By David Gladstone
First released in 1994. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Additional info for British Social Welfare: Past, Present And Future
Development plans were a dead letter: ministerial powers of approval and disapproval operated in regard to particular schools only. More important still, Maud’s view that the curriculum was a matter for those who taught in the schools had become the prevailing wisdom. While the DE retained a tight hold on capital spending, its ministers lost an important battle over local government finance. They had wished to retain their ability to influence education spending through the percentage grant, but the Treasury in alliance with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government imposed the block grant system in 1958.
Local authorities, especially those controlled by Labour, represented the third locus of opposition to the Thatcherite programme. Pilloried publicly as “loony left” councils providing public funding for a whole variety of what were presented as “minority interests”, the challenge between public services and market solutions was epitomized for much of the 1980s in the conflictual relationship between local authorities and central government. Central government’s answer was to abolish the metropolitan councils created only ten years before and transfer their powers to other bodies.
If the absence of any change in policy when the Labour government took office in 1945 raises questions about the potency of the departmental view, or, more accurately perhaps, professional influence, the evidence contradicts any suggestion that Ellen Wilkinson was a weak minister, although her successor, George Tomlinson, can be seen as more ambassador for the Department than master of it. The man she chose as her Permanent Secretary saw no reason to interfere with the only successful model of state secondary education: “It would have 38 POLICY NETWORKS been mad as well as impractical to scrap [it] in favour of any one alternative.