Bedford Way Papers Series 30

Public Sector Reform

Principles for Improving the Education System

October 2007
More details
  • Publisher
    UCL IOE Press
  • Published
    30th October 2007
  • ISBN 9780854737734
  • Language English
  • Pages 85 pp.
  • Size 6.75" x 9.25"

For ten years, the UK government sought to improve public services through a combination of increased investment and a "tough" regime of top-down performance management. Now, it has signalled a major change of direction, by introducing a new model of reform that seeks to balance top-down measures with pressures from below (greater user choice and voice) and horizontal pressures (market incentives and improving the capability and capacity of the workforce).

Public Sector Reform offers a critical appraisal of this new model, which the authors argue is not well supported by research evidence. They suggest an alternative approach for education, based upon a set of principles for improving quality of learning. They argue for a realistic programme which would balance reform and maintenance, moderate change and sustainability, central and local direction, teacher empowerment and professional accountability. In all, teaching and learning must be at the heart of the system.

Frank Coffield

Frank Coffield retired in 2007 after 42 years in education, first as a teacher in a comprehensive and then in a boys' approved school in Scotland. He was also a lecturer in education at Jordanhill College of Education in Glasgow and Keele University in Staffordshire, and Professor of Education at the Universities of Durham, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and the Institute of Education, University of London.

Richard Steer

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Rebecca Allen

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Anna Vignoles

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Gemma Moss

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Carol Vincent

Carol Vincent is Senior Lecturer in Education Policy at the Institute of Education.