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History of Public Service in United Kingdom


The Public Service intends to help the government in developing and implementing their policies. In UK, public service plays significant role in the execution of government policies including security. It provides support to the government to sustain the government rule however all public servants remain servants of crown instead of parliament (Williams, 1998).

Overview of Public Service in UK:

From 1853 Till 1890

In England, the office of state was first established in 1850 and later for the United Kingdom. Main historical change in the public service UK emerged in 1853 when Sir Stafford Northcote joined public service to investigate and re-structure the public service.  He with Treasury Permanent Secretary, Charles Trevelyan proposed four recommendations according to which public service was recommended to be based on merit in open competition, candidates having good genera education, appointed according to hierarchical structure, and promotion be based on the performance (Pilkington, 1999). Best  assignment writing service.

From 1920 Till 1940

During 1920 and 1940, after the First World War, there was a need of different departments which can fill the after effects of the war. In this era, the government divided Public Service into three different parts including ministries and other departments. These departments have been divided according to the labor’s functional group. The departments which were made after breaking down the Public Service departments were known as the Treasury Classes lately (Jarvis, 2002).

From 1945 Till 1960

After the Second World War, the Great Britain was put into the war situation. To fill the needs of the war, the classes and the departments were being expanded and new hiring took place. This war had also put negative impact on the economy but comparing with the First World War, it was not that effective for the Public Service. Sir Horace Wilson’s strategy with the Prime Minister Chamberlain’s was not successful as the control on the treasury was weakened. To overcome this situation Sir Richard Hopkins was appointed on the joint post of head of the Civil Service and the permanent secretary of the treasury which turned out to be a good decision. Treasury came back into control (Rhodes, 2003).

From 1960 Till 1979

During the era of 1960 to 1979, Great Britain had come across with different problems. The criticism had increased. People had started asking about the proofs and evidences from the court and the academics. The labor government comes up with a strategy to appoint the Fulton find out the dysfunction of the Public Services. He had asked the favor from the government to implement his own way to work which was being accepted by Government (Lowe, 2011).

From 1979 Till 1997

In 1979 Elections took place. That election was called as the New Era for the Service. Thatcher had tried a lot to come into the power. She was looking forward to make a remarkable change in the system and also by bringing the change in the key positions and also by reducing the staff. But later on she was being replaced by John Major. His main aim was the commitment and the high value public service to the people.

From 1997 Till Present

This is used to be known as the liberal era as the labors had come back into power after 18 years. In this era PSE had gone through two changes first further loss in a policy and secondly traditional civil service values and the PSE became more prominent again. Both of these changes had been in the final years of major’s government (Massey, 2011).


Current public service in UK has evolved as a result of different changes made in certain scenario. Main structure of the public service was defined in the period of 1853 to 1890 by Sir Stafford Northcote. Further changes in the public service was due to involvement of Great Britain in the World Wars whereas further political turns and twists led the country to have public service of its kind.



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