This article attempts to illuminate aspects of change in British primary education today through European parallels. The British systems themselves display many, though not close, similarities to European problems and practices, but they differ in detail, especially on issues such as the speed and nature of change, on age‐grading, and on the nature of rural problems. Internal organisation of schools has been generally less authoritarian in Britain, though the advent of Local Management of Schools presents a challenge without any direct equivalent. Meanwhile there are precedents almost everywhere for a national primary curriculum, though not for a core‐and‐foundations structure, nor for the introduction of so complex a curriculum so abruptly. Mutual information about primary education under different systems is desirable, but not easy to bring about.
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