EVALUATE NEW RIGHT AND NEW LABOUR EDUCATIONAL POLICY WITH REFERENCE TO THE ISSUE OF PARENTAL POWER.
This essay will evaluate and explain most of the educational policies passed by the New Right and New labour in relation to parental choice and parental power. Many of the attempts to raise educational standards have been very controversial, and there are many criticisms of them, some of which will be addressed in the essay. When the New Labour came to power in 1997, its educational policy was influenced by both social democratic and New Right perspectives which will be highlighted.
Conservative governments argued that prior to 1979 many state schools were inefficient and provided poor quality education, such that the British education system as a whole could be said to be failing the nation (Elham Sociology Pages, 2010). In response the Conservative Governments of the 1980s and 1990s introduced a number of market mechanisms into the UK education system, including parental choice, parent representation on governing bodies and linking school funding with student enrolment numbers. Alongside this publicly available test score information was made available with which parents could compare the performance of one school with another. These reforms were designed with an explicit aim to improve pupil achievement (Machin et al, 2006; History learning site, 2013).
According to the New Right’s beliefs, the role of education is to promote economic growth through improving the skills of the workforce. The best way to achieve this is to encourage competition in the educational market place. However, competition will only work if parents have a real choice between schools as they will select the most successful schools for their children. They believed that the greater the competition, the greater the incentive for schools to improve. For parents to make the best choice of schools for their children they were supposed to have a means of assessing the...