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The Legacy of ThatcherismAssessing and Exploring Thatcherite Social and Economic Policies$
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Stephen Farrall and Colin Hay

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265703

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265703.001.0001

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The Legacy of Thatcherism For Education Policies: Markets, Managerialism and Malice (towards Teachers)

The Legacy of Thatcherism For Education Policies: Markets, Managerialism and Malice (towards Teachers)

Chapter:
(p.108) 4 The Legacy of Thatcherism For Education Policies: Markets, Managerialism and Malice (towards Teachers)
Source:
The Legacy of Thatcherism
Author(s):

Peter Dorey

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265703.003.0006

The Thatcherite approach to secondary education, which has broadly been adhered to by subsequent governments, was characterized not so much by the traditional 3 ‘Rs’, as by 3 ‘Ms’—marketization, managerialism and malice towards many of those working in education. These three themes and associated policies were predicated on a critique which was scornful of post-war secondary education in Britain, particularly the shift to comprehensive education and its professed egalitarianism, coupled with the apparent hegemony of the education ‘establishment’ in shaping education policy. This chapter examines how the Thatcher governments, and their successors, sought to instil market principles and practices into secondary education, with the associated discourse of competition and (parental) choice. Accompanying this process of marketization was the imposition of greater managerial control over teachers, as symbolized by a regime of audit and inspection, coupled with constant populist denigration of the alleged faults and failings of the teaching profession.

Keywords:   Authority, bureaucracy, choice, competition, league tables, managerialism, Ofsted, parents, standards

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