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The grant maintained story : the final chapter

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:43 authored by Lesley. Anderson
In the early 1990s, the Conservative Government made grant maintained schools the flagship of their education policy, while the Labour Party pledged to abolish them if elected to power. However, during the run-up to the 1997 general election, it was evident that New Labour's attitude towards GM schools was changing. This was confirmed in the 1997 Labour Government's first White Paper on education which proposed that, within a new framework for all maintained schools in England and Wales, opted out schools would have the option of becoming 'foundation' schools, a category that was closely aligned to GM status. The research reported here is concerned with the views and perceptions of GM headteachers and chairs of governors about the future of their schools during the period following the election of a Labour Government. Thus, it documents the final chapter in the GM story. The data were generated through twelve interviews with the headteacher and chair of governor of six GM schools and a questionnaire survey using the same categories of informants in 126 schools. The findings suggest that, while there were some concerns about the effects of the changes on respondents' individual schools, these managers and governors generally adopted a pragmatic attitude to New Labour's education policy. In the final chapter, attempts are made to move beyond the data and develop a theory to describe the approach adopted at both government and school level. In doing this, it is suggested that the New Labour's strategy in respect of GM schools represents an example of its 'Third Way' politics, an approach that is not based on a particular ideology but rather adopts a pluralist, pragmatic outlook in its attempt to modernise the notion of government at the end of the 20th century.


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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • EdD



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