Education System Design : Foundations, Policy Options and Consequences book cover
1st Edition

Education System Design
Foundations, Policy Options and Consequences

ISBN 9780367203771
Published November 27, 2020 by Routledge
324 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book highlights decisions governments have to make about their public education systems, the options they have before them and the consequences of their decisions. As well as covering issues such as values, curriculum, teacher training, structures and so on, the book addresses education planning for epidemics, pandemics and disasters.

Education systems provide the foundations for the future wellbeing of every society, yet existing systems are a point of global concern. Education System Design is a response to debates in developing and developed countries about the characteristics of a high-quality national education service. It questions what makes a successful system of education. With chapters that draw on experience in education systems around the world, each one considers an element of a national education service and its role in providing a coherent and connected set of structures to ensure good education for all members of society.

Key topics include:

  • Existing education systems and what a future system might look like
  • Inclusion and social justice
  • Leadership and teacher education
  • Policy options, and the consequences of policy changes

This book suggests an education system be viewed as an ecosystem with interdependencies between many different components needing to be considered when change is contemplated. It is a vital book for any stakeholders in educational systems including students, teachers and senior leaders. It would be particularly useful to policy makers and those implementing policy changes.

Table of Contents


The Editors


Mick Waters

Section 1 An Education Service for the Future: Values and Principles

Towards a Learning Education System? Globalisation, Change, Improvement and Accountability in Uncertain Times

Graham Donaldson

Aims and Values: Direction with Purpose

Brian Matthews

Developing Your Vision: Principles and Implementation Challenges

Brian Hudson, Marilyn Leask and Sarah Younie

Section 2 England: A Case Study, A Vision and A Cautionary Tale

A "National Education Service": What Can We Learn From the Past?

Tim Brighouse

Politics Aside: From Fragmentation to Coherence

Hugh Greenway and Caroline Whalley

Education England: From Chaos to Consensus

Sarah Younie, Brian Hudson and Marilyn Leask

Section 3 Issues of Social Justice and Inclusion

Social Mobility: A Working Class View

Sonia Blandford

Selection by Wealth, Ability and Aptitude, and Faith: Good for a Country or Not?

Carl Smith

School Segregation in England and the Logic of Exiting from the Public Education System

Helen M. Gunter and Steven J. Courtney

Special Education Needs and Disabilities

Sana Rizvi and Helen Knowler

Adult and Further Education: The Impact of Austerity on Life Chances and Well Being

Sharon Clancy

Section 4 Curriculum, Assessment, Leadership and Accountability

The Curriculum: Developing Powerful Knowledge and Creative Knowhow

Brian Hudson with Chris Shelton

National Assessment Choices

Nikki Booth

Leadership, Innovation and Change

Rosie Raffety

An Alternative Approach to Accountability and Inspection: Evaluation for Improvements in Finnish Teacher Education

Brian Hudson and Marilyn Leask with Hannele Niemi and Jari Lavonen

Accountability Systems for Schools: Coercion or Cooperation?

Marilyn Leask

Section 5 Teacher Education

Reframing the Professionalism of Teachers

Linda la Velle and Kate Reynolds

Initial Teacher Education: What Matters Most and What Has Worked Well

Moira Hulme, Emilee Rauschenberger and Karen Meanwell

CPD, Knowledge Services and Research: 21st Century Solutions

Sarah Younie and Marilyn Leask with Jon Audain, Christina Preston and Richard Proctor

Section 6 Policy Options and Consequences

Policy Options and Consequences: What Has to be Done, When and With Whom

Sarah Younie, Marilyn Leask and Brian Hudson

Education in Emergencies: pandemic/disaster planning for education sector continuity

Sarah Younie, Marilyn Leask and Stephen Hall

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Brian Hudson is Emeritus Professor and former Head of the School of Education and Social Work (2012–16) at the University of Sussex, Honorary Professor and former Associate Dean for Research at the University of Dundee (2009–12) and currently Senior Professor at Karlstad University, Sweden. His particular research interests are in mathematics education, ICT and learning, curriculum studies and subject didactics. He is a board member and former chair of the Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) ( ); was the main organiser of the WERA ( ) International Research Network on Didactics –Learning and Teaching and is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Curriculum Studies. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2004 and Honorary Network Membership of the European Education Research Association ( ) Network 27 on Didactics□– Learning and Teaching in 2016.

Marilyn Leask has held roles in central and local government, universities, schools and research institutes. She is visiting Professor at De Montfort and Winchester Universities, UK, and is committed to supporting international collaboration between teachers and educational researchers for the benefit of learners everywhere. In 1992, she initiated the Learning to Teach in the secondary school series of textbooks which she co-edits. She is co-chair of the Education Futures Collaboration Charity which oversees the MESHGuides initiative ( ) addressing the UN’s SDG 4, and with Professor Younie and Ulf Lundin from Sweden, initiated the European SchoolNet in 1995 ( ). She is an elected board member of the Council for Subject Associations and the Technology Pedagogy and Education Association. She has previously held elected roles on the British Educational Research Association national council and the national council Universities Council for the Education of Teachers.

Sarah Younie is Professor of Education Innovation and previous Director of the Institute for Education Futures at De Montfort University. She sits on ICET (International Council on Education for Teaching) and is the UK BERA (British Education Research Association) Convenor for Educational Research and Policy Making Special Interest Group. She is a Trustee and founder member of the Education Futures Collaboration (EFC) charity and MESH (Mapping Education Specialist knowHow) project, which provides research evidence to inform teachers’ professional practice, and represents MESH on the international UNESCO Teacher Task Force panel. MESH contributes to UN SDG4. She has been involved in international research on technologies in education for UNESCO, EU, UK Government Agencies, Local Authorities and educational charities. As the UK Chair of the National Subject Association of IT in Teacher Education (ITTE) she has submitted evidence for Parliamentary Select Committees. Professor Younie is currently the Editor-in-Chief for the □international Journal of Technology, Pedagogy and Education.


"This book comes at a critical time when the values that underpin our democracy and its institutions, including schools, are under growing threats from the forces of globalisation. It recognises the urgent need for us to reconceptualise education, including the role of citizenship education, in ways that provide young people with the knowledge, skills and values not only to promote democracy but to protect and defend it. It also draws attention to the crucial role that that the education system plays in such a reconceptualization. Only a truly national education service can guarantee that all young people are educated to be the knowledgeable, responsible and reflective, active citizens that are and will be required to tackle with confidence the challenges of learning, working and living in 21st century societies. We ignore such a reconceptualization at our peril."

David Kerr, Consultant Director of Education, Young Citizens and Head of ITT, University of Reading


"The cumulative experience of the writers of this book is enormous. They have seen the system from so many different perspectives and their insights are fascinating. All of the writers are committed enough to offer their effort through a deep concern for the lasting health of the education system. It is a book well worth reading and it merits serious thought and action. In education we are trying to influence individual opportunity and build life-long habits and prospects so that today’s children can make a positive difference to their world. As for the best way to do that, let’s make decisions wisely."

Mick Waters, previously Director of Curriculum at the UK government's Qualification and Curriculum Authority