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ERIC Number: EJ834867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
Evaluating "Blair's Educational Legacy?": Some Comments on the Special Issue of "Oxford Review of Education"
Whitty, Geoff
Oxford Review of Education, v35 n2 p267-280 Apr 2009
The December 2008 special issue of the "Oxford Review of Education" provided a review of education policy during Tony Blair's tenure as Prime Minister. This paper forms a response to the ten contributions to that special issue and discusses some of the issues raised in them. While a few positive aspects of education under New Labour were identified in the special edition, it focused more on the failures of New Labour than its achievements. A common theme to emerge from the papers included the government's pursuit of neo-liberal market policies at the expense of its professed commitment to social justice. While accepting that the government's failure to tackle the differences in educational outcomes between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils constitutes a major failing, the present author argues that significant achievements, such as early years provision, were neglected in the special issue. He also discusses the electoral considerations facing New Labour and the personal role of Tony Blair in determining policy. The paper goes on to consider whether New Labour's education policy has changed since the departure of Blair and identifies some hints of a potentially more progressive approach developing under Brown. It concludes by suggesting that contributing towards a debate about alternatives to Blairite policies should now become a priority for the "educational establishment".
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom