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ERIC Number: EJ839033
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Campaigning against Neo-Liberal Education in Britain
Regan, Bernard
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v5 n1 May 2007
The election of the Labour Government headed by Prime Minister Tony Blair, on the 1st May 1997 presaged changes to the world of Education in England and Wales which few working inside education had anticipated. Blair, describing himself and the politics he represented as "New Labour", declared that the priority for the incoming government would be "Education, Education, Education." However his policies represented a radical departure from the traditional notions of Education as a public service, publicly funded and locally administered which had dominated Labour Party thinking since its foundation at the beginning of the twentieth century and more especially since the 1940s. The changes to Education, and to other areas of public services such as the Health Service, embraced and built on policies introduced during the previous Conservative (Tory) administrations of Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher (1979-90) and John Major (1990-97). Central to the strategy of Thatcher's government had been the policy of "Privatisation"--the wholesale selling off to private companies of nationalized or publicly-owned industries and utilities, coupled with the dismemberment of sections of the public services. Private companies invited to run these newly acquired services would shift the emphasis from concerns for public welfare to the imperatives of finance, management and profitability. Whilst this was driven largely by the ideologically motivated neo-liberal monetarist policies of economists like Milton Friedman, their successful introduction into Britain required the political defeat of the longstanding adherence to "welfarism" and the "Welfare State"--a concept that certain fields of economic and social activity should be informed by a desire to address people's needs rather than notions of profitability and efficiency defined in narrow capitalist economic terms. This was especially true in the arena of Education. This article provides a critical analysis of several campaigns against neo-liberal education in Britain. (Contains 37 notes.)
The Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)