethos in church academies; the problems of establishing free schools; the history of policy on Academies; and a comparison between Swedish independent schools and Academies and Free Schools. This book was originally published as a special issue of Research Papers in Education.
Geoffrey Walford’s conclusions about life in public schools differ considerably from traditional expectations. At the same time he asks whether there really has been a ‘public school revolution’. His book makes an important contribution to our knowledge of public schools, to debates in the sociology of education and to the issues of abolishing or extending the independent sector.