The New School Governing Bodies — Are Gender and Race on the Agenda?
This Act is not entirely consistent with the provisions of the 1986 Act, which adds support to the view that the idea of a Reform Act was cobbled together during the 1987 General Election to attempt to deal with perceived parental concern about the workings of the education system, prior to subsequent privatisation (Chitty and Lawson, 1988). The Act may be seen as an attempt to ‘do something’ about education which is more motivated by political ideology than anything else. The sheer number of changes required, the speed of their implementation, and the drastic shortage of teachers and resources seem to suggest a strategy which is either doomed to failure or will lead to the end of a state education system as a major provider of schooling (Flude and Hammer, 1989). The main features of the Act which are relevant to school governors are the National Curriculum, open enrolment, local management of schools, the possibility of opting out and the policy on charging for education (a fuller account of the Act may be found in Maclure, 1988). The Reform Act takes much further two strands of educational control — the enhancing of the power of the Secretary of State, even though some of this is in conjunction with other bodies like the National Curriculum Council — and the increase in consumer power over teachers and LEAs, or ‘educational producers’, as it is becoming fashionable to call them.
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