1st Edition

Radical Reforms Perspectives on an era of educational change

Edited By Christopher Chapman, Helen Gunter Copyright 2009
    272 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    This book draws on the lessons from one of the most intensive periods of educational reform in any country during recent times. The post-1997 English experience, under a New Labour government, is used to illustrate the opportunities and challenges associated with attempting to develop a world class education system. Such reforms are fiercely contested - and often polarized - with proponents stressing the opportunities created, while others reveal the erosion of professional values. Contributions from UK and overseas researchers, including Andy Hargreaves and John Smyth, reflect on the implications for those concerned with developing education systems across the globe.
    Focusing on the challenges of radical reform in key areas - including variation in educational achievement; accountability and standards; linking school and community policies; workforce reform and choice and diversity - the book includes chapters on:
    Accountability for School Improvement

    Workforce-modelling and Distributed Leadership

    Multi-agency Work and Children’s Services

    The Education and Poverty Link

    Personalised Learning

    Initial Teacher Education

    Drawing on the framework developed by New Labour to assess the approaches to and outcomes of interventions and the extent to which policies can deliver promised transformations - but going much deeper and wider than this - the authors present a critical account of reform by studying examples of policies, and conceptualizing the interplay between policy, practice and research.
    With contributions from leading international commentators, this book will be of interest to researchers in education, education policy and school leadership.

    Chapter 1: A decade of New Labour reform of education

    Helen M Gunter and Chris Chapman

    Chapter 2: Labouring to Lead

    Andy Hargreaves

    Chapter 3: Accountability for Improvement: rhetoric or reality?

    Daniel Muijs and Chris Chapman

    Chapter 4: Control and response in primary school teacher’s work

    Rosemary Webb

    Chapter 5: Raising standards: what is the evidence?

    Joanna Bragg and Bill Boyle

    Chapter 6: School leaders: meeting the challenge of change

    Gillian Forrester and Helen M Gunter

    Chapter 7: Remodelling and Distributed Leadership: the case of the School Business Manager.

    Charlotte Woods

    Chapter 8: Initial Teacher Education: a(nother) decade of radical reform

    Olwen McNamara

    Chapter 9: New Provisions of Schooling:

    Denis Mongon and Chris Chapman

    Chapter 10: Networking a more equitable educational future? Rhetorics and realities

    Andy Howes and Jo Frankham

    Chapter 11: Personalized Learning:

    Mel West and Daniel Muijs

    Chapter 12: Swing, Swing Together: Multi-agency work in the new children’s services

    Alan Dyson, Peter Farrell, Kirstin Kerr and Nadine Mearns

    Chapter 13: New Labour and breaking the education and poverty link: a conceptual account of its educational policies.

    Dave Hall and Carlo Raffo

    Chapter 14: Using research to foster inclusion and equity within the context of New Labour education reforms

    Mel Ainscow, Alan Dyson, Sue Goldrick and Kirstin Kerr

    Chapter 15: Debating New Labour Education Policy

    John Smyth and Helen Gunter

    Chapter 16: Reflections on Reform: Perspectives and challenges

    Chris Chapman and Helen M Gunter



    Dr Christopher Chapman is a Reader in Educational Leadership and School Improvement in the School of Education at the University of Manchester.

    Professor Helen Gunter is Chair of Educational Policy, Leadership and Management in the School of Education at the University of Manchester.

    Review 1

    This book will contain all new material and it is focussed on an issue that is relevant, current and contestable. The work will be founded on a rich body of evidence drawn from an extensive research program. It will be a welcome addition to the field that ought to be "de rigeur" reading for policy makers, leaders and students of policy in England and internationally.

    The scholarship is likely to be high quality. I am familiar with the work of Christopher Chapman and his scholarship is exemplary. The contributing authors are well respected in the field.

    Review 2

    I would judge the scholarship to be on a range from excellent to adequate. The proposal is for an edited book and there is bound to be some variation in experience but given the editors these should be confined to the range indicated.

    The conceptual frame for this proposal is good. The aims and rationale are strong and clear.

    This book is likely to be bought by participants on masters and advanced courses of professional study, as well as by other academics.

    Review 3

    The international relevance of examining educational policy in the UK is explained well in the proposal, but it does not come across clearly in the individual chapter outlines. It will be important for contributors to address international implications of UK education reforms. A lot of international readers will still be concerned with the impact of decentralisation and the challenges presented by devolution of financial responsibility. I wonder if aspects of this could be included? The introductory chapter would be the best place, but that chapter seems over full already.

    The two international contributors, Andy Hargreaves and John Smyth do not seem to be adding very much although they have enormous potential to do so. Would it be better if they wrote separate chapters rather than being partnered by one of the editors? For example the opening chapter which is ostensibly written with Andy Hargreaves contains a lot of different things including the introduction of the rest of the book. Could the editors consider separating out the practical aspects of stating aims and purpose and outlining the structure of the book and leave Andy Hargreaves to author the first substantive chapter setting the international tone for the rest of the book? The final chapter is probably easier to co-author. Presumably Helen as editor will be drawing out major themes and learning and John Smyth will comment on them.

    [The above comments have all been addressed in the final cut – AC]