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Government Policy and the Provision of Teachers

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The introduction of mass public education posed unfamiliar problems for the governments of modern states, and the ways in which governments worked through those problems can reveal much about the culture and values of a state. This paper focuses on central Government officials and the Ministers they advised, with particular attention to the pivotal period 1960-1976. Trends identified include: the shift from post-War optimism to the more pessimistic view of schooling since the late 1960s; the dynamics of professional development amid over-rapid expansion and contraction; relationships between training institutions and schools; and policy-makers’ changing perceptions of teachers as professionals. Four themes are considered in detail: the imperatives of numbers; status concerns as a driver of change; linkages among the ‘partners’ in the schooling enterprise; and accountability. Some questions are posed about the sustainability of the schooling enterprise in England and Wales.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Graduate School of Education, Bristol

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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