A Second Look at Brian Simon’s Bending the Rules (FORUM 1)

Author: SUE COX

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Format: Article

Publication date: March 1, 2016

SUE COX

In this article the author revisits an important book: Brian Simon’s Bending the Rules: the Baker reform of education. Written by a key figure in the history of the journal FORUM as well as in the history of education, Simon’s book documented the features of the Education Reform Bill of 1987 (the precursor to the Education Reform Act of 1988). In the book, Simon explored with passion and in depth the far-reaching implications and the threats to democracy that the Bill posed and that reverberate in the present in the education system of England. He demonstrated the huge and united opposition to the Bill at the time. In this article the author attempts to convey a sense of all this. Within the scope of the article, it is not possible, of course, to chart the history of the developments in education since the Bill passed into law and became the 1988 Education Act. The author highlights some of the issues raised by Simon that resonate in the context of the ‘Schools Revolution’ today.

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