chapter  11
Democratic Renewal in Schools: A Place for Socio-Technical Change
Pages 14

In broad terms, the 1980s have seen a massive effort by government to forge closer links between the education service and industry. A welter of diverse schemes and contracts have been encouraged which are steadily moving the public service of education into an educational market and into a statutory, centralized system of 'education/industry' links. Either way, educators are under some pressure to discuss the efficiency of a new structure of 'delivery' of educational product rather than, as was once the case, the nature of the 'product' itself. Truly, 'ends' are no longer seen as the prerogative of the educators and in this situation, they may turn to industrial discourses to find ways to operate the 'means' efficiently. The old self-referential discourse of an education service which had built some consensus over the nature of its problems had been side-stepped. This means that the language of reform and practice, once common to many sections of the service, no longer serves its purpose. Now it is becoming a language used only by the dissidents in the market-place, the traders use a new language in education, that of productivity, of division of labour, of supervision, of line management and so on (see for instance, DES, 1985).