Learning Policy identifies a new area of social policy which is described for the first time in this book. The distinguishing feature of this new policy is that it integrates education and training with the economy to an unprecedented extent. This integration is undertaken as part of economic development alongside social policies contributing to reform of the welfare state. The development of such a learning policy is traced through five phases in England and Wales from the postwar settlement of the 1944 Education Act to a new settlement represented by the 1988 Education Act and the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.In the latest phase of learning policy, the New Labour Government is seen as moving further towards privatising education and training at all levels, at the same time as creating a regionally differentiated learning infrastructure. Whilst related to the economy, which is its rationale, it is argued that this new system of Foundation and Lifelong Learning is essentially concerned with social control in the absence of secure lifetime employment. In conclusion, an alternative direction for learning policy is indicated.

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