Latest Issue

Overburdened schools

The government is asking schools to do a lot more than simply educate our children—but schools are not the answer to every social need

By Ben Rogers   January 2007

Education and health have been the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of New Labour public service reform. The government has poured impressive sums into schools and the NHS, while submitting both to the rigours of inspection and “choice.” But an interesting difference in the direction of reform has begun to appear. While government has slowly come to recognise that the priority for the NHS should be prevention, to reduce reliance on medical services, the opposite is true of education.

Nurseries and schools now carry an enormous burden of progressive ambition. Whether the problem is rising obesity, anti-social behaviour, falling social mobility, low…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect