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The Third Way and education: New Labour, the dominance of neo-liberal global capital in European education policies, and the growth of inequality

Dave Hill
University College Northampton, UK
Institute for Education Policy Studies, UK

Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, University of Lisbon, 11-14 September 200


In this paper, I summarise and ideologically analyse New Labour's education policy since its election in 1997 and its re-election in June 2001. I examine claims that in its current second term of office, New Labour's policies have become more social democratic and less `Third Way'. I then contextualise new Labour's education policies within the current neo-liberal project of global capital, highlighting the nature of neo-liberal capitalism and the role of The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). In particular I refer to the `businessification' of education and the suppression of critical thought.

In Part One: New Labour's Education Policies , I focus on the seven policy issues of:

  1. The Curriculum for Teacher Education and Training and the Curriculum for Schools;
  2. The Differentiation and Hierarchicalisation of Schooling and of Education through marketisation and through the spread of selective `specialist schools';
  3. The Differentiation and Hierarchicalisation of the Teaching Force within schools
  4. Improved Standards of Assessed Attainments in Schools and the racialised social class related nature of these attainments;
  5. Privatisation of School and other education services;
  6. Inclusion, Exclusion and Increasing Inequalities in Education;
  7. Levels of public expenditure on education (and on other public services).

In Part Two: Global Capital and National Education Policies , I

  1. contextualise New Labour's education policy by locating it within the bigger picture of overall government policy in the UK, and more widely- within the global depredations of neo-liberal capital and the demands of GATS. Here I examine the role of education for capital and the role of ideological and repressive state apparatuses in attempting to secure compliance.

In Part Three: Ideological Analysis of New Labour's Education Policies and a Campaign of Resistance , I briefly develop

  1. an overall ideological analysis of New Labour's education policy after it has been in power for five and a half years. While acknowledging a rhetorical and partial change of focus in its second term of office, the analysis is that New Labour is, in essence, continuing to intensify neo-liberalism and continuing to subordinate both neo-conservative and social democratic policy to neo-liberal principles. I conclude by briefly
  2. examining some areas for resistance to neo-liberal capital by critical educators and other cultural workers.


New Labour's Policies in Education 1997-2001

In 1997, the six 'promises' in the New Labour general election manifesto were to cut class sizes to 30 or under for 5, 6 and 7 year olds; provide nursery places for all four year olds; attack low standards in schools; provide access to computer technology; provide lifelong learning through a new University for Industry; and to spend more on education as the cost of unemployment falls (Labour Party, 1997) (1) .

New Labour's Principles in Education 2001-2006

New Labour's plans for the current period, 2001-2006 were set in its February 2001 Green (i.e. Consultation) Paper, Schools: Building on Success (DfEE, 2001 a, b). In effect this was New Labour's education manifesto for the then forthcoming, June 2001, general election. The policies were reiterated in its September 2001 White Paper, Schools Achieving Success (DfES, 2001) and its subsequent Education Bill of (November) 2001, which became legislation as the Education Act 2002 on 24th July (DfES, 2002). In addition, the July 2002 Comprehensive Spending Review set out public spending plans for the period 2002-3 to 2005-6.

The list below selects key areas of education policy referring to New Labour's plans for education till 2006 and its claims regarding its achievements 1997-2001. Each point is offset by a brief analysis of the principles and effects of New Labour policy (2) .

1. The Curriculum for Teacher Education and Training and the Curriculum for Schools

Prior to the 1997 general election, the message from Labour Leader Tony Blair and education shadow Minister David Blunkett was that

the Labour Party intends to launch a back to basics drive in the classroom... More emphasis on basic skills, classroom discipline and whole class teaching will become part of a drastic overhaul of teacher training. The plan has been sparked by the party's dissatisfaction with the quality of newly qualified teachers (Times Educational Supplement, 1996).

As regards the National Curriculum for Schools, The Education Act 2002 makes it clear that successful schools will have greater autonomy from central and local government in many respects. One aspect is greater flexibility with the National Curriculum. Thus para 3.5 of the summary document of the Education Act 2002 claims that the principle is to be `intervention in inverse proportion to success'. However, this flexibility is to be restricted to some schools only. The rest will continue to be heavily regulated and monitored. Art, History, Geography and Music are being squeezes out of primary schools, narrowing the curriculum- in particular for working class children whose parents cannot afford the extra-curricular lessons, tutors and visits (3) .

As regards teacher education and training, New Labour is continuing the neo-liberal and neo-conservative policies of the previous Conservative governments. Thus, the teacher education curriculum has become extremely highly prescribed and policed, skills based, and with virtual no space and encouragement for critical or contextual/ socilogical/ political/ philosophical awareness. In addition it has become (in comparison with the 1989 regulations) far more school-based.

New Labour has modified some of regulations slightly, in classically social democratic fashion. Critical pedagogy and critical reflection, for example, have been facilitated through the study of 'citizenship' in the National Curriculum (see Hill and Cole, 1999), and through modified requirements for student teachers (see Cole, 1999a, b, 2000b). To some very slight extent, education theory and equal opportunities work has therefore been re-legitimated. They had been drastically restricted by the 1992/93 regulations/ criteria from the (Conservative) Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE) (Hill, 20001a).


When compared to the (Conservative) government's Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE) Criteria of 1984 and 1989 (DES 1984, 1989), and when set in the context of what could have been done to promote critical reflection and a more egalitarian curriculum for teacher education, the New Labour changes here are modest indeed. The status quo rules. Indeed, with the introduction of the heavily regulated/ mandated/ assessed National Literacy Programme and the National Numeracy Programme, student teachers and teachers serving in schools are now more regulated than at any time in the last hundred years.

2. The Hierarchicalisation and Differentiation of Schooling and Education

New Labour calls this, 'Modernising' comprehensive education and encouraging selection and diversity'.

New Labour attacks `bog standard' comprehensives (4) and is steadfastly reintroducing selection into secondary schooling. It claims that it is encouraging 'diversity' in types of schools to meet the needs and aspirations of all children. For example it claims that local parents can decide on the future of their grammar schools, and insists that schools should 'abandon a dogmatic attachment to mixed ability teaching'. The number of 'specialist' schools (in technology, languages, sports and arts, with new specialisms in business, science, engineering and enterprise) should reach nearly a half of all secondary schools by 2006 (DfEE, 2001b, p. 7); and it proposes a more flexible National Curriculum `to allow pupils to develop their special talents'.


New Labour's policy and plans for more Competitiveness and Selection are a continuation, indeed, a major extension of most of the structural aspects of the 1988 Conservative Education Reform Act, in terms of the macro-structure and organisation of schooling. The neo-liberal principle of competition between schools and the principle of devolving more and more financial control to schools through local management of schools are all in keeping with preceding Conservative opposition to comprehensive education and to the powers of the locall elected Local Education Authorities (LEAs).

The major focus of New Labour's February 2001 plan for education for 2001-2006 was greeted by a front-page article in the right wing Daily Mail as `Death of the Comprehensive' (Halpin, 2001). The Green Paper promised that nearly half of all secondary schools would become `specialist schools' by 2006. These schools are allowed to select up to 10% of their pupils `by aptitude' and receive extra funding of £123 per pupil per year.

Woodward (2002) has set out the new hierarchical order of secondary schools. No longer is it `tripartite' i.e. secondary modern, secondary technical and (selective) grammar school (plus private schools) that was the 1945-1988 pattern, now there is a thirteen-fold hierarchy of schools (5) .

3. The Differentiation and Hierarchicalisation of the Teaching Force within schools

The teaching profession has been restructured by the vast expansion of Teaching Assistants and the introduction of Performance Related Pay. Already, children in schools are liable to be taught by Advanced Skills Teachers, leadership spine teachers, pre- (Performance Related Pay-PRP) teachers, post (PRP) threshold teachers, agency teachers, fast-track teachers, teaching assistants paid on a salary, teaching assistants hourly-paid, learning mentors. The massive growth has been in the number of teaching assistants. These may or may not have been trained. In effect, it is a new `Mum's Army' of primarily untrained and unqualified teachers, many of whom extend beyond supporting teachers in classrooms to taking wider responsibility.

Recently (31 July, 2002) Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Estelle Morris, has suggested to the school teachers' pay review body that all teaches' pay should be linked to stricter annual performance criteria, including pupil behaviour and exam and SATs results.


This is in stark contrast to the national pay scale for teachers, and promotes competitive teacher behaviour in contrast to the more solidaristic co-operative behaviour. It also keeps the pay of most teachers low.

4. Improved Standards of Assessed Attainments

Assessed standards have improved. The government claims this has been achieved through: a combination of support and pressure; regular inspections of schools and of LEAs; performance targets; published tables of achievement; delegating more resources to schools; the Beacon Schools initiative of rewarding selected schools financially so they could share their expertise; and 'getting tough', (partly through `naming and shaming') with 'failing' schools and LEAs.

The 2001 Green Paper (DfEE, 2001a) catalogues New Labour's achievements in terms of `more investment' and `improved outcomes'. Thus

The document also notes fewer schools going into `special measures' and fewer unsatisfactory lessons. It also promises to focus on improving secondary school standards in a New Labour second term, in contrast to the primary school focus of the first term in office.


With improvement through standards and control, the emphasis in the first term of office was on 'standards not structures'. The second term focus is clearly on changing the structures of education, though, with the restructuring of the school system into different types of school with different types of control and different types of ownership.

Governmental and managerial control over education has been increased, and reinforced by punitive measures - for example, through increasing use of compulsory testing; setting measurable targets; centralised control of the school and ITE curriculum; surveillance and monitoring of pupils, teachers and those involved in 'initial teacher training'; punishment of 'failing' teachers, schools, Local Education Authorities (LEAs), teacher training departments, and 16-18 year-olds who do not participate in the 'New Deal' (of education, training, voluntary work or work). The Green paper promises a reduction in central control, with `light touch' inspections, for example, in the future.

The focus for improvement is Managerialism. This is secured through the focus of policy on 'Improving Schools' (and LEAs) and by School Effectiveness strategies to raise standards; also by stratifying the teaching workforce, for example by Performance Related Pay (PRP) and 'superteachers' (see Allen, 1999 for a discussion).

The standards to be maintained and improved are, for the most part, traditional ones. Traditionalism is sustained through the continuation (despite the 1999 Review of the National Curriculum and the 2002 relaxation of the national curriculum for `successful schools') of the eurocentric and traditionalist Conservative National Curriculum of 1995; the assault on liberal-progressive education (e.g. attacks on mixed ability teaching and concentration on 'back to basics' in the curriculum with the Literacy Hour and Numeracy Hour in Primary schools).

Of course, what is officially assessed and monitored (through the potentially repressive actions of Ofsted) is what gets assessed. Other curricular and non-curricular aspects of education- if they are not assessed- are not focussed on.

5. Privatisation of School and other Education Services

New Labour calls this `Creating new partnerships'/ private sector involvement'.

The 2001 Green Paper promises to change the law `to allow external sponsors to take responsibility for underperforming schools against fixed-term contracts of five to seven years with renewal subject to performance' (DfEE, 2001b, p. 3) and to expand the City Academy programme ` to enable sponsors from the private and voluntary sectors to establish new schools in areas of historic underperformance' (p. 7).

Accordingly, the Education Act of 2002 promotes `greater involvement of external partners in the provision of wholly new schools (summary booklet para 2.11). Para 2.12 states that `where a new secondary school id required, the LEA will advertise, so that any interested party can put forward proposals for a new school. Any promoter, including a community or faith group, an LEA or another public. Private or voluntary body can publish proposals. These will be judged on the basis of their educational merits, value for money and the outcome of consultation.

Similarly, in discussing `failing schools', para 2.13 and 2.14 propose `involving external partners', with the government having ` a reserve power to require the involvement of an external partner'.

New Labour is strengthening the role of Privatisation and business involvement into the management/control of schools and LEAs. Business has been courted to take the leading role in Education Action Zones and the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) and Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) have been replaced by a Skills Council. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) enabling private funding for and ultimate control over new schools and colleges has been expanded.

With respect to PFI, the Private Finance Initiative, the White Paper (DfES, 2001c) noted that

Many schools are also benefitting from the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Thirty-one deals have been signed so far, and funding for a further 53 has been agreed in principle, brining benefits to around 800 schools. Private finance deals can provide schools with modern learning environments, fully maintained over 25-30 years. They enable teachers to focus on teaching, using well-equipped classrooms and without the many distractions from maintaining school buildings. All PFI deals are subject to vigorous value for money tests before they are approved (Para 8.22) .

The Act (Section 10) enables each school unit under its own governing body to invest its own funds in forming, or participating, in firms and companies capable of providing `services or facilities' for any school or to `exercise relevant local authoruty functions


The Capitalist state has a Business Plan for Education and a Business Plan in Education (5) . The former centres on socially producing labour-power (people's capacity to labour) for Capitalist enterprises, the latter focuses on setting business 'free' in education for profit-making. Thus, business firstly education fit for business- to make schooling and further and higher education subordinate to the personality, ideological and economic requirements of Capital. Secondly, it wants to make profits from education and other privatised public services such as water supply and healthcare. Monbiot points out that in the USA `schooling there is a commodity, widely traded on the stock market, and worth around $650 billion (2001, p. 331).

The Bill entails `the effective privatisation of public education (Spearing, 2002) `Since about half local authority expenditure is on education. There are vast sums and pickings up for grabs. There has been a substantial start- private firms actually running educational authorities, or even exams- now to the schools! Administration at every level, equipment, advice, education lore and innovation galore... The education industry can't wait' available from

6. Inclusion, Exclusion and Increasing Inequalities in Education

New Labour promises `to benefit the many not the few'. Its policies on Social Inclusion through targeted expenditure involve some increases in spending targeted at areas of Social Exclusion. These policies include: increased resourcing for inner city and other areas of social exclusion, Zonal programmes: Education Action Zones, Excellence in Cities, Excellence Clusters. Other policies are increased funding for schools and LEAs capital and revenue budgets (for example to reduce Primary class sizes and to repair and improve schools buildings), and extra funding for low attaining secondary schools). Other schemes include summer schools and school-post school links, together with the 'Excellence in Cities' programme which was intended to include one third of all secondary age pupils by September 2001 (DfEE, 2001b, p. 7).

The White Paper (DfES, 2001) notes that the Children's Fund will provide extra money for preventive work with vulnerable children and young people, for example, mentoring, parenting education and support, and counseling. A new initiative in areas of high disadvantage is Family Focused Schools, which will provide an extended day, support for parents, and aim to attract sponsorship by local employers (p38).

Another plank of New Labour's policies to improve performance of low achieving schools is through setting up various types of partnerships, for example between (selective) grammar schools and neighbouring comprehensive schools.

New Labour's 2001 Green Paper comments that `universal nursery education for all 4 year olds is now in place. There has been a significant expansion for 3 year-olds. In total there are 120,000 more free nursery places than in 1997' (DfEE, 2001b, p. 9). It also promises to `ensure that every school with fewer than 25% achieving 5 or more A*-C at GCSE or more than 35 per cent on free school meals receives extra targeted assistance' (p.9), and `expand Sure Start (a programme aimed at helping pre-school children in poorer areas) to include 500 programmes, to support 400,000 under-4s, one-third of under-4s living in poverty, by 2004' (DfEE, 2001b, p. 6).

Chancellor Gordon Brown's Third Compehensive Spending Review (CSR) of July 2002 promised education an extra £14.7 billion by2006. Much would go on improving school, college and university buildings, other cash on Education Maintenance Allowances of up to £1500 per year for 16-18 year olds from low-income families who stay on in full-time study. (Students from families earning £13, 000 or less are to receive the full grant).


The CSR of July 2002 led many commentators to assume that New Labour had reverted to Old Labour, to traditional Labour. Thus, in the Labour supporting tabloid, The Daily Mirror, chief political commentator Paul Routledge wrote on the front page, `five years ago I voted for a Labour government. Yesterday, I began to get one. Gordon Brown's spending boost is what thousands of traditional Labour members like me have been waiting for' (Routledge, 2002).

These classically social democratic equal opportunities measures of targeted expenditure occur within the overall context of New Labour privatisation and low public expenditure strategies in their first term of office (see below). As the conclusion to this chapter suggests, this policy of social inclusion is contradicted, and, to an extent, interdicted, by the widening social and educational gaps consequent upon selection and hierarchy in schooling and more widely.

7. Public Expenditure: Cutting Public Expenditure

Not only have education and the media the function of creating and reproducing a labour force fit (in terms of skills and ideology) for Capitalism, but Capital also requires, (given the variegations of short-term policy and local considerations), cutting public spending, cutting the social wage (the cost and value of the state pensions, health and education services). The first term of New Labour in office has been a regime of low public expenditure, which has strictly controlled and limited overall spending on education. The government response is that in its first term of office its major concern was to reassure voters that it was economically competent and not spendthrift.

One of New Labour's first actions was to abolish student grants for undergraduates. Prior to 1987 they had been worth a means- tested£1,755 a year (outside London). In its place a Loan System was introduced. In addition, New Labour introduced course fees for university courses. The devolved Scottish government has abolished tuition fees.

Despite the increases announced in July 2000 by Chancellor Gordon Brown for extra spending, it was then projected that by 2005 public spending would have risen to only 40.5% of GDP - still less than in John Major's last year (The Guardian 1999), a 'smaller share than in most other developed countries' (Coyle 2000) and less than the 49.9% in 1976 (Toynbee 2000). Toynbee also points out that Gordon Brown's first two years as Chancellor 'saw the lowest public spending in 35 years'.

However, the Trades Union Congress general secretary, John Monks, pointed out that the £60 billion extra overall public spending will only see Britain move from 21st out of 27 in the OECD's `tax and spend' league table in 2001 to 19th by 2003 in terms of the share of national income spent on public services, 39.4% against a eurozone average of 44.7%. The trend, after 5 years of New Labour government, is henceforth upwards (the economy, no doubt permitting), to a 41% share of national income by 2006 (White, 2002).

As far as education goes, the Guardian's editorial analysis of the July 2002 CSR is that education will receive a 6% increase in spending for the next three years. `This is expected to lift education spending from the 4.7% of GDP in 1997 to 5.6% in 2005-2006, which would be close to the European average'. But The Guardian noted that `like health, education will need more than three years of extra spending to turn itself round. In Labour's first two years, education spending dropped from 4.9% of national income to 4.7% and even today (July 2002) is below the 5.3% in (Conservative Prime Minister) John Major's first year as Premier' (The Guardian, 2002).


The Contexts of Educational Change and the neo-Liberal Project

The current anti-egalitarian education system needs to be contextualised within the overall national and global policy contexts of neo-liberal capital. The restructuring of the schooling and education systems across the world needs to be placed within the ideological and policy context of the links between Capital, neo-liberalism and the rampant growth of the national and international inequalities.

The Current neo-liberal Project of Global Capitalism

The fundamental principle of Capitalism is the sanctification of private (or, corporate) profit based on the extraction of surplus labour (unpaid labour-time) as surplus value from the labour-power of workers. This is a creed of competition, not co-operation, between humans. It is a creed and practice of racialized and gendered class exploitation, exploitation by the Capitalist class of those who provide the profits through their labour, the national and international working class.

For neo-liberals, `profit is God', not the public good. Capitalism is not kind. Plutocrats are not, essentially, philanthropic. In Capitalism it is the insatiable demand for profit that is the motor for policy, not public or social or common weal, or good. With great power comes great irresponsibility. Thus privatised utilities, such as the railway system, health and education services, free and clean water supply are run to maximise the shareholders' profits, rather than to provide a public service (6) .

The current globally dominant form of Capitalism, neo-liberalism, requires the following within national states:

  1. Inflation should be controlled by interest rates, preferably by an independent central bank.
  2. Budgets should be balanced and not used to influence demand - or at any rate not to stimulate it.
  3. Privatisation/Private ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
  4. The provision of a Market in goods and services- including private sector involvement in welfare, social, educational and other state services (such as air traffic control, prisons, policing, railways).
  5. Within education the creation of `opportunity' to acquire the means of education (though not necessarily education itself, as McMurtry notes) and additional cultural Capital, through selection.
  6. Relatively untrammelled selling and buying of labour power, for a `flexible', poorly regulated labour market (Costello and Levidow, 2001), deregulation of the labour market - for labour flexibility (with consequences for education).
  7. The restructuring of the management of the welfare state on the basis of a corporate managerialist model imported from the world of business. As well as the needs of the economy dictating the principal aims of school education, the world of business is also to supply a model of how it is to be provided and managed.
  8. Suppression of oppositional critical thought and of autonomous thought and education.
  9. Within a regime of denigration and humbling of publicly provided services.
  10. Within a regime of cuts in the post-war Welfare State, the withdrawal of state subsidies and support, and low public expenditure.

Internationally, neo-liberalism requires that:

  1. Barriers to international trade and capitalist enterprise should be removed
  2. There should be a 'level playing field' for companies of any nationality within all sectors of national economies
  3. Trade rules and regulations are necessary to underpin 'free' trade, with a system for penalising 'unfair' trade policies

The WTO, GATS and education policy in England

Glenn Rikowski (2002c, from which this following section on GATS is taken, virtually verbatim) examines the nature of globalisation and analyses its consequences for education, exploring the proposition that 'globalisation' is essentially capitalist globalisation: the globalisation of capital, which is at the core of all the economic, social, political and cultural trends that have been associated with conventional (and more superficial) notions of 'globalisation'.

He shows how globalisation and education relate in quite specific ways. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) facilitates globalisation through opening up all spheres of social life - including the public services - to international capital. The WTO 'education agenda', therefore, is to facilitate the penetration of education services by corporate capital. The key WTO agreement for this purpose is the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This Agreement incorporates the aim of unleashing progressive liberalisation of trade in services, including public services such as education. In the long-term, no area of social life is exempt from these developments.

Meanwhile, nation-states have to deal with and plan for the business take-over of public services. Governments, or collective state organisations such as the European Union (EU), also have to manage the politics of the corporate take-over of public services. They have to open up all aspects of social life to corporate capital whilst simultaneously 'reassuring' their populations that this does not entail the privatisation of public services. The progressive privatisation of state enterprises, functions and services over the last fifteen years makes this task an onerous one.

However, the political management of the process is made easier by the fact that the GATS is opaque regarding whether public services are exempt from the Agreement's trade rules and sanctions, or not. If it were the case that the GATS was inapplicable to public services, and that services like health, education and libraries were exempt from the GATS imperatives, then it would be clear that commercialisation, privatisation and capitalisation of public services was a Governmental choice and strategy. Hence, objections to these processes could be made on this basis.

On the other hand, if it were the case that public services such as education were clearly included in the GATS then the programme for subjecting the whole of social life to take-over by corporate capital would be obvious. Thus, the complexity and unclarity of the GATS Agreement actually aids the translation of the GATS into national contexts. It allows Governments to proceed under a cloak of obfuscation and uncertainty. For Governments, this aids the task of drawing up and re-forming what Rikowki has called the national faces of the GATS for each public service (2001/02, pp.14-15).

The UK Government, like all governments, is unlikely to forge any legislation that clearly derives from GATS imperatives. This would blow the cover on the whole process and invite political backlash. Rather, the UK Government has the task of devising national faces of the GATS - detailed mechanisms for each public service that facilitate business penetration and take-over. For Government, the links between the GATS and their national enablers must remain an enigma. Such links must be denied or evaded, otherwise the full force of the WTO's impact on national life becomes apparent, leading to the likelihood of a significant national politics of resistance to the WTO in general and the GATS in particular. Rikowski's (2002c, pp. 9-10) paper goes on to identify the key mechanisms and enablers making for the capitalisation of education.

The UK Government is not just concerned with smoothing the way for the 'businessification' of education to the extent that profit making for 'edubusinesses' becomes possible. It is also concerned to build up indigenous edubusinesses, and to develop export potential for these.

Translating GATS into Policy in England

In England the mechanisms for `translating' the GATS into the English national context, for enabling the `business take-over of education' put into effect in England include Ofsted (which identifies weak/failing schools which in turn, by definition, become ripe for privatisation); PFI (Private Finance Initiative); Contracting out schools, LEA services and whole LEAs to the private sector; and the impending `Best Value'.

The Green Paper Schools: Building on Success (February 2001) proposed a number of measures that facilitate the business penetration of schools, e.g. the private sector taking over school improvement work; the Labour Party Manifesto (May 2001, for June 2001 general election) proposed that private sector involvement in education would be a crucial ingredient in making Britain "the best place to do business in Europe"; The Queen's Speech to Parliament immediately after the general election, indicated that New Labour would encourage greater use of private companies in the delivery of public services; the White Paper, Schools: Achieving Success (5th September 2001) a whole raft of proposals for letting the private sector into schools, on specialist schools, PFI, management, school governing bodies, City Academies, removing "obstacles" to the private sector working in 'partnership' with schools. As Rikowski has noted, `The WTO and the GATS come to schools!'

The Business Agenda for Schools

The first agenda what business wants schools to do - constitutes a broad transnational consensus about the set of reforms needed for schools to meet employers' needs in terms of the efficiency with which they produce the future workforce. The business agenda for schools is increasingly transnational, generated and disseminated through key organizations of the international economic and political elite such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In that global context there is a project for education at the European level, which represents the specific agenda of the dominant European economic and political interests. It is expressed in, for example, the various reports of the European Round Table (ERT) of industrialists, a pressure group of 45 leaders of major European companies from 16 countries, and it has become the motive force of the education policies of the European Commission and its subsidiary bodies. Monbiot quotes the ERT as saying `the provision of education is a market opportunity and should be treated as such (ERT, 1998, cited in Monbiot, 2001, p. 331)

The Business Agenda in Schools

In the USA the work of Alex Molnar, and work by Richard Hatcher (e.g. 1999, 2001a) and by Glenn Rikowski in Britain, highlights another aspect of what national and multinational Capital wants from schooling and education- it wants profits through owning and controlling them. Thus privatisation of schools and educational services is becoming `big business'. Of course, ultimate responsibility within private company owned schools and colleges is not to children, students or the community- it is to the owners and the shareholders.

In pursuit of these agendas, New Public Managerialism- the importation into the old public services of the language, management style of private Capital, have replaced the ethic and language and style of public service and duty.

The Business Agenda Internationally- British Companies in the vanguard of privatisation internationally

Rikowski (2002c) examines the gathering pace of GATS and the British government's role in seeking to give British companies the lead in educational privatisation internationally.

He points out that since February 2000, a whole series of GATS negotiations have taken place. These discussions were consolidated in March 2001 through an intensive series of meetings, and there will be a final deadline of December 2002 for an agreement on a strengthened GATS process. This explains the urgency regarding privatisation of public services in the UK today. As Matheson (2000) notes

Backed by the US and UK Governments, the WTO aims to liberalise the service sector further. The immediate impact would be the privatisation of some services that have so far been provided by governments. Governments would be obliged to sell off such services as housing, education and water. (p. 9, cited in Rikowski 2001/02, p. 14).

The drive to privatise public services is powered by a number of forces, but in terms of the GATS the urgency derives from two main considerations. First, home-grown operators need to be nurtured - and quickly - so that when a more powerful GATS process exists then UK operators in education, health, social services and libraries can fend off foreign enterprises. This is not just because the Government believes that more of the profits from these privatised public services are likely to remain in the UK; it is primarily because of the need to 'sell' the idea of private companies running schools, hospitals, libraries and social services to the British public. Whilst French companies might be tolerated in providing electricity or water, the UK Government perceives there may be more of a problem with American or other nation's companies running schools as profit-making ventures.

Secondly, as Monbiot (2002) indicates, drawing on the work of Hatcher (2001a), the Government is also mightily concerned that the fledgling UK businesses currently taking over our public services can develop rapidly into export earners. This is already happening. For example, the education business Nord Anglia is already exporting its services to Russia and the Ukraine as well as running schools and local education authority services here in the UK. Many UK universities have franchised operations and a whole raft of deals with other colleges and universities in other countries. UK University Schools of Education generate income through consultancies that advise countries like Chile, Poland and Romania how to restructure school systems. The Government is keen to maximise this export potential across all the public services. The WTO has identified 160 service sectors, and British and US businesses would benefit particularly if the GATS could liberalise trade in services still further by incorporating currently 'public' services into their export drives. In 2000, Britain exported £67 billion worth of services. New education, health, library, and social services business would provide 'new opportunities for this export trade to expand massively' (Tibbett, 2001, p. 11). Thus, 'International businesses have now seized on service provision as a money-making opportunity' (Matheson, 2000, p. 9). As the WTO Services Division Director David Hartridge said in a speech in 2000, '[GATS] can and will speed up the process of liberalisation and reform, and make it irreversible' (ibid.).

The pressure from corporations on the US, British and other EU governments to deliver on the GATS is colossal. As Allyson Pollock argues, '[business] sponsors and the Treasury are clear that the future of British business rests on trading in public services on an international scale regardless of the social costs' (Pollock, 2001).

Finally, the leading capitalist powers (the "Quad" - the US, EU, Japan and Canada), driven on by major corporations and business interests, are

...trying to revise GATS so it could be used to overturn almost any legislation governing services from national to local level. ... Particularly under threat from GATS are public services - health care, education, energy, water and sanitation... A revised GATS could give the commercial sector further access and could make existing privatisations effectively irreversible. (Sexton, 2001, p. 1)

This is what the end game is for the GATS timetable in late 2004. This explains the Government's determination to push through privatisations, to provide de-regulatory frameworks for state services (e.g. the recent Education Bill) and to nurture the growth of indigenous businesses that can virus public sector operations.

Neo-Liberalism and the Growth of National and Global Inequalities

Global Capital, in its current Neo-Liberal form in particular, leads to human degradation and inhumanity and increased social class inequalities within states and globally. These effects are increasing (racialised and gendered) social class inequality within states, increasing (racialised and gendered) social class inequality between states, degradation and Capitalisation of humanity, environmental degradation impacting primarily in a social class related manner. Those who can buy clean water don't die of thirst or diarrhoea.

Kagarlitsky has pointed out that `globalisation does not mean the impotence of the state, but the rejection by the state of its social functions, in favour of repressive ones, and the ending of democratic freedoms (2001, quoted in Pilger, 2002, p. 5).

In Britain the increasing inequalities, the impoverishment and creation of a substantial underclass has also been well-documented (7). In Britain the ratio of chief executives' pay to average worker's pay stands at 35 to one. In the USA it has climbed to 450 to one (from around 35 to one in the mid-1980s) (Hutton, 2001). Inequalities both between states and within states have increased dramatically during the era of global neo-liberalism (8) . The current form of globalisation is tightening rather than loosening the international poverty trap. Living standards in the least developed countries are now lower than thirty years ago. 300 million people live on less than a dollar a day (Denny and Elliot, 2002).

Global inequalities have been well described with the IMF/World Bank inspired cuts in health and welfare budgets throughout the third world. Rikowski, for example in The Battle in Seattle: Its Significance for Education (Rikowski, 2001c. See also Mojab, 2001, Pilger, 2002) others argue that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other `global clubs for the mega-Capitalists' are setting this agenda up in education across the globe. The World Development Movement, Globalise Resistance, Attac, and myriad other movements and organisations, together with the Marxist and left-liberal press expose the cause and the effects of global neo-liberal Capital. Most TV programmes and newspapers don't.

McMurtry (1999) describes 'the Pathologization of the Market Model'. He suggests that to argue for a 'free market' in anything these days is a delusion: the 'market model' that we have today is really the system that benefits the 'global corporate market'. This is a system where the rules are rigged to favour huge multinational and transnational corporations that take-over, destroy or incorporate (hence the 'cancer' stage of Capitalism) small businesses, innovators, etc. that are potential competitors. Thus, opening education and other public services to the market, in the long run, will open it to the corporate giants - who will run it in their own interests.

Neo-liberal policies both in the UK and globally have resulted in a loss of Equity, Inequalities and Economic and Social Justice, a loss of Democracy- as business values and interests are increasingly substituted for democratic accountability and the collective voice, and a loss of Critical Thought.

There is considerable data on how poor schools have, by and large, got poorer (in terms of relative education results and in terms of total income) and how rich schools (in the same terms) have got richer (9) . Markets exacerbate existing inequalities. Governments in, for example, Britain, the USA, Australia, New Zealand have marketised their school systems. Racialised social class patterns of inequality have increased. On an international level, World Bank and IMF diktats have resulted in the disappearance of formerly free nationally funded health and education services.

The State and Education: Labour Power, Surplus Value, Profit

In Britain, both Conservative and New Labour governments have attempted to 'conform' both the existing teacher workforce and the future teacher workforce (i.e. student teachers) and their teachers, the reproducers of teachers - the teacher educators. Why conform the teachers and the teacher educators at all? Like poets, teachers are potentially dangerous. But poets are fewer and reading poetry is voluntary. Schooling is not. Teachers' work is the production and reproduction of knowledge, attitudes and ideology (10) .

Glenn Rikowski's work (11) develops a Marxist analysis based on an analysis of `labour power'- the capacity to labour. With respect to education, he suggests that teachers are the most dangerous of workers because they have a special role in shaping, developing and forcing the single commodity on which the whole Capitalist system rests: labour-power. In the Capitalist labour process, labour-power is transformed into value-creating labour, and, at a certain point, surplus value - value over-and-above that represented in the worker's wage - is created. Surplus value is the first form of the existence of Capital. It is the lifeblood of Capital. Without it, Capital could not be transformed into money, on sale of the commodities that incorporate value, and hence the Capitalist could not purchase the necessary raw materials, means of production and labour-power to set the whole cycle in motion once more. But, most importantly for the Capitalist, is that part of the surplus-value forms his or her profit - and it is this that drives the Capitalist on a personal basis. It is this that defines the personal agency of the Capitalist!

Teachers are dangerous because they are intimately connected with the social production of labour-power, equipping students with skills, competences, abilities, knowledge and the attitudes and personal qualities that can be expressed and expended in the Capitalist labour process. Teachers are guardians of the quality of labour-power! This potential, latent power of teachers explains why representatives of the State might have sleepless nights worrying about their role in ensuring that the labourers of the future are delivered to workplaces throughout the national Capital of the highest possible quality.

The State needs to control the process for two reasons. First to try to ensure that this occurs. Secondly, to try to ensure that modes of pedagogy that are antithetical to labour-power production do not and cannot exist. In particular, it becomes clear, on this analysis, that the Capitalist State will seek to destroy any forms of pedagogy that attempt to educate students regarding their real predicament - to create an awareness of themselves as future labour-powers and to underpin this awareness with critical insight that seeks to undermine the smooth running of the social production of labour-power. This fear entails strict control of teacher education, of the curriculum, of educational research.

Ideological and Repressive State Apparatuses

As Peter McLaren notes, one of its greatest achievements is that Capital presents itself as natural, free and democratic,

as if it has now replaced the natural environment. It announces itself through its business leaders and politicians as coterminous with freedom, and indispensable to democracy such that any attack on Capitalism as exploitative or hypocritical becomes an attack on world freedom and democracy itself' (McLaren, 2000, p. 32).

The freedom of the Press belongs to those who own the Press. Rupert, the owner of News International is more powerful than me, although the ideas he represents, ultimately, may not. The power of the capitalist controlled media is, of course, the power to exclude information as well as what spin to put on the information that is allowed. To take one contemporary example, as Normand notes, `most Americans are unaware that sanctions against Iraq have killed more people than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan' (1998, quoted in Pilger, 2002, p. 8). To take another (headline) `Britons sink into ignorance as TV turns to trivia in third world' (Vidal, 2002), with accusations that television has abandoned serious examination of developing countries' (12) .

Changes to Initial Teacher Education, and education more widely (that I discuss in the companion paper to this at ECER 2002, Critical Education for Economic and Social Justice: a Marxist Analysis and Manifesto), have been effected through the repressive as well as ideological means available to the State (13) . Althusser argues that the ideological dominance of the ruling class is, like its political dominance, secured in and through definite institutional forms and practices: the ideological apparatuses of the state. As Althusser suggests, every Ideological State Apparatus is also in part a Repressive State Apparatus, punishing those who dissent:

There is no such thing as a purely ideological apparatus ... Schools and Churches use suitable methods of punishment, expulsion, selection etc., to 'discipline' not only their shepherds, but also their flocks. (Althusser, 1971, p. 138)

The term 'State Apparatus' does not refer solely to apparatuses such as Ministries and various levels of government. It applies to those societal apparatuses, institutions and agencies that operate on behalf of, and maintain the existing economic and social relations of production. In other words, the apparatuses that sustain Capital, Capitalism and Capitalists.

Ideological State Apparatuses have internal 'coercive' practices (for example, forms of punishment, non-promotion, displacement, being 'out-of-favour'). Similarly, Repressive State Apparatuses attempt to secure significant internal unity and wider social authority through ideology (for example, through their ideologies of patriotism and national integrity). Every Repressive State Apparatus therefore has an ideological moment, propagating a version of common sense and attempting to legitimate it under threat of sanction.

For example, in England and Wales, by means of the governmental regulatory organisations such as the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE) and the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) circulars and Education Acts, higher education institutions (HEIs) and education departments/ faculties can now have their resources reduced, their staff contracted and their specialisations (in 'race', social class, gender, disability, sexuality) thereby altered. Oppositional teachers and teacher educators can lose heart and lose pay; schools and HEIs can lose pupils/students and therefore income and therefore teachers'/lecturers' jobs; their successors are likely to be appointed because they are 'covered in chalk dust' and mandated National Curriculum expertise, rather than equal opportunities policies or the lust for justice (14) .

Governments, and the ruling classes in whose interests they act, prefer to use the second form of state apparatuses - the Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs). Changing the school and initial teacher education curriculum, abandoning `general studies and liberal studies in the UK for working class `trade' and skilled worker students/ apprentices in `Further Education' (vocational) colleges is less messy than sending the troops onto the streets or visored baton-wielding police into strike-bound mining villages. And it is deemed more legitimate by the population in general.

As Althusser and Bourdieu have also noted, schooling and the other sectors of education are generally regarded as politically neutral, not as agencies of cultural, ideological and economic reproduction. The school, like other institutions in society such as the legal system and the police, is always presented in official discourse as neutral, non-political, and non-ideological. (Of course those who have direct, negative experiences of any of these, such as being half-strangled in a police assault, or a community whose children are frequently excluded from school, and those who have a critical political consciousness, do not see it this way).

Ultimately, when the repressive and ideological aspects/ moments of the national and global Ideological State Apparatuses do not work, the Repressive State Apparatuses step in. Thus, Thomas Friedman, described as `the guardian of American Foreign Policy, quite openly points out that `the hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnel Douglas, the designer of the F-15 And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps' (2000, cited in Pilger, 2002, p. 114).


An analysis of New Labour's education (and other welfare/social/economic) policies and the business take-over of education needs to be related to the international trading regime- the World Trade Organisation, and the General Agreement on Trade in Services. This paper has tried to show the privatising role played by the New Labour government in line with GATS demands.

New Labour has re-legitimated the role of the state in promoting technical efficiency. It is also true that, in education policy and in wider social policy, New Labour, in its second term, is both increasing public spending and targeting that spending in seeking to promote a greater degree of social inclusion.

However, alongside these traditional ideologically social democratic policies, the Radical Right policies of the former Conservative government have been adopted, almost in toto. Indeed, in terms of selection in education and in terms of privatisation in/ of education, New Labour is more neo-liberal than the prceding Conservative governments. Greater equality of outcome is simply not on the agenda. Greater equality of opportunity (via targeted spending) is subordinated to, the extension of the (neo-conservative and neo-liberal) selective hierarchical market in education and the prioritisation of schools and education as sites of capitalist production.

Thus, New Labour's equality of opportunity agenda is undermined by the overall thrust of the quasi-market structure of the school system, the creation and extension of specialist schools (which create a multi-tired finely graded system of schools), the stress on ability grouping within schools and the re-introduction of more academic-vocational segregation at age 14. It is also undermined, as Richard Hatcher points out, by the

lack of understanding that educational inequalities cannot be effectively tackled unless schooling engages with the meanings, purposes and life-experiences of its pupils, and especially those who do not share the middle-class confidence in the instrumental value of schooling. Children and young people are largely seen in the Green Paper as empty vessels needing to be filled up with the National Curriculum and a kit of 'skills', regardless of what they bring to the learning experience (Hatcher, 2001b. See also Hill, 2001c).

Chitty points out that the Education Act is important as a `small but significant steps towards the construction of a new education market' (2002, p. 14). Rikowski points out that this misses the key point, that the Education Act 2002 is not just a step towards creating an education market, but is primarily about encouraging the development of schools as sites of capitalist production and profit-generation. Grant quotes Tony Blair as saying `Human capital is the key to economic advancement in the knowledge economy' Grant adds that `our brains have become the `hands' of a previous industrial age, a replacement for the physical attribute most crucial in labouring to produce profit' (Grant, 2002).

The most powerful, restraint on Capital (and the political parties funded and influenced by Capitalists in their bountiful donations) is that Capital needs to persuade the people that neo-liberalism- competition, privatisation, poorer standards of public services, greater inequalities between rich and poor- are legitimate. If not, there is a delegitimation crisis, government and the existing system are seen through as grossly unfair and inhumane. It may also be seen as in the pocket of the international and/or national ruling classes and their weaponry.

To minimise this delegitimation, to ensure that the majority of the population consider that the government and the economic system of private monopoly ownership is legitimate, the state uses the ideological state apparatuses such as schools and colleges to `naturalise' Capitalism- to make the existing status quo seem `only natural'.


The key point is what we do about it? In brief, there are at least three arenas of activity for critical intellectuals and oppositional educators to explode the `naturalness' and the common sense of neo-liberal Capital.

As a brief conclusion to this paper, and recognising the widening educational, economic social inequalities both within states and globally, the paper calls for engagement with neo-liberal globalising capital and its organisations and agreements such as GATS and the WTO whether these are pursuedsby Conservative or by revised social democratic (`Third way') manifestations. It also calls for engagement with ideological and cultural fashions within the media and the academy, such as postmodernism, that, ultimately serve the function of `naturalising' neo-liberal Capital as the dominating `common sense'. Such fashions debilitate and displace viable solidaristic counter-hegemonic struggles (17) .

What role can we, as critical and revolutionary educators and cultural/media workers play in ensuring that the Capitalism, with its dystopian class-based apartheid (18) is replaced by an economic and social system rather more economically and socially just and environmentally sustainable than state Capitalist, social democratic and (secular or religious) traditionalist alternatives?

What role should educators and cultural workers play? Shall we be complicit in stasis, in the reproduction of existing inequalities? Shall we sit on our hands and peg our tongues because mandated curriculum requirements in schooling and teacher education do not give space to questions of power, domination, class, race, gender, Capitalism, socialism, critical thought? That is what many do. Become, possibly grumblingly, complicit and explicit in expelling notions and concepts of critical thought in a skills-based, assignment overload, technicist `teacher training' and subsequent school teaching and in media and cultural production and research in education and throughout academia (Levidow, 2002).

This paper calls for transformative activism by education and other cultural workers in order to develop an economically and just economy, polity and society. It calls for this material and ideological contestation within different sites of struggle, arenas of activism

Papers such as this one are written to contest the legitimacy of the legitimacy of government policy and its subordination to/ participation in the neo-liberal project of global Capital. Clearly for the European and North American eco-warriors that Rikowski describes as The Battle of Seattle (2001), that Hertz describes in The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy (2001), that George Monbiot addresses in Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain, and for various groups of socialists and trade unionists and greens and numerous social movements and groups, the current system is not legitimate. Nor is it so for groups of workers and others throughout the world, who, as John Pilger movingly demonstrates in The New Rulers of the World (2002) see their governments bowing before the might of international Capital, who see their national government elites and accompanying military cavalries and riot police seeking to ensure that all spheres of social life are incorporated within the orbit of global Capital.

Educators and cultural workers are implicated in the process of economic, cultural and ideological reproduction. The school, the university and international conferences such as this ECER Conference are no hiding place.


1. See also Barber 1996, 2000; DfEE 1997. For the 'Third Way' ideology, see Mandelson and Liddle, 1996; Blair, 1998; Giddens, 1998, 2000; DfEE, 2001a, b).

2. For further detail and discussion, see Hill, 1999, 2000, 2001d; Muschamp et al, 1999; Power and Whitty, 1999; Docking, 2000.

3. More than 10 hours a week, almost half of teaching time, is devoted to fulfilling the governments' literacy and numeracy strategies. Woodward, W. (2002a) reporting on a report by the National Union of Teachers by Maurice Galton and John MacBeath). According to Yojana Sharma, spending on private tutors seems to be part of a Europe wide trend, She reports (2002) that `private tutoring has ballooned into a £1 billion a year industry, with one in three pupils receiving out-of-school tutoring

4. `Bog standard' was the dismissive phrase used by Tony Blair's chief Press Adviser, Alistair Campbell. Similarly, current Education Minister Estelle Morris denigrated some comprehensives by saying she wouldn't touch them with a bargepole' and attacking the idea of the `one size fits all' caricature of an educational system. This continuous systematic denigration of comprehensive schools prepared the way for their replacement by new types of school. The 1997 White Paper thus claimed that 'the search for equality of opportunity in some cases became a tendency to uniformity' (DfEE, 1997, p. 11).

5. The types of secondary school are:

(Woodward, 2002b)

Mansell lists a five-tier hierarchy

6. In the wake of a series of fatal rail disasters it has become readily apparent that public safety has played been subordinated to private profit. For example, between 1992 and 1997, the number of people employed in Britain's railways fell from 159,000 to 92,000 while the number of trains increased. `The numbers of workers permanently employed to maintain and renew the infrastructure fell from 31,000 to between 15,000 and 19, 000 (Jack, 2001). So Capital downsizes its labour forces to upsize its profits. One result has been an unprecedented series of major train crashes in Britain since the railways were privatised.

7. See Gillborn and Mirza, 2000; Hill and Cole, 2001; Hill, Sanders and Hankin, 2002 for recent data on (racialised and gendered) social class inequalities in income, wealth and educational attainment in England and Wales- and how much inequality has increased since 1979. And see Cole et al. 2001 for a discussion.

8. In the USA, for example, the economic apartheid nature of Capitalism has been depicted in the speech to the NAACP by Ralph Nader in July 2000.

I just bring to you a little fact from California. For those of you who are skeptical of people who tell you that things are getting better but we got to make them even better, try child poverty in California. In 1980, it was 15.2 percent; today it is 25.1 percent. And if you take near poverty--the children who are near poverty, who I would consider in poverty because I think the official levels of poverty are absurd, how can anyone support a four-member family on $17,200 a year--before deductions, before the cost of getting to work, et cetera?

If you add the near poverty, 46 percent of all the children in California are in the category. This is not just a badge of shame for our country, the richest country in the world, it's a reflection of our inability to focus on the signal phenomena that is blocking justice, and that is the concentration of power and wealth in too few hands.

...And to give you a further illustration, the top 1 percent of the richest people in our country have wealth--financial wealth equal to the bottom 95 percent. (cited in Hill, 2001b)

9. See, for example, Whitty, Power and Halpin, 1998; Thrupp, 1999.

10. See Althusser, 1971; Harris, e.g. 1982; Ainley, 2000.

11. See Rikowski, 1997, 2001a,b, 2002b.

12. The Third World and Environment broadcasting trust, 3WE, found that in the year to September 2001 there were only four programmes in the whole year on the politics of developing countries and that BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 5showed no programmes in this category at all. ) See Giroux, 2000, 2001; Monbiot (2001, chapter 11) also discusses this.

13. See Althusser, 1971; Hill, 1989, 2001a, 2002a.

14. For Althusser, the difference between an ideological and a repressive apparatus of state is one of degree, a matter of whether force or idea predominates in the functioning of particular apparatus. It is a matter of debate as to whether, in the UK, the school and the teacher education regulatory/ surveillance bodies, Ofsted and the Teacher Training Agency (TTA), are primarily ideological or repressive state apparatuses.

15. I try to develop these arguments in my other/ companion paper to this ECER Conference, Critical Education for Economic and Social Justice: a Marxist Analysis and Manifesto, Hill, 2002b, and in Hill, 2002c, d, e.

16. I realise that Apartheid is a specific racialised form of capitalism and that the term can be applied to South Africa and to parts of the USA, but the term is useful in highlighting the increased class differentiation in capitalist societies where different class groups live, eat, socialise, get educated, get work and scarcely meet, where walled ghettos for the rich exist unseeing and unseen from the heavily policed ghettos for the (white and black) poor sections of the working class. In my own experience, meeting members of the upper class whilst I was a politician drove home to me how different and separate were their lives, cultural capital, habitus, life-styles, income and wealth are.

Acknowledgement. I thank Glenn Rikowski for his comments on this paper and for the sections on GATS and on labour power, which are substantially based on his seminal writing in these areas. Any inadequacies, of course, remain mine.


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Dr. Dave Hill
School of Education
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University College Northampton
Park Campus
Boughton Green Rd.

Telephone +44 (0)1604 735500
Fax +44 (0)1604 713759

Dave Hill teaches at University College Northampton, UK. Previously, he taught in schools and colleges in inner city London and Sussex. For twenty years he was a political and labor union leader. He stood for Parliament for the Labour Party in 1979 and 1987, led the group of Labour councilors on East Sussex County Council, was Regional Higher Education Chair of NATFHE (the lecturers' labor union), and led and organized many local and regional political campaigns and mobilizations. He advised the Parliamentary Labour Party on teacher education from a radical Left perspective. From a democratic Marxist perspective, he writes on issues of radical Right policy and ideology; New Labour/ Third Way ideology and policy; radical Left ideology and policy; social class, state theory and critiques of neo-liberalism and of postmodernism. His doctorate was a Marxist analysis of schooling and teacher education policy.

Dave is Founder Director of the Institute for Education Policy Studies (<>), the independent radical Left policy research and publishing unit founded in 1989. (Contact:

or He co-founded the Hillcole Group of Radical Left Educators with Mike Cole, in 1989 and co-wrote the two Hillcole books on education: Changing the Future: Redprint for Education (Tufnell Press, 1991), and Rethinking Education and Democracy: A Socialist Perspective (Tufnell Press, 1997). With Mike Cole, Dave co-edited Promoting Equality in Primary Schools (Cassell, 1997), Promoting Equality in Secondary Schools (Cassell, 1999) and Schooling and Equality: Fact, Concept and Policy (Kogan Page, 2001). His most recent co-written book (co-written with Peter McLaren, Mike Cole and Glenn Rikowski) is Red Chalk: On Schooling, Capitalism and Politics (Institute for Education Policy Studies, 2001). His two most recent edited collections (with the same co-writers) are Postmodernism in Educational Theory: Education and the Politics of Human Resistance (Tufnell Press) and Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory (Lexington Books).

This document was added to the Education-line database on 30 September 2002