Politics and Policy Making in Education
Explorations in Sociology
Routledge – 2012 – 244 pages
Based on interviews with key actors in the policy-making process, this book maps the changes in education policy and policy making in the Thatcherite decade. The focus of the book is the 1988 Education Reform Act, its origins, purposes and effects, and it looks behind the scenes at the priorities of the politicians, civil servants and government advisers who were influential in making changes. Using direct quotations from senior civil servants and former secretaries of state it provides a fascinating insight into the way in which policy is made. The book focuses on real-life political conflicts, examining the way in which education policy was related to the ideal of society projected by Thatcherism. It looks in detail at the New Right government advisers and think tanks; the industrial lobby, addressing issues such as the National Curriculum, national testing and City Technical Colleges. The author sets these important issues within a clear theoretical framework which illuminates the whole process of policy making.
List of Figures. Preface. Introduction. 1 Policy Matters! 2 Discipline and Chaos: the New Right and Discourses of Derision 3 The New Right and Education Policy 4 Industrial Training or New Vocationalism? Structures and Discourses 5 Towards the Post-Fordist School? 6 Curriculum plc: the ERA, policy, partnerships and the school curriculum 7 Colouring in the boxes: the struggles over a National Curriculum 8 Endnote. Appendix 1 List of Acronyms and Abbreviations. Appendix 2 List of Interviewees and Comment on Interviews. References. Index.