Reforming or Re-inventing Schools? : Key Issues in School and System Reform book cover
1st Edition

Reforming or Re-inventing Schools?
Key Issues in School and System Reform

ISBN 9780367262716
Published December 5, 2019 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

What has changed and what will change in the next decade? Reforming or Re-inventing Schools? revisits some of the key issues in school and system reform, with a reflection on developments in the English education system and internationally. It offers an insightful review and critique of education principles and their relationship to school practice, exploring some of the myths as well as examining the potential value of comparative data.

Drawing on new evidence and interviews with a group of policy makers and academics on the British and international stages, this book asks:

  • What do parents, children and ‘society’ want from a system of education?
  • What motivates teachers to join the profession and why do such large numbers leave so soon?
  • What are the roots of misunderstanding and mismanagement in provision, support and accountability?
  • How do teachers communicate, support and exchange ideas with each other?
  • How do we measure positive change?

Examining the roots and conditions for growth, and comparing and contrasting the situation in the United Kingdom with innovative development taking place elsewhere in the rest of the world, Reforming or Re-inventing Schools? is an essential read for anyone interested in school and country performance at a national and international level.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Plus ça change

John MacBeath

Chapter 2 What makes a world class education system?

John MacBeath

Chapter 3 What does it mean to be a teacher?

Maurice Galton

Chapter 4 Assessment, exams and testing to destruction

Maurice Galton

Chapter 5 What’s so special about special needs?

John MacBeath

Chapter 6 Within and beyond the primary curriculum

Maurice Galton

Chapter 7 Who wins and who loses?

John MacBeath

Chapter 8 The organised voice of teachers

John Bangs

Chapter 9 Community schools and schooling communities?

John MacBeath

Chapter 10 The leadership myth: managing to succeed

John MacBeath

In conclusion

Maurice Galton, John MacBeath and John Bangs


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John MacBeath is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Maurice Galton is a former Dean of Leicester University and Associate Director of Research in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK.

John Bangs is Senior Consultant at Education International and Chair of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee’s Working Group on Education and Skills.


"They compare and discuss key ingredients that contribute to the success or failure of different national school systems around the world. They also acknowledge the negative effects from drastic budgetary cuts on England's education system and offer recommendations for repairing it. The authors assert that broken education systems can be revitalized, and their key recommendation is encouraging productive dialogue among government, teaching professionals, and key stakeholders in the education community. This book should be read by a wide audience."

--J. C. Agnew-Tally, formerly, Missouri State University, Choice