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ERIC Number: EJ818602
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 108
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
School Reform Policy in England since 1988: Relentless Pursuit of the Unattainable
Barker, Bernard
Journal of Education Policy, v23 n6 p669-683 Nov 2008
There is growing concern that almost 20 years after the 1988 Education Act, top-down, large-scale reform has stalled. The policy mix of choice, competition, markets, regulation, accountability and leadership seems not to have closed the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged areas and individuals, while most variations in school performance can be explained in terms of intake differences. This paper reviews policy and progress since 1988 and assesses the extent to which central government has achieved its educational aims. Unacknowledged tensions and contradictions are identified in structures and practices that are supposed to constitute a reliable framework for sustainable improvement. The conclusion is drawn that since 1988 the national government apparatus has itself become an important obstacle to further progress. An independent review of policy-making and implementation is recommended so that schools and colleges are enabled to contribute more effectively to improvements in the quality of education.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)