For many people what we have termed the expansionist perspective on education involved a belief in equality of educational opportunity between the classes. The perspective combined the belief that equality was possible, given enlightened government reforms, with the belief that it was desirable, both for its own sake and also for the efficient functioning of a modern society. The goal of equal opportunity has influenced much of post-war policy for secondary education in Britain. It inspired the establishment of a bipartite system in the 1940s and also the switch to a comprehensive system from 1965. The 1950s and the 1960s saw a series of official reports (in England, although not in Scotland) which condemned the waste of talent resulting from workingclass failure in education and which proposed a series of modest reforms: the concept of 'positive discrimination' was invented and applied on a small scale. Above all, it was widely believed that educational expansion itself was the best way to promote equality. This belief arose partly out of an individualistic perspective which attributed inequalities to a lack of opportunity in education, and to tangible barriers placed in the way of working-class children. Expansion, or the policy of increasing opportunity, was implicitly identified with a policy of increasing equality of opportunity.