The measures contained in the 1988 Education Reform Act have transformed the educational landscape of state schooling. This thesis examines two policies contained in the Reform Act, that of the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority and the introduction of local management of schools in inner London from a perspective founded in anti-racist, feminist and social justice approaches. Using case study as a research tool, the thesis builds on an analysis of data collected from a variety of sources. In particular, the thesis uses data collected from interviews with a sample of local government officers, governors, and headteachers in the inner London boroughs, statistical evidence and content analysis of policy documents. The analysis places these two policies within the wider context of the restructuring of the welfare state and the changes in the relationships between national and local government. In particular, it argues that the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority represented the clearest example of the Conservative Government's philosophy to local government, education and schools. Drawing on the analysis from the interviews and documentary evidence, it examines the rationale behind the abolition of ILEA and the introduction of local management in inner London schools. It argues that both the abolition and the introduction of local management of schools were critical to the introduction and implementation of a market in education. Furthermore, it examines the impact of local management on the management of schools with a particular emphasis on issues of gender and 'race' and discusses some of the implications local management has had for developing strategies to address inequalities in education. As a postscript, the thesis identities some of the key elements of local management that are likely to continue under the new Labour Government
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