However 'secondary education for all' did come about after a fashion under the 1944 Act.
Education in Britain as changed greatly since World War II, mainly due to the 1944 Education Act, which made secondary education free and compulsory until the age of 15 years. The views taken of education and its importance in national, economic and political terms have varied a great deal since then with each new government: there have been many good intentions but too few initiatives taken to achieve the ideal system. Unfortunately this means that, unless you are white, male, middle class and non-handicapped, the institution of the school may not be very helpful to your development, and your days at school may be remembered as a time of prejudice, frustration and lost opportunities.
The immediate post-war period in Britain constituted a new way of thinking about public and private life. There were many promises heralding a better life for everyone, including the provision of free, compulsory secondary education: public education came to be seen as a 'bastion of national recovery' ( Gosden, 1983). Three types of school were suggested: grammar, technical and secondary modern with grammar schools continuing to be seen as superior and biased towards middle-class boys. The 1959 Crowther Report recommended raising the school leaving age to 16 years, the introduction of comprehensive school and a new exam below GCE level -- however, these moves towards equal opportunities were not completed until the 1970s. Similarly, the 1983 Newsom Report argued that pupils of below average ability should receive a greater share of resources, and recommended improved teacher training.
From the 1960s onwards, education was seen more and more in the context of economics an instrument of national interest rather than personal fulfilment. Education became more and more under central (and parental) control in the 1980s -- the 1980 Education Act made it no longer the duty of LEAs to provide free school meals, and introduced parental scrutiny and choice. The second half the 1980s saw a restructuring, and the unashamed acknowledgement that the market was the new cornerstone of education Key aims were now to keep output constant and affordable, to remove LEAs as a source of education policy making, and to replace effectiveness with efficiency.
The 1988 Education Act is a set of 'compromises and interventions' (Ball, 1990): it sets out the National Curriculum (fine in principle, but unfair in practice), more power to school governers, and the possibility of 'opting out' of LEA control by individual schools. Another area in which young people are not given the chance to fully develop their potential is that of Special Educational Needs (SEN), defined by the 1988 Education Act as a 'learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made'.
The development of education policy in Britain includes concept of 'educational disadvantage' since the 1950s, the comprehensive reorganization of secondary education in the 1960s and 1970s, the change in ideas on education in the 1980s and 1990s, and New Labour's policies. Political ideologies have shaped social policy of United Kingdom since 1945. The political party system, dating from the 17th century, is an essential element in the working constitution. Several parties win seats in