Two Views from the FORUM archive

FORUM - ISSN 0963-8253
Volume 63 Number 1 (2021)

Two Views from the FORUM archive
JANE MARTIN pages 86-99
DOI: 10.3898/forum.2021.63.1.10


The following two articles are taken from the FORUM archive. First published in the autumn of 1981, they offer a restatement of comprehensive principles in the context of the educational policies of the incoming Conservative government from 1979. The first thing Margaret Thatcher's education secretary, Mark Carlisle, did was to repeal Labour legislation that required non-selective planning. Bolton, Essex, Kent and Kingston upon Thames withdrew proposals to go comprehensive immediately. For reasons of ideology - the 1977 green paper Education in Schools made it clear that there was no evidence that education standards had fallen and that more children were better educated than before comprehensive education became national policy - the 1980 Education Act reflected right-wing desires to return to selective education, to support private education, to introduce market forces into education, via parental choice. It also removed the obligation on local authorities to provide free school milk and meals for children, except for those from families on supplementary benefit, in order to save money. In the face of present realities, the FORUM editorial board felt clarity was needed to provide direction and purpose. This was the backdrop against which Clyde Chitty and Roger Seckington wrote and their words reflect the language of the time. Unequal opportunities and the underachievement of children from racial and ethnic minorities had become a serious policy issue, partly due to race riots, or urban disorders as they were termed, in various parts of Britain, notably Brixton in London and Toxteth in Liverpool in April 1981.

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To cite this article
JANE MARTIN (2021) Two Views from the FORUM archive, FORUM, 63(1), 86-99.

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