During the last election campaign in Britain, the Labour government proposed a series of education reforms to secondary schools known collectively as “parent power.”
The modern British school system has undergone a series of reforms since universal secondary schooling was introduced in 1944.
The latest wave of reform is based on a government White Paper published in 2005.
The White Paper called for small group tuition, allowing successful schools to expand and develop additional specialties, enhanced local control over decision-making, a “back to the basics” emphasis and a new focus on gifted education.
Taken together, the proposals will significantly expand the range of school choice for British parents and the ability of individual schools to specialize and compete for students.
While the opposition Conservatives criticized some of the specifics, their education platform was remarkably similar.
The “parent power” initiative has sparked a major backbench rebellion within the Labour Party. The heart of the reforms may not survive and become law.
Many of these reforms could and should be implemented in Manitoba.