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Title: Secondary education in BBC broadcast, 1944-1965 : drawing out networks of conversation and visions of reform
Author: Hoare, Lottie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 9838
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This study examines the representation of Local Education Authority (LEA) secondary schooling in England and Wales as it was portrayed in non-fiction British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) programmes in the twenty-one years that followed the 1944 Education Act. The primary sources drawn on for this study include the surviving microfilmed radio scripts, dating from 1944–1965 and held at the BBC Written Archives (BBC WAC). The correspondence files from contributors to programmes also provide a key source from BBC WAC. The majority of the programmes considered are radio broadcast, however some documentary films on the topic of secondary education, made by the BBC and transmitted on television, are also analysed. Where audio-visual copies have survived, the programmes were viewed at the BFI Viewing Services. The study draws on 235 BBC programmes in total, made in the years 1944–1965. The details of these broadcasts can be seen in the three Appendices accompanying this study. The study also employs the use of drawing to present key ideas. This study explores how broadcasts are formed as cultural products. The research questions address: what was the content of these programmes? Who collaborated to create and edit these programmes and how were the programmes devised to inform the public about the provision of secondary education? What was the role of the All Souls Group (ASG) in this collaboration? The public included a domestic audience in England and Wales and an overseas audience for whom distinct broadcasts were usually created. A further element of the research is a scrutiny of the BBC as an organization that positions itself as neutral. The considered programmes enabled a group of eloquent educationalists to use their rehearsed and edited ‘conversation’ on a public stage. As the study unfolds it becomes apparent that the members of the informal education discussion group, the ASG, were lobbying to encourage the topic of secondary education to resurface sufficiently often on air. The study concludes with recognition that the reinforcing of loyalties between overlapping networks, such as the BBC and the ASG, should no longer be approached with reticence in academic research.
Supervisor: Burke, Catherine Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BBC ; secondary education ; broadcast media ; 1944 Education Act ; radio history ; documentary film