Patterns of Conflict in Education: France, Italy, England

  • Ken Jones
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


The course of educational reform in England has been broader, deeper, and faster moving than that of any other country of Western Europe, cutting deeply into what remained, after Thatcherism, of the postwar policy settlement.1 No sector or strand of education has been unaffected by a programme that ranges—as other chapters have demonstrated—from large-scale privatisation to microlevel classroom reform. Yet, despite a certain, persistent level of grievance, this is a programme that has not encountered forceful opposition. Teachers’ unhappiness with an assessment regime based on high stakes testing has been well publicised, without being translated into a collective response. Discontent with the government’s programme for “academy” schools—state-funded privately run institutions—has resulted in a number of local strikes, and in a lively national campaign, but not one conducted on a mass scale. School and university teachers have taken occasional, limited action over pay—the NUT’s one-day strike in 2008 was the first national strike since 1987. University teachers have fought local campaigns against redundancies (for instance, London Metropolitan University 2004, Keele 2008), but have not effectively challenged a policy that aims to align Higher Education with business needs. Amongst university students, opposition to the imposition of tuition fees was initially strong, but has waned since, with the passing of the 2004 Higher Education Act, fees became law.


Labour Market Education Policy High Stake Testing Protest Movement European Social Forum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Anthony Green 2010

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  • Ken Jones

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