How much have teachers and their pupils benefitted from the top-down Westminster-led control of policy held in place by a powerful national inspection regime?
A Generation of Radical Educational Change: Stories from the Field is an exploration of the revolutionary impact of the greater and continuing involvement of central government in education policy-making which began in 1976 and was accelerated by the 1988 Education Act and subsequent legislation.
In the book, a dozen distinguished contributors from a wide range of sectors explain and reflect on how they worked to do their best for their schools, teachers and pupils in these years of great change. They understand the reasons, explained by Lord Baker in his early chapter, for a National Curriculum in 1988, and also the reasons for a more effective national inspection system. Yet their stories accumulate to become a powerful critique of the top-down policies of the last two decades. These policies have been too numerous, short-term, incoherent and partisan; governments have been indifferent to professional opinion and serious research, and have relied excessively on measurable outcomes and simplistic Ofsted judgments. Our current system is narrower and less democratic than it was, but evidence is hard to find that English pupils are doing any better in international comparisons.
The combined reflections in this volume are timely in these years of lively educational debate as are the suggestions for future policy. A Generation of Radical Educational Change is an invaluable read for current and aspiring headteachers, policy makers and those with an interest in education policy and how it evolves.
Table of Contents
Baroness Estelle Morris
Section 1 – Introduction: Setting the Scene
1. History and Overview of Changes -1976 to 2014
Richard Pring and Martin Roberts
2. The Revolution Begins
Section 2 – Schools:
3. The Early Years
4. Primary Education: Can we escape the legacy of elementary education?
5. Secondary Education 1976-2015: a shire county view
6. A View from the Island – a very personal story
Section 3 – Higher and Further Education:
7. Evolution of Teacher Training and Professional Development
8. The Evolving idea of a University
9. Vocational Education and Training’
Section 4 – Accountability, Examinations, Qualifications
10. Assessment – the ‘need to do nothing
11. Accountability and Inspection
Section 5 – Reflection on Policy Matters
12. From "Optimism and Trust" to "Markets and Managerialism
13. Schools: a shifting landscape
14. 1944-2015: Towards the Nationalisation of Education in England
Section 6 – Role of the Media
15. Peter Wilby: ‘Media and Education in the UK’
Education Correspondent; former editor, The New Statesman
16. Stories from the Field – Summarised
Richard Pring and Martin Roberts
17. The Way Forward for the Next Generation
Major Education Acts and Reports
Richard Pring is currently Professor of Education at Winchester University, UK, and was previously Director of the Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford, UK (1989-2003).
Martin Roberts was appointed to the headship of The Cherwell School, Oxford, UK (1981-2002). At present, he is a member of the Academic Steering Committee of the Prince’s Teaching Institute.