Case Study: Comprehensive Secondary Education
Comprehensive secondary education is one of the two largest areas of policy change-the other being higher education-since the 1944 Act. It is an issue that goes well beyond the education service and touches on social stratification and individual statuses, concepts of community and the place of voluntary schools within a public system. The National Association of Labour Teachers, under the leadership of W. E. Cove, W. B. Spikes and C. T. Smith, urged the Minister to repudiate Conservative principles and to reshape the education system in accordance with socialist principles which meant multilateral reorganisation. Successive Labour Party conferences repudiated Labour ministers policies. Conservative authorities such as Leicestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire under chief education officers who believed in integrating secondary education made substantial advances within rubric set for them by successive Conservative ministers between 1951 and 1964. The arguments of the psychological school deriving mainly from the writing of Francis Galton and Cyril Burt were strong until the early 1950s.