Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The educational policies of the Conservative Party, 1918-1944
Author: Jefferys, Kevin
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1984
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis sets out to examine the role played by the Conservative Party in the evolution of the state education system between 1918 and 1944. The early chapters provide a chronological account of ministerial policy and party attitudes towards secondary and elementary education between the wars. This is followed by assessments of the party's approach to the dual system of council and church schools, and to the problems of 'education for employment'. The manner in which Conservative education policy operated locally is then examined with particular reference to the area of London; and the arguments put forward are brought together finally by an analysis of the party's responsibility for, and reaction to, the 1944 Education Act. The two main themes of the thesis are the working of the modern Conservative Party and the history of education as a political issue, which has arguably been over-simplified in existing accounts. It is demonstrated here that Conservative ministerial policy contributed more to the development of state schools than has been realised, especially in the case of Lord Eustace Percy; and that party opinion---though traditionally hostile or indifferent to education---became more receptive to the need for reform during the 1930s. In this light, it appears that ministers such as Percy saw education as a means of transforming the Conservative approach to social reform, and that the politics of education were characterised by continuity and growing party agreement. These forces came together most conspicuously in the Second World War. R.A. Butler's reform of 1944 looked forward to a more positive party role in social policy, but was based on ideas popularised between the wars; it was accepted by Labour as the realisation of minimum demands made over the past twenty years, and by Conservatives as the logical extension of policies they had recently endorsed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political Science