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John Dunford: Education and the Election April 9, 2010

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Uncategorized.

The worst-kept secret in recent political times has been revealed and the date of the general election has been set for May 6.

We thought it might be interesting to republish a piece written for us by Dr John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, in the Autumn 2009 edition of Conference and Common Room, the official magazine of the HMC.

Titled  Will education be an issue at the general election?, John argues that “Doing better with less” is the mantra the next government will be issuing, whatever the colour.

Dr John DunfordWith the credit crunch and MPs’ expenses making the news headlines for so long, education has had a lower profile in the media than in the run-up to the last three general elections. With no party appearing to have the answers to the problems of the banking crisis and none free from criticism over expenses, we could be heading for one of the most volatile elections of recent times.

Education is in the news when politicians make announcements and so we can expect plenty of activity before May 2010, but real political dividing lines on education are unlikely to be the subject of heated debate on the doorstep, with an overriding agenda of recession, unemployment, and allowances for second homes and cleaning the moat. Labour came to power in 1997 with a mantra of ‘standards, not structures’. Too much attention, it was said, had been paid by the Conservative government of the 1980s and 1990s to structural changes, such as city technology colleges and grant maintained schools, and too little to raising school standards, especially in primary schools…

To read the rest of John’s piece on education and the general election, click here to be taken to our magazine archives…



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