The 1988 Education Reform Act has profoundly affected the organisation of education in England and Wales. In common with changes in several other jurisdictions, the power of both the central government and the schools has been increased and that of the local authorities decreased. The major changes involve (a) introduction of local management of schools by school governing bodies; (b) introduction of both a national curriculum and a national scheme for assessment of pupils; (c) reduction of the operational role of local education authorities, which will become more involved in planning, policy making, and monitoring; (d) more parental choice of schools that their children attend; (e) the possibility that individual schools can apply directly for national funding; and (f) establishment of city technology colleges. Several implications of those changes are presented, together with positive and negative reactions. The applicability of some of those changes to other systems, especially in Canada, is discussed.
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