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Title: The North of England Educational Priority Area projects 1968-1971 : an area-based response to educational underachievement
Author: Williams, Keith
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 387X
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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The use of area-based positive discrimination as a response to the persistent educational underachievement of children was adopted by the Labour governments elected in both 1964 and 1997. Much has been written about recent policy, but the first use of this approach during the 1960s is, at present, no more than a footnote in the history of education. This thesis presents an historical account of the Educational Priority Area projects that took place in Liverpool and the West Riding of Yorkshire between 1968 and 1971. The lessons from the past which emerge from this 'novel' policy response to a seemingly intractable problem help us to understand the dilemmas of the present. The EPA project was part of an ideological tradition concerned with enduring pedagogical and political ideals relating to social justice and equality. Theoretically, the EPA projects raise questions about organisational structures and the agency of individuals. The actions of the Liverpool and West Riding teams challenged the ideological construction of teacher identity. Their work provided evidence that the relationship between the professional and the home is not unalterable. The approach taken was to analyse a range of primary sources including original documentary evidence and extensive interviews with the surviving EPA team members. The actions taken by the teams and the voices of those responsible revealed distinctive practices that contribute to existing understanding of the potential of area-based interventions. At a time when the respective roles of teachers and parents were clearly demarcated, the EP A projects demonstrated what might have been. They effectively challenged existing preconceptions held by professionals regarding their relationship with the home and provided a legacy of innovations with which to challenge educational underachievement. For anyone interested in overcoming educational inequality the EPA projects offer a contribution to debates concerned with what works, what doesn't, and why.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available