In Britain, as in other advanced industrial societies, such as the US, education is high on the public policy agenda. The concern is about how to maintain and improve educational standards. The right aims to give more power to parents as consumers, while the left aims to involve parents in educational processes. This book examines the evidence that has been amassed over the last 40 to 50 years in order to evaluate these two sets of political claims about how to improve educational provision.The book also reviews the effects that changing family structures, such as the growth of lone-parent families and maternal employment, have on educational opportunities and performance. It considers the impacts on both children and parents, especially mothers. It concludes with a consideration of the future of education reform in the light of changing family structures.
Miriam David is Director of the Social Sciences Research Centre and Head of Research in Legal, Political and Social Sciences in the Business School at the South Bank University.