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The development of the city technology college programme: 1980s conservative ideas about English secondary education

Bailey, Elizabeth (2016) The development of the city technology college programme: 1980s conservative ideas about English secondary education. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis explores the discussion of conservative ideas about secondary education in England between 1979 and 1986. Education policy reforms in the 1980s reflected changing ideologies about the role of the state and about the role of education in society. City Technology Colleges (CTCs), proposed in 1986, embodied many of these changes. CTCs were a new type of school within the state system, with control over their own funding, admissions and operations; they were intended to have a technology focus within a broad curriculum and were partially funded and managed by industry sponsors. The CTC programme is relevant to the study of the history of education for two reasons: because of the relationship of the CTC policy to the general discussion of ideas in an important period of reform; and because of its legacy in the policies that followed. This thesis adds to the historical narrative about the 1980s discussion of different conservative education policy ideas concerning choice and diversity, the aims and purposes of education, and funding and management. This thesis also considers the influence of ideas discussed by external groups on internal Conservative Government policy discussion. The similarity of ideas and language between the external and internal discussions indicates the important contribution of interest groups to the intellectual atmosphere in this period. This thesis connects these ideas to those that informed the CTC policy. The elements of the policy and the ideas referenced by actors introducing the policy are examined to determine how they reflected prominent contemporary thinking. This thesis draws on archival and published documents and on a few interviews. The findings underscore the role of certain key actors in the development of the CTC policy as well as the consistency of ideas used by conservatives throughout this period, including those that underlay the CTC policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Elizabeth Cookingham Bailey
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: West, Anne

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