Stewart suggests that poor or high educational emphasis can lead to a cycle of negative and positive growth in the economy which in turn would lead to formation of weak or strong educational systems. This analysis is based on the relationship of British economic growth and the educational policies since 1979. We discuss whether educational policies could or could not be used to promote economic growth considering R&D inputs and extent of state control.
Considering the changes in the educational approach Arthur (2005) argues that character education could be related to citizenship education that provides a basic framework to morals and values. There have been many changes within the British educational policy and after a period of neglect in moral values within education during the 1960s, between 1979 and 1997, Conservative governments have attempted to reinforce moral standards by establishing state control on the school curriculum. Arthur points out that the values that are now being emphasized by New Labour seeks to promote pragmatic moral ethics and behavior and along with meeting the needs of the pupil also raises school performance and meets the needs of the new economy by promoting democratic participation (2005, 242-245). Considering the diverse and differing views on what constitutes character or morality, Arthur (2005) shows that character education can be reduced to a set of behavior outcomes which may not serve the purpose of promoting higher ideals and ethics.
The conservatives' educational policies gave full freedom to every school to set its own admission policies. The Tories believed that the free school policies would rationalize education spending and help most popular schools to expand. Regular inspection of the school and examination of management activities has been recommended by the Tories. Conservative policies however encouraged universities to focus on breaking away from government control and establish greater autonomy through endowments. Conservatives have suggested that teacher shortages show that Labour has failed to deliver on education. The focus of conservatives is to have an educational policy with reduced class sizes and greater educational autonomy. However does educational autonomy signify economic growth
Jones and Thomas (2005) argue that fair access and widening participation of students are important within the UK higher education agenda. The strands of policies on government approach to access and participation have been examined by Jones and Thomas and they suggest that one aspect of government policies is based on attracting talented young people in an unreformed higher education system and the second strand suggests that there is a need for reform in such policies (Jones and Thomas, 2005, 622). The government's 2003 White Paper on the future of higher education highlights the differences between the economic and social objectives of education and also examines the notion of institutional differentiation. Jones