Public Sector Reform
Principles for Improving the Education System
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.