chapter  3
18 Pages

Conservatism, citizenship and the 1944 settlement

In this chapter we examine the politics of education from the 1930s to the early 1950s: a period dominated by the genesis and effects of the 1944 Education Act, often called the Butler Act. This was the last major attempt to restructure the English educational system, and has remained largely intact during the post-war years (though there are signs of considerable encroachments upon it as this book is completed). Its assumptions and provisions have been central in framing much subsequent debate about education policy, and it is therefore a legislative moment which cannot be ignored.