In an evaluation of New Labour's performance, David Reynolds, professor of education at Newcastle University, called Labour's education policies "rational and comprehensive". However, he added the UK was behind its economic competitors in spending only 5 per cent of national income on education.
Contributing to a new Fabian report Is New Labour working? Professor Reynolds said the balance between pressure and support for schools was not right.
"Under its present leadership the Office for Standards in
Education clearly sees its role more as the champion of consumer rights against producer interests than as a support to, or a force for improvement of,
teaching standards," he said.
"Teachers have been portrayed as part of the problem, when of course policies dictate that they are also the solution. The trust between government and teachers needs rebuilding," he added.
Is New Labour working, edited by Gavin Kelly, Fabian Society Pamphlet 590,The Fabian Society, 11 Dartmouth Street, London SW1H 9BN. pound;5