Bourn, Douglas Charles (1978) The development of labour party ideas on education with special reference to the period 1918-1944. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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The previous studies on the Labour Party and education have centred on the Party's policies and have consequently restricted discussion to the policy making bodies. This study, on the other hand, is concerned with the development of Labour Party ideas on education which allows not only a far broader perspective, but gives one the scope to analyse the depth and degree of support the Party has had in this area.
With this broader perspective, not only the parliamentary leadership, but also the various groups in and around the Party such as the trade unions, the intellectuals and specialist groups like the teachers, the educationalists and the Workers Education Association, are considered in the development of its ideas.
All sections of the Party have been deeply committed to. education, not only to advance their own children, but also because education has been regarded as a major vehicle for achieving a new society.
It was between the wars that this belief in the political importance of education was most dominant in the Labour Party. It was during this period that the working classes were wanting to secure and use the potential power they now had through the vote and the growth of trade unions. Education was also a central feature of 'labour socialism' with the Party's attempts to develop an alternative to Marxian socialism. However, the mass working class base of the Party still remained concerned primarily about immediate economic questions even with education.
The major area of educational debate between the wars was secondary education and the Labour Party were the leading force in the campaign tor secondary education for all.
In secondary education, as in other areas concerning the state school system, ideas inside the Labour Party became increasingly influenced by the educational experts, the teachers and the academics.
It was only, however, with the passing of the 1944 Education Act that Labour finally succeeded with its objective of secondary education for all. For many in the Party, it was regarded as the culmination of a life's work, but Labour's failure to influence the details of the Act on secondary education led to many of the internal conflicts in the post war period.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: For access to the hard copy thesis, check the University Library catalogue.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 27 May 2019 11:45
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 08:52

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