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Thatcherism and Education in England : A One-way Street ?

Anne Beauvallet
p. 97-114

Résumé

The key policies initiated in the 1980s such as structural reforms (school and provider diversification, the role of parents in an education market), the focus on basics and standards, hardening official attitudes towards teachers and the increased powers of central government, have since 1990 been systematised and are now entrenched in England. This is why Thatcherism is a genuine legacy as it underlies the whole education system and agenda. However, its domination is not absolute. Not all schools, particularly at primary level, are academies. Social objectives have been perceptible in government policies since 1997 with measures like the Sure Start scheme or the pupil premium. Finally, some schools, whatever their status, have chosen to work together with the Schools Co-operative Society and their values can hardly be called Thatcherite.

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Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 Qtd. in Simon, B., 1991, p.511.

1Margaret Thatcher is the only Prime Minister to whom Oxford University refused to award an honorary degree in protest at the “deep and systematic damage to the whole public education system in Britain”1. I wish to analyse the impact of Thatcherism on schools in England. The latter will be explored through key themes such as structural reforms (school status, education providers, the role of parents), the issues of basics and standards, governments’ attitudes towards teachers and the balance of power in the system, particularly regarding local government, schools and central government. I will first consider the 1970s in order to better analyse education policies in the 1980s. The reforms implemented since 1990 will then be tackled. Finally, I will explore the reasons why Thatcherism and English education are not a one-way street.

The 1970s as a prelude to education policies in the 1980s

2In the 1970s, the education system was criticized by the right, in particular by contributors to five Black Papers released from 1969 to 1977. The contents of The Crisis in Education published in 1975 by one of their editors, Rhodes Boyson, offers an insight into such arguments. The first part entitled “Signs of Breakdown” includes chapters on “Illiteracy” (1), “Violence and Indiscipline” (2), “Truancy” (3) and “University Disorder” (4). In the second part, Boyson lists “The Reasons for Breakdown” such as “Retreat from Authority” (chapter 7), “The Use of the Discovery Method” (8), “The Comprehensive School” (10), “Destreaming” (11), “The Attack on Examinations” (14), “The Fall in the Calibre of Teachers and Teacher Training” (15) and “The Over-expansion of Universities” (16). The measures Boyson presents in the third part (“Plan for Revival”) are based on “The Return of Authority” (chapter 18) at school (19) and at university levels (20). Comprehensive schools and progressive, that is child-centred, teaching methods were thus seen as harmful since they provoked lower standards, unrest at school and in higher education and were being championed by ideologically-driven and ineffective teachers. Such critics also expressed a sense of acute crisis and the need to act quickly and decisively.

  • 2 Moore, C., 2013, p.215.

3Margaret Thatcher was Education Secretary from 1970 to 1974. Beyond her controversial decision to end free milk for schoolchildren aged seven to eleven (1971 Education (Milk) Act), she opposed quite a few plans of comprehensive schools and this led to the publication in September 1973 of a hostile pamphlet entitled Indictment of Margaret Thatcher, Secretary of State for Education 1970-3. In defence of the Education Act 1944, 7 & 8 Geo 6. Ch. 31. On behalf of local education authorities, teachers, parents, children. Yet, Margaret Thatcher presided over the opening of many comprehensive schools. On her first day of office, there were 1,137 comprehensives. On the day she left, 3,286 comprehensive schemes had been approved, 326 comprehensive schemes had been rejected and she had saved 94 grammar schools2.

  • 3 Callaghan, J. 1976.
  • 4 Callaghan, J. 1976.

4Labour’s position on education also evolved in the 1970s. In October 1976, Prime Minister James Callaghan gave a famous speech in Oxford, giving rise to the Great Debate. He insisted many schools were very good but he reported “complaints from industry” on the skills of school-leavers and “the unease felt by parents and others about the new informal methods of teaching”3. He raised concerns over the examination system and the need for “a basic curriculum with universal standards”4. Such a stance seemed to vindicate Black Papers’ contributors and their influence can be felt in the education policies implemented in the 1980s. The latter however should not be viewed as entirely consistent since some of their objectives are inherently contradictory. The concepts of education market and choice for instance entail decentralization as opposed to centralization entailed by the national curriculum.

Education policies in the 1980s

  • 5 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.39.
  • 6 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.570.

5We will first tackle structural reforms, that is school diversification and the role of parents. The 1979 Education Act allowed Local Education Authorities (LEAs) to retain grammar schools. The 1980 Education Act phased in the Assisted Places Scheme which was, in the words of M. Thatcher, “enabling talented children from poorer backgrounds to go to private schools”5. The 1988 Education Reform Act initiated City Technology Colleges (CTCs, section 105), that is secondary schools financed by a private-sector sponsors and by central government. They laid the emphasis on technological skills, could select their intake and by-passed local authority monitoring as they were directly accountable to the Education Secretary. The 1988 Education Reform Act also created grant maintained schools which shared some of CTCs’ characteristics such as their right to use selection and their freedom from local authorities. According to Margaret Thatcher, they were “independent state schools”6, which shows the framework set by the 1944 Education Act was being abandoned.

  • 7 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.591.
  • 8 Philips, D. and G. Whannel, 2013, p.148.

6The 1980 Education Act gave parents greater powers on governing bodies (section 2) and the right to choose a school (“Parental preferences”, section 6). The objective of Margaret Thatcher’s Government was made clearer through the 1988 Education Reform Act as per-capita funding became part of the equation. Here is what she wrote on the Act in her memoirs: “Parents would vote with their children’s feet and schools actually gained resources when they gained pupils.”7 Parents were turned into consumers in an education market, all the more so as private sector intervention was growing, albeit in a low-key fashion. This is what Deborah Philips and Garry Whannel call “a stealthy introduction of the free market into schools” in their study on The Growth of Commercial Sponsorship8.

  • 9 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.562.
  • 10 Letwin, S.R, 1992, p.257.

7In the 1980s, the Education Department focused on basics and standards, which stemmed directly from Black Papers and Callaghan’s speech in 1976. In her memoirs, Margaret Thatcher described the Conservatives’ position when preparing for the 1987 general elections: “in Education, however, the Conservatives were trusted because although people thought we would spend less than Labour on schools they rightly understood that we were interested in standards […]; and they knew that Labour’s ‘loony Left’ had a hidden agenda of social engineering and sexual liberation.”9 The 1988 Education Reform Act phased in the National Curriculum with three core subjects (mathematics, English and science), six foundation subjects (history, geography, technology, music, art and physical education) and a modern foreign language at key stages 3 and 4 (ages 12 to 16). The 1988 Act also defined key stages 1 to 4 (ages 5 to 16). This led to tests and exams at various key stages, although the introduction of Generals Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) in 1986 to replace the General Certificate of Education, O Level and the Certificate of Secondary Education has been described as “the same old orthodoxy of progressive education”10.

  • 11 McVicar, M., 1990, pp.136-7.
  • 12 Evans, E.J., 2013, pp.75-6.

8From 1984 to 1987, Thatcher’s Governments won pay battles with teaching unions and they paved the way for the 1987 Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Act which “imposed a new salary system and conditions of employment” by scrapping “the existing negotiating machinery”11. The government’s attitude towards teachers was hardening. Eric J. Evans entitled Chapter 6 of his work Thatcher and Thatcherism “The attack on the professional ethic”: “If, like Thatcher, you believed […] that the education establishment was a secret garden of cosy consensuality that valued ’personal development’ above measurable attainment, then you would want to dismantle the entire culture.”12

  • 13 Graves, N., 1988, p.139.
  • 14 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.597.

9 The balance of power in the English school system shifted in the 1980s. Norman Graves thus describes the post-war arrangements: “The period 1944 to 1976 could be seen as one of consensus in educational policy based on a […] partnership […] between the Department of Education and Science […] and the Local Education Authorities.”13 City Technology Colleges and grant maintained schools were not monitored by local authorities. Furthermore, the 1988 Education Reform Act introduced “local management of schools” (LMS), the latter controlling almost entirely their whole budget (section 36). In Margaret Thatcher’s words, this was “leaving [Local Education Authorities] with a monitoring and advisory role.”14 Such leeway for schools seems to point to decentralization in the education system. However, CTCs and grant maintained schools were directly funded by and accountable to the Education Secretary, which indicates the opposite trend.

  • 15 Hall, S., 1988, p.276.
  • 16 Hall, S., 1988, p.278-80.

10Policies in the 1980s had a dramatic effect on the education agenda. In 1988, Stuart Hall published The Hard Road to Renewal in which he developed the following argument. Although it applied to the National Health Service (NHS), it fits education perfectly: “We may have to acknowledge that there is often a rational core to Thatcherism’s critique which reflects some substantive issues, which Thatcherism did not create but addresses in its own way.”15 This is why, according to Stuart Hall, the left had to overhaul its ideological strategy to counter Thatcherism by taking into account issues like choice, the market, consumers and “need to build a majority around the NHS.”16

Education policies since 1990

  • 17 Judd, J. and F. Abrams, 1996.
  • 18 Department for Education and Employment, 1997, p.37.
  • 19 Blair, T., 2005.
  • 20 Department for Education, 2014, p.12.

11Thatcherite measures thus could not but leave their mark at various levels of the system regarding structures, standards and basics, teachers and the balance of power. Funding for grant maintained schools was favoured by the 1993 Education Act (sections 7, 81-5). The promise of John Major in 1996 to create “a grammar school in every town” was not kept but it bears out the Conservative Government’s objectives in terms of school diversification17. They were shared by New Labour Governments from 1997 to 2010. Indeed Part IV of the 1997 White Paper Excellence in Schools is about “Modernizing the comprehensive principle.”18 New schools were created, such as beacon schools in 1998, specialist schools in 2000, City Academies also in 2000 and trust schools in 2005. Specialist schools and City Academies had to get private sector sponsorship (£ 50,000 for specialist schools) and obtained more funding by the central government (£ 600,000 over four years for specialist schools). They could select up to 10% of their intake and enjoyed a fair degree of leeway on curriculum, staff recruitment and management as they were outside local authority control. City academies were described as “independent state schools” by Tony Blair in 2005 in a speech to the City of London Academy19, the very phrase Margaret Thatcher had used about grant maintained schools. From 2010 to 2015, the coalition Government followed suit by phasing in free schools and the 2010 Academies Act has eased the conversion of many secondary schools into academies. The impact at secondary school level has been patent since “at 31 July 2013, 51% of state-funded mainstream secondary schools […] were operating as academies.”20

  • 21 Morris, S. and R. Smithers, 2002.

12 The Parents’ Charter first published in 1991 gave parents more information about schools and their performance. The 1998 School Standards and Framework Act initiated home-school contracts (sections 110-1), which led to jail sentences for the parents of children repeatedly playing truant21.

  • 22 National Audit Office, 2013, p.7.
  • 23 Philips D. and G. Whannel, 2013, p.158.

13New Labour Governments thus laid the emphasis on parents’ responsibilities as well as their rights in the education market. They also pursued private sector intervention with their use of Private Finance Initiative schemes (PFI) introduced in 1992 by John Major’s Government. PFI enables both local and central governments to ensure school building without paying for it upfront as expenditure usually spans three decades. The practice is still widespread as a 2013 National Audit Office report shows that “the Department of Health and the Department for Education have oversight of 376 contracts (55 per cent of all operational PFI contracts).”22 Private companies have been given a greater role in the management of schools. The 1993 Education Act allowed sponsors of grant-maintained schools to be part of governing bodies (section 66, schedule 11). The same was done by New Labour Governments for businesses financing specialist schools and academies as they were also given a say on the curriculum and the school ethos. Outsourcing was resorted to for King’s Manor School in Guildford in 2001 or for Local Education Authorities in Islington and Hackney in 1999 and Bradford in 2000. Deborah Philips and Garry Whannel highlight the continuity with Thatcherite policies: “The handing over of a whole school authority to a for-profit company was a step beyond City Technology Colleges, even the Thatcher government had not handed over schooling to the private sector on such a scale as did New Labour.”23

  • 24 “We believe there is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state.” Conservat (...)
  • 25 Philips D. and G. Whannel, 2013, p.226.

14The concept of Big Society put forward by the coalition Government from 2010 to 2015 has entailed opening the door of the education system not just to the private sector but also to the voluntary sector. Free schools and Teach First are obvious examples of this policy. Free schools can be opened and managed by any organisation provided they get the Education Secretary’s approval and Teach First, partly funded by central government, is a social enterprise training the best graduates to achieve the Qualified Teacher Status by getting experience with poor children. Such a stance enables the Conservative Party to appear as compassionate24 but, as Deborah Philips and Garry Whannel argue, “the Government is intent on shrinking the public realm and the Big Society is the mechanism by which to do it.”25

  • 26 Alexander, R., J. Rose and C. Woodhead, 1992, pp.1, 18.
  • 27 Meikle, J., 2007.
  • 28 Gove, M., 2010.
  • 29 Department for Education, 2013.
  • 30 Gove, M., 2011.
  • 31 BBC News Online, 2012.

15Standards and basics have remained central to government policies since 1990. In 1992, Robin Alexander, Jim Rose and Chris Woodhead published Curriculum Organisation and Classroom Practice in Primary Schools, A Discussion Paper in which they argued that standards in literacy and numeracy have declined in primary schools in part because of dubious teaching methods26. In 1998 and 1999 were respectively launched the National Literacy Strategy and the National Numeracy Strategy. Education policy since 1990 has also been underpinned by figures. Some statistics are outcomes, that is test and exam results, but there are also objectives which were called targets under New Labour. In January 2007, Education Secretary Alan Johnson announced a reform of tests, describing targets as “non-negotiable”27 Under the coalition Government, targets became “floor standards” as defined by Education Secretary Michael Gove in a December 2010 article in the Times Education Supplement28. Since 2014 for instance, primaries in England have had to ensure at least 65% of their Year 6 pupils score a Level 4 in English and maths, the previous benchmark being 60%29. The coalition Government also fought what it termed “grade inflation”30. This was not part of the 2010 Conservative manifesto or the coalition’s Programme for Government but it came to feature prominently in the Department for Education’s plans. One example of such a policy is the controversy in the summer of 2012 about the grading of English GCSEs, whose results were lower than expected. It led to an inquiry by the exams watchdog Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation from October to December 2012 and about 45,000 students had to resit their English GCSEs in November 201231.

  • 32 Times Education Supplement, 1999.
  • 33 Department for Education, 2012, p.16.
  • 34 Allen, M. et al, 1999, p.27.
  • 35 Coughlan, S., 2014.

There has also been continuity in government policy on teachers since 1990. The 1991 School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Act gave the Secretary of State final say on these issues. The 1992 Education (Schools) Act led to the creation of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education). Chris Woodhead was appointed as its head in 1994 and he made sure he did not appear too favourable to teachers. In 1999, he famously called “15,000 teachers ’incompetent’”32. In the 1997 Labour manifesto, the paragraph on teachers was entitled “Pressure and support”. There was indeed some support with an increase in the number of teaching assistants and support staff33 and the introduction in 1998 of the Advanced Skills Teachers status which entailed higher incomes. “Pressure” was provided by league tables, Ofsted and literacy and numeracy hours. The latter set a precedent in that teachers were now told how to teach and found themselves “deskilled”34. The coalition Government was at times favourable to teachers. The 2011 Education Act includes sections to “Increase the authority of teachers to discipline pupils” and “Protect teachers from malicious allegations” (sections 2-6 and 13). Education Secretary Nicky Morgan promised to reduce their workload at the 2014 Conservative conference35. Yet, the coalition Government was rather ambivalent towards the profession by phasing in performance-related pay from September 2014 on for example.

  • 36 Department for Education, 1992, p.iii.
  • 37 Department for Education and Employment, 1997, p.8.
  • 38 Her Majesty’s Government, 2010, p.28.
  • 39 Eurydice Unit, 2007, p.2.
  • 40 Department for Education, 2010, p.13.

16 Since 1990, school autonomy has been a government slogan. In 1992, it was one of the key themes listed by John Major in his foreword the Choice and Diversity White Paper36. The 1997 White Paper Excellence in Schools promised “fair and transparent systems for calculating school budgets, which allow schools as much freedom as possible to decide how to spend their budgets”37 and the 2010 coalition’s Programme for Government also insisted on the fact “all schools have greater freedom over the curriculum”38. However, in 2007, a report released by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) on School Autonomy in England pointed out the following paradox: “although schools now have a greater level of autonomy, the full picture is complex, as there have also been increases in central control, particularly over matters such as curriculum and assessment.”39 Failing schools for example have been forced by the Education Secretary to close under the 2002 Education Act (section 56) and to become academies under the 2010 Academies Act (section 4) which strengthens the 2006 Education and Inspections Act. In its 2010 White Paper The Importance of Teaching, the coalition Government acknowledges such centralization, although it has tried little to change this pattern: “Over recent years, centralised approaches to improving schools have become the norm. Government has tended to lead, organise and systematise improvement activity seeking to ensure compliance with its priorities. […] We think that this is the wrong approach. […] our aim should be to support the school system to become more effectively self-improving.”40

Assessing Thatcherism’s impact on education

  • 41 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.180.
  • 42 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.186.

17 After analysing key Thatcherite education policies in the 1980s and since 1990, it is necessary to assess their impact on English education. In a 2011 article, Howard Stevenson argues that “current government policy represents the potential realization of the ‘1988 project’”41. To him, the ‘1988 project’, that is the 1988 Education Reform Act, is characterised by five policy objectives. What we have termed structural reforms encompasses three of the five policy objectives highlighted by Howard Stevenson. The first Thatcherite policy objective is a “A hierarchy of schools”, that is “a multi-tiered system which obscures the crude selection of the eleven-plus.”42

  • 43 Sutton Trust, 2013, p.3.
  • 44 Stevenson, H., 2011, pp.187-8.
  • 45 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.188.

18In his foreword to a June 2013 Sutton Trust report on successful secondary schools, Sir Peter Lampl writes: “Over 60 per cent of all secondary schools are now their own admissions authorities, either as academies, or as foundation or voluntary-aided schools.”43 Selection is not overt any more but is part and parcel of the system as a break from comprehensive principles. We have studied the third and fourth Thatcherite policy objectives as viewed by Howard Stevenson, that is respectively “Structural privatization”44 with school diversification and competition and “Education ‘choice’ as a consumer transaction”45 with parents who exercise their freedom to choose as consumers in an education market.

  • 46 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.187.
  • 47 Michael Gove was Education Secretary from May 2010 to July 2014.
  • 48 Stevenson, H., 2011, pp.189-90.
  • 49 Stevens, R., 2011, pp.225-6.

19Government focus on standards and basics is, according to Howard Stevenson, the second Thatcherite policy objective “A return to traditionalism”46 with rituals like the publication of league tables, be they national (primary school tests in December and GCSEs and A levels results in January) or international (Programme for International Student Assessment rankings in December every three years). It is also patent in Education Secretary Michael Gove’s reforms, whether they have been implemented (the English Baccalaureate introduced in January 2011) or not (the English Baccalaureate Certificate abandoned in February 2013)47. According to Howard Stevenson, the fifth Thatcherite policy objective was “Restructuring the teaching profession”48 and we have analysed the hardening attitude of the government since the 1980s with Ofsted playing a key role in this respect. Regarding the balance of power in the English education system, we have highlighted the prerogatives of central government. In her study of the development of academies, Rosalind Stevens argues that “from a constitutional practice perspective, […] policy concerning the structure of secondary schools is decided and administered at the top of government and is then ‘examined’ by […] a deprofessionalised teaching workforce and, increasingly, an absent local government.”49

  • 50 Naismith, D., 2012, p.115.

20Donald Naismith was Director of Education for Richmond from 1974 to 1980, for Croydon from 1980 to 1988 and Wandsworth from 1988 to 1994. He helped Margaret Thatcher deliver her “education revolution” and this is his assessment of its impact in his memoirs published in 2012: “All the key elements of Margaret Thatcher’s education revolution were adopted by every successive government of both parties […] to become embedded in the new orthodoxy of the time.”50 Such an “orthodoxy” is underpinned by the current political consensus on the English school system as the three main parties, although differences can be found among them, broadly agree on educational institutions and objectives. Thatcherism is thus a genuine legacy as it underlies the whole education system and agenda.

  • 51 Department for Education, 2014, p.12.
  • 52 Cornwall Council, 2011, p.5.

21Yet, such an influence cannot be described as a one-way street on three grounds. Firstly, diversification in school status is not yet fully realized. Academies for instance account for half of secondary schools but it is a marginal status at primary school level, in spite of successive governments’ efforts: “at 31 July 2013, […] 8% of state-funded mainstream primary schools were operating as academies.”51 The reason may be administrative and financial as Cornwall Council made it clear in April 2011 in its Response to the Schools White Paper 2010 by pointing out higher spending and “a much increased business management workload”52.

  • 53 Her Majesty’s Government, 2010, p.28.
  • 54 Parkinson, J., 2012.
  • 55 BBC News Online, 2013.
  • 56 Adams, 2013.

22The second reason why Thatcherism’s domination of English education is not absolute lies in the fact that, since 1997, social objectives have been perceptible in government policies with New Labour and the coalition government. In 1998, New Labour initiated the Sure Start scheme which includes childcare, early years’ education, health and family support. The 2004 Children Act lists outcomes other than academic achievement such as “physical and mental health and emotional well-being; protection from harm and neglect; […] the contribution made by them to society; social and economic well-being” (section 2). Ofsted inspections have since referred to these objectives, even though inspections were reformed under the 2011 Education Act. From 2010 to 2015, the coalition Government also targeted poorer children through the pupil premium, free child care and free school meals. Defined in the coalition’s Programme for Government as “a significant premium for disadvantaged pupils”53, the pupil premium stood at £ 430 in December 2010 and in May 2015 at £ 1,300 for pupils from reception year to year 6 and at £ 935 for pupils from year 7 to year 11. In September 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg promised £ 100 million to offer fifteen hours of free child care a week to the poorest two-year-olds54. In September 2013, he announced the number of children to benefit from the scheme would double55. The coalition Government’s first measure on free school meals was ominous as in June 2010 it phased out the Labour-planned extension of the provision. In September 2013 however, Nick Clegg pledged to extend free school meals to all pupils for the first three years of primary school from September 2014 on56. What impact will this attempt to re-introduce some degree of universalism in the system have on the poorest children? It is far too early to tell but these measures point to social objectives beyond the Thatcherite framework.

  • 57 Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2009, p.3.
  • 58 Co-operative Group, 2014, p.19.
  • 59 Schools Co-operative Society.
  • 60 Birch, 2012.

23The Schools Co-operative Society (SCS) constitutes another reason to qualify Thatcherism’s impact on English education. It was founded in 2009, a year after Gordon Brown’s Government initiated a “co-operative Trust school pilot”57. Such collaboration with the Education Department was pursued with academies and the Schools Co-operative Society now includes 520 schools58. The latter have adopted co-operative governance and focus on “Improvement through co-operation”, that is schools working together, not competing against one another59. Their objectives are not only academic as SCS’s Chief Executive Mervyn Wilson argues on the organisation’s website: “Developing young people isn’t just about giving them a narrow range of examination results, it is about shaping and developing the whole person. Schools have to be about creating the citizens of tomorrow.” Co-operative schools work together as trusts like the Brigshaw Trust in West Yorkshire. It comprises seven primary schools and Brigshaw High School and Language College, a secondary specialist school (about 4,000 pupils in total). The Brigshaw Trust “provides a multi-agency support team for each child that includes a consultant educational psychologist, attendance improvement officer and family outreach worker”60. I interviewed the chair of governors of Brigshaw High School and Language College on 11 April 2012 and here are his feelings on comprehensive schools :

Q : Would you say this school is comprehensive?
Martin Dove : Yes because we take in all comers; […] whilst there was a lot that was unsatisfactory about the comprehensive system, I am heartbroken that it
s seen as a failure.

Conclusion

24 Thatcherism in the English education system is therefore a genuine legacy as its impact is felt everywhere. Schools have been diversified, creating a market in which parents have to play their part as consumers and providers of all sectors are welcome. Basics and standards have prevailed as key official objectives, teachers have been closely monitored and central government has gained the upper hand. However, many schools, particularly primaries, can still be described as comprehensives, some social objectives are to be discerned in government policies since 1997 and the School Co-operative Society has, since 2009, helped schools which promote values of progressive activists in the 1960s although they use structures inherited from Thatcherism. Margaret Thatcher successfully overhauled the English school system but only time will tell if her vision comes to fruition in its entirety.

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Notes

1 Qtd. in Simon, B., 1991, p.511.

2 Moore, C., 2013, p.215.

3 Callaghan, J. 1976.

4 Callaghan, J. 1976.

5 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.39.

6 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.570.

7 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.591.

8 Philips, D. and G. Whannel, 2013, p.148.

9 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.562.

10 Letwin, S.R, 1992, p.257.

11 McVicar, M., 1990, pp.136-7.

12 Evans, E.J., 2013, pp.75-6.

13 Graves, N., 1988, p.139.

14 Thatcher, M., 1993, p.597.

15 Hall, S., 1988, p.276.

16 Hall, S., 1988, p.278-80.

17 Judd, J. and F. Abrams, 1996.

18 Department for Education and Employment, 1997, p.37.

19 Blair, T., 2005.

20 Department for Education, 2014, p.12.

21 Morris, S. and R. Smithers, 2002.

22 National Audit Office, 2013, p.7.

23 Philips D. and G. Whannel, 2013, p.158.

24 “We believe there is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state.” Conservative Party, 2010, p.vii.

25 Philips D. and G. Whannel, 2013, p.226.

26 Alexander, R., J. Rose and C. Woodhead, 1992, pp.1, 18.

27 Meikle, J., 2007.

28 Gove, M., 2010.

29 Department for Education, 2013.

30 Gove, M., 2011.

31 BBC News Online, 2012.

32 Times Education Supplement, 1999.

33 Department for Education, 2012, p.16.

34 Allen, M. et al, 1999, p.27.

35 Coughlan, S., 2014.

36 Department for Education, 1992, p.iii.

37 Department for Education and Employment, 1997, p.8.

38 Her Majesty’s Government, 2010, p.28.

39 Eurydice Unit, 2007, p.2.

40 Department for Education, 2010, p.13.

41 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.180.

42 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.186.

43 Sutton Trust, 2013, p.3.

44 Stevenson, H., 2011, pp.187-8.

45 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.188.

46 Stevenson, H., 2011, p.187.

47 Michael Gove was Education Secretary from May 2010 to July 2014.

48 Stevenson, H., 2011, pp.189-90.

49 Stevens, R., 2011, pp.225-6.

50 Naismith, D., 2012, p.115.

51 Department for Education, 2014, p.12.

52 Cornwall Council, 2011, p.5.

53 Her Majesty’s Government, 2010, p.28.

54 Parkinson, J., 2012.

55 BBC News Online, 2013.

56 Adams, 2013.

57 Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2009, p.3.

58 Co-operative Group, 2014, p.19.

59 Schools Co-operative Society.

60 Birch, 2012.

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Anne Beauvallet, « Thatcherism and Education in England : A One-way Street ?  », Observatoire de la société britannique, 17 | 2015, 97-114.

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Anne Beauvallet, « Thatcherism and Education in England : A One-way Street ?  », Observatoire de la société britannique [En ligne], 17 | 2015, mis en ligne le 01 mai 2016, consulté le 15 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/osb/1771

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Auteur

Anne Beauvallet

Maître de Conférences en Civilisation britannique à l'Université Jean Jaurès-Toulouse 2

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