Teacher policy in England: an historical study of responses to changing ideological and socio-economic contexts

  • Un Yong Jeong

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This research aims to explain teacher policy developments in England since the nineteenth century, using a historical approach. To this end, this research has demarcated the scope of teacher policy, in consideration of the main career phases of regular teachers, into three policy areas – initial teacher training, curriculum and teaching, and employment and professional development – and has divided the whole period of 1800-2008, in consideration of major political changes and the management of the research, into four periods of governments: early era governments (1800-1943), post-war era governments (1944-1979), Thatcherite governments (1979-1997), and New Labour governments (1997-2008). Teacher policy in each period has been explained in accordance with an analytical framework employing concepts of historical-institution legacies (HILs), interlinking-institution legacies (IILs), government strategies, political ideologies and socio-economic situations, devised largely on the basis of the perspectives of historical institutionalism and the statecentred approach. Teacher policy in the early era governments has been explained in terms of HILs developed to address the long-lived effects of early institutions on subsequent policies over time. The changing pattern of teacher policy during the period of government change in the last three periods has been explained in terms of IILs. This research suggests certain teacher policies in the early era governments have had a strong effect on subsequent policies, consistently or intermittently, in the form of revival. For example, apprenticeship instituted as an early form of school-based teacher training has reflected its legacy in subsequent policies such as SCITT and employment-based training. This research has found that, as IILs, striking changes in certain policies have already started before government change. Furthermore, this research argues that the three groups of governments have employed their own strategies under different political ideologies and socio-economic situations, and that most teacher policies have been made in line with their strategies.
Date of Award1 Jul 2009
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJohn Lowe (Supervisor)


  • HILs
  • socio-economic situations
  • IILs
  • political ideology
  • Teacher policy in England

Cite this