In a nutshell, Furedi argues that school reformers have abandoned their original agenda of making the academic, subject-based education previously only available to the offspring of a moneyed elite available to all, in favour of a blatant exercise in social engineering, accompanied by low expectations and philistinism. While this movement has intensified under the Labour government, Furedi is careful to point out that it's roots can be found in the 19th century, when universal education was first introduced. Furedi argues that education has become politicised, substituting the transmission of 'values' (i.e. whatever 'values' happen to be fashionable) for the transmission of knowledge; furthermore, that the vogue for 'child-centred learning' is more about a loss of adult authority than about engaging children in education.
Many of the themes in this book will be familiar to readers of Frank Furedi's other books, such as The Culture of Fear, Therapy Culture, or Where Have All The Intellectuals Gone - in particular the breakdown of authority in the West, or the infantilisation of adults. Admirers of Hannah Arendt's work will also find a lot to admire Furedi's books (he cites her frequently).
Yes, Furedi is a Marxist, however don't let that put you off. There *is* an implicit political impulse to his writing, but it is remarkably liberating (and libertarian). He points the way toward a political alternative that we *could* have, but currently don't - largely, in my opinion, because of the poor intellectual calibre and sheer moral cowardice of our political elites.