The Education Reform Act of 1988 has brought about fundamental changes in the way that educational services are supplied in England and Wales (for a general overview of the administrative changes introduced by the Act, see Hill, 1988; Davies and Braund, 1989; and Hill, Smith and Spinks, 1990). The general aim of the reforms has been to introduce a more competitive, quasi-market approach to the allocation of resources in the education system, and to increase the range of parental choice over children’s schooling (Glennerster, 1991; Dixon, 1991). This chapter analyses the impact of these reforms on the provision of education services in the light of the experience of a county local education authority (LEA). In particular, it addresses the issue of the way in which the introduction of a quasi-market has led to changes in the allocation of both resources and pupils, between schools.
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