Outline the New Right View of the Role of the Education. (12 Marks)

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The New Right is a conservative political perspective. However, its ideas have influenced both labour and conservative policies. A central principle of New Right thinking is the belief that the state cannot meet people’s needs and that people are best left to meet their own needs and that people are best left to meet their own needs through the free market. A number of the principles of the New Right are based on the theories of market forces. They felt that the British economy was in decline and something needed to be done to change the situation. People had to take the responsibility for their own future rather than depend on the state. They said that there should be competition amongst schools in the same way as private companies compete against each other.

The New Right are similar in many ways to functionalists:
They believe that some people are naturally more talented than others. They believe that education should socialise pupils into shared values, such as competition, and instil a sense of national identity They broadly favour an education system run on meritocratic principles of open competition, and one that serves the needs of the economy by preparing young people for work. However, unlike functionalists, New Right do not believe that the current education system is achieving these goals. According to New Right, the reason for their failure is that its run by state.

The New Right argue that in all state education systems, politicians and educational bureaucrats use the power of the state to impose their view of what kind of schools we should have. The state takes a ‘one size fits all’ approach, imposing uniformity and disregarding local needs. The local consumers who use the schools have no say. State education systems are therefore unresponsive and breed inefficiency. Schools that waste money or get poor results are not answerable to their consumers. This means lower standards of achievement for pupils; a less qualified workforce and a...
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