'The beginning of the end of state education'
Another prestigiou

Wed, 24 Aug 2011 09:41:00 BST

Stephen Ball, Professor of Sociology of Education, PhD, FRSA, AcSS, FBA

Institute of Education, University of London


In this lecture I will argue that English education policy has come full-circle – from the first constitution of a state system of education in 1870 to the beginning of the end of state education in 2011. In the 19th century the English state hesitantly and slowly moved from a patchwork education system of many providers to a national system locally provided. In the 21st century the English state is moving back towards a patchwork of many providers – faith and voluntary organizations, charities, social enterprises and for-profit companies - with enhanced institutional autonomies and an increasingly marginal the role of delivery and coordination by Local Authorities.

In all of this education is being re-positioned as an individual responsibility and a private good, and as an opportunity for profit – a commodity! This is potentially the most significant point of change in English education since 1944. The lecture will illustrate and discuss this change.

Professor Peter Slee, Deputy Vice Chancellor welcomed our speaker and distinguished author, to the University of Huddersfield highlighting the extent of his academic writing. 

Having read his publication ‘The education debate: policy and politics in the 21st Century’  Prof Slee commented ‘I was very taken with Stephen’s riveting analysis concerning the way our society thinks about, and values education…., that it is impossible to understand education separately from the education policy that surrounds it’.

The Dean for education, Dr Christine Jarvis and Prof James Avis also expressed their gratitude that Stephen Ball was able to deliver such an interesting and informative lecture.

Audience comments received following the event included:

‘An excellent speaker relating to an important and current issue for education’.

‘A forensic examination of neo-liberal policy on schooling; enthralling and alarming’.

‘A profound and thoroughly provoking analysis of contemporary education politics’.

The lecture was organised as part of our rolling programme for education research related events.  There are regular attendees to our Public Lectures with many travelling to listen to our prestigious speakers.

  • If you would like to be added to the distribution list for future education events then please send an e-mail entitled Distribution List containing your name, email address, establishment information to:  publiclecture@hud.ac.uk

Back to news index - All Stories