Education Reform Act 1988

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Introduced originally as the Great Education Reform Bill (colloquially referred to at the time as Gerbil), this Act marked a major milestone in education provision, introducing for the first time a national curriculum with core subjects (English, science, mathematics, and religious education) taught to all pupils. It also introduced the need to promote the cultural, moral, and spiritual development both of pupils and in wider society as a whole; and it began the process of delegating responsibility for school finance away from local authorities to the schools themselves, introducing the concept of grant maintained schools. Further education colleges were removed from local authority control, and their governing bodies were required to have less local authority representation but to ensure representation by local employers. In this way the Act illustrates two major themes which were to continue through education policy for the next two decades: the diminishing of local authority control over educational funding, policy, and practice, and the introduction of market values into educational provision. See also Education Act.

Subjects: Education.

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