Case Study Learning From Experience Managerialism Education Essay

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The essay will identify a contemporary idea within education, Marketistaion, and how it has affected the management of schools and how they have changed their ideology and structure because of it. It will locate how the school ethos and long term plans fits into lifelong learning. The essay will highlight the changes in government and how they have affected education and identify key polices within that. The introduction of the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher in the 1970's changed Britain and its core values in terms of its national industries, education and the health service. Before the Conservative Government Secondary schools were able to teach its own curriculum and decide what "Really Useful Knowledge" was for their students. It was in the era of teachers being autonomous and at the centre of students learning. The curriculum of schools from the1950's to the1970's according to Matheson, D (2008), did not have a common core curriculum and was able to choose their own criteria for teaching. Schools were able to teach what they decided and how they were going to teach. Schooling of the 1950's and the 1970's gave power to teachers in the classroom. They could choose their own reading material, philosophy and the way they taught the children. The Thatcher Government and its ideologies and values had crushed the unions in its pursuit of selling of Britain's National industries and breaking the spirit of all those that stood behind it. The idea of privatisation was introduced under Thatcher's Conservatives and Education did not escape their underlying influences. According to Randle,K argues that (2000,pp140)

'The New mangerialsim can be characterised as a style of management which emerged in the UK in the early 1980's and gradually spread throughout the Public Sector. It began with the civel service in the wake of the Rayner Scritinities and the Financial Management Initiative (Metcalf and Richards. 1987) and has since been established in local authorities, the BBC, the NHS and the Education Sector'.

Prior to Thatcher all secondary schools were under the control of Local Educational Authorities but Thatcher had given all secondary schools the licence to become masters of their own destiny if they so desired and enter into the business world of education. Secondary Schools were now part of this new world of privatisation, marketisation and Thatcherism. Kelly, A (1994, p48) states;

'It is perhaps worth noting first the commercial imagery that is a feature of much of the 1988 Acts supporting documentation. We read of the providers of education, of the 'delivery' of the curriculum, of 'machinery' for accomplishing this and that, of the 'users' of the system, of its 'consumers', of our competitors and so on'.

The 1988 Education Reform Act would prove to be instrumental in both, the way in which schools and further education colleges were funded. The National Curriculum was introduced into state education in 1988 so the Government could ascertain the progression of all secondary schools In England. With the introduction of the National Curriculum league tables and SATS were soon to follow. In areas of the country that still have Grammar Schools, Comprehensive and Secondary Moderns competing against each other, the National Curriculum set up under Thatcher, would always be a stumbling block for the under performing schools that would be at the bottom of the league tables. With the onset of Marketisation and Managerialism of education, Secondary Schools like The Community College Whitstable would have to adapt to the changing values of education. Schools have had to change the set up of their managerial philosophies and become more in tune with the finances of their institution. The management team at The Community College Whitstable is set up as a business with the Managing Director at the top or the Head and the Teachers at the bottom in what could be described as a Christmas tree formation. The head will have her senior management team below her, and 2 Deputy Heads and the chief Finance Officer as her closest confidantes. From the teacher at the bottom one will have to see one level above before he or she can speak to the Head. Through this chain of command the Head teacher will be able to survey and monitor the school and how it performs both financially and academically. For schools such as The Community College Whitstable, attracting a steady flow of student's year on year is vital as the students represent a financial gain. The league tables are all important for possible new students and the progression up the league is paramount. According to Ofsted Report (2000) The Community College Whitstable had underperformed academically in 1997, 98, 99, which show that they was in the bottom five per cent of schools. The Oftsed Reports in 2006 and 2009 have not shown much progress from the early days of the transformation of the Sir William Nottidge to The Community College Whitstable. The reasons for this can be seen in the unfair disadvantage of the selection policy and competition from other schools in the Kent area. Hill, D (2001, p12) backs up this argument;

'New Labour policy and discourse on education, on schooling in particular, displays both continuities and differences with Thatcherism. The major continuities are a range of low public expenditure, privatisation, and the maintenance of a selective, specialist and exclusionary education system'.

The expectations from teachers to perform, educate and train students to pass exams has not been greater as teachers performance levels are linked into the school "mangerialism". Teachers are bound to the schools with yearly reviews on their performance management, which are centred on the schools ambition on achievement. Through these performance management reviews teachers are assessed and a yearly increment of their salary is paid.

The 14-19 agenda and the present government policies and funding have had an impact on all secondary schools, they are no longer happy to let their students go to the local further education colleges or elsewhere. The policy to keep students past the compulsory age, are evident at The Community College Whitstable, as the number of post compulsory students have risen each year, from 11in 2000 to 117 in 2009.The prospect of keeping students post 16 are financial for The Community College Whitstable. The growth of sixth form and can be seen as education for educations sake as the intake of students into sixth form can be seen as an open door policy for financial gain, Evans, K. (2000, p126) argues;

'Currently, both the FEFC and TEC funding models is target driven. If we add in the pressures on schools to fill their sixth forms with students who will achieve and, therefore, boost their schools standing in the league tables, we can see that, at local level, the concept of partnership in post 16 education and training market is not based on caring and sharing'.

As one can evaluate the introduction of lifelong learning is very important to secondary schools, which no longer sees themselves as just compulsory education but institutions of learning. As each student represents money and are costed into the budget for the financial year it is imperative to sustain the student numbers. Not only are secondary schools competing with other educational institutions they are also outlets for outreach centres such as Learn Direct. The Community College Whitstable has incorporated the Learn Direct into their infrastructure, which caters for a wide range of educational courses, either online or as a drop in centre. These centres are fundamental for lifelong leaning or those that do not want to enter mainstream education. Such initiatives are instrumental in the new managerialism and marketisation of secondary schools such as The Community College Whitstable.

In conclusion Marketisation of schools and Further Education are directly linked to the Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government of the late 70's and early 80's. The radical shake up of the national institutions from privatisation, and the break up of trade unions and the global economy have had a huge impact on education system. Despite the change In Governments the ongoing battle for the correct education system is still being sought after. Secondary schools such as The Community College Whitstable have become businesses in education in their own right, and will have to adapt and continually change with the wind of power. Secondary schools will and do play an important part in Lifelong Learning as they are the foundations for all our learning and with the fourteen to nineteen agenda being a major focal point for all Governments, it will give the majority of students the basis for the commitment

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