Excellence in Scholarship and Learning
Conservative Party Education Policies, 1976–1997
The Influence of Politics and Personality
Author Text to Follow
This book examines education
policy making with close reference to interview evidence of protagonists
and observers of the period, who include senior officials, ministers
and ministerial special advisers. It introduces an original typology
of regulars, irregulars and politicos, to classify those involved
and examines the personal and political context in which they operated,
how these contexts impacted on their decisions, and the subsequent
course of education policies.
The theme of the book is that people matter. Introducing ‘personality’ into our understanding and interpretation of the development of education policy, constitutes a significant original contribution. Too often individual policy-makers have been portrayed as ‘caricature creatures of a “role”, or an “interest”. The actions, or inter-actions, of individuals are viewed and analysed through the prism of policies or assumed ideological positions. The book explores the reverse relationship, where the course of policies is not studied through ‘abstract generalities’ but through the concrete experiences of individuals, the personal and political contingencies they faced. It was not that politics and personality were all that mattered between 1976 and 1997. Rather, the problem was that they mattered too much.
|Hardback Price:||£19.95 / $45.00|
|Release Date:||October 2005|
|Page Extent / Format:||272 pp. / 229 x 152 mm|
List of abbreviations
2 No longer ‘positive, helpful, worthy and dull’: 1976 –1979
3 At the margins: May 1979– September 1981
4 Different drummers: September 1981–May 1986
5 Dash for glory: May 1986– July 1987
6 Unforeseen ways: July 1987– July 1989
7 ‘ The worst job in government’: July 1989–November 1990
8 The ‘uncomplicated bloke’: November 1990–April 1992
9 Crisis, disorder, confusion and mismanagement’: May 1992– July 1994
10 Leaden Evening: July 1994–April 1997
Very well informed, attractively written and an original contribution to our understanding of this period.
Professor Gary McCulloch, Dean of Research and Consultancy and Brian Simon Professor of the History of Education at the Institute of Education
The writing is a delight, the insights into human nature and their effects on the policy process are quite delicious.
Professor Richard Aldrich, Emeritus Professor of History of Education at the Institute of Education
Daniel Callaghan has had great fun in the writing of this book and the result is something of a tour de force. … Callaghan persuaded most of the leading figures in Conservative education politics of the period to speak with him candidly. The fruits of these interviews have been interwoven with great skill among a wide range of other first hand accounts to form a sustained, blow-by-blow account of the making of ‘high policy’ over the period in England and Wales, with mesmerizing results. Indeed, the effect is of a bizarre cavalcade of figures processing across the political stage, a kind of crazed procession of political carnival floats passing before the spectator’s eye. And to think: these people governed the country!
London Review of Education
“Daniel Callaghan has written a shrewd, interesting and readable book on a topic of lasting importance…. Callaghan has spoken with ministers, their advisors, Conservative activists and civil servants – supported by wide and intelligent reading of secondary sources.” British Journal of Educational Studies
Callaghan’s copious research
and attention to accuracy and details … serve to counterpoint
the exact opposite characteristics of those about whom he is writing.
… He develops dense character studies and a thorough and balanced
analysis of the times. There are many lessons embedded in the book.
One, augmented by scandals …is that we should keep hammering
out our expectations for others and ourselves about ethical leadership
… The book also offers support for knowledgeable management
of leadership succession.
Canadian Journal of Education
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