Education between States, Markets, and Civil Society: Comparative Perspectives

By Heinz-Dieter Meyer; William L. Boyd | Go to book overview

Modern Languages, and Technology—but, here, the total contribution required from what can be a multitude of sponsors is just £100,000.

The 1993 Education Act appeared to offer a real chance for groups and individuals to establish their own third sector schools. In particular, it seemed to offer a chance for minority religious groups to obtain statesupport for their own schools on a par with Church of England and Roman Catholic believers. The reality has been that a very few existing private schools have been able to obtain state support and, so far, only one entirely new school is to be established. In this case, the procedures that were developed to deal with the new legislation came into being during a period of great change. At the time of the 1993 Education Act, John Patten was Secretary of State for Education and was strongly enthusiastic about increasing diversity. But in July 1994 he was replaced by Gillian Shephard who was perhaps more able to see potential problems. In particular, the extra costs of increasing diversity at a time when education budgets were being cut made the idea of value for money a prominent concern. The FAS and DFE became more interested in saving money by encouraging capital expenditure to be contributed by sponsors than in offering diversity as such (Walford, 1997).

The entry of the two Muslim schools and one Seventh Day Adventist school into the state-funded sector is of considerable interest. They have had to meet stringent criteria to ensure equal opportunities and adherence to the national curriculum. It will be several years before it is possible to assess the extent to which these schools divert from their original purpose and become secularized due to their move from the private sector to the third sector.


References

Arthur, J. (1995). The ebbing tide. Policy and principles of Catholic education. Leominster: Gracewing.

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