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Title: The 'Conservative educationalists', with particular reference to the making of education policy in the postwar Conservative Party, 1950-1986
Author: Knight, C. N.
Awarding Body: Polytechnic of the South Bank
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 1988
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The Conservative Educationalists made their first appearance on the British political stage in 1950. After twenty-five years of vigorous political activity they were well on their way to becoming the most important body of individuals seeking to influence Conservative education policy. The thesis seeks to examine and explain the progress of the views of the Conservative Educationalists over the formation and formulation of education policy in the postwar Conservative Party. An historical analysis was employed to answer the main research question and the subsidiary hypotheses. Whenever possible, primary sources were used including the private papers of Lord Boyle, Professor Brian Cox and Sir Gilbert Longden, and papers held in the official Conservative Party Archive. The thesis establishes that prior to 1970 there was a vacuum in Conservative Party thinking on the aims of education (Chapters 2-3). It shows how the ideas of a body of individuals (termed the conservative Educationalists by Lord Maude in an interview with the author) came to fill this vacuum between 1970 and 1974 (Chapter 4). This body was strongly critical of the Party's existing treatment of education and pressed the Party to fashion a conservative educational policy more in line with Conservative philosophy (Chapter 5). This loose-nexus of individuals changed over a period of time but its intellectual base (preservationist/ excellence in education) became firmly rooted. Between 1975 and 1979 the actions and prescriptions of the conservative Educationalists were instrumental in the construction of a conservative educational policy premised on the notion of excellence in education (Chapters 5-6). Elements of this policy were adopted by the Conservative Government after 1979 (Chapters 7-10). The thesis demonstrates that the contribution of the Conservative Educationalists (notably the preservationists) to the making of Conservative education policy was far greater than has previously been acknowledged.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Tory education policy 1950-86 Education Political science Public administration