March 3, 2008

Helping Schools Succeed: Lessons from Abroad

The past few decades of education reform have been tumultuous. Since 1997 alone, we have had six education ministers in three differently named departments. Numerous public bodies have been created, many of them surviving just a few years. We have seen hundreds of reviews, tens of plans and several ‘agendas’ – each one creating its own bureaucratic trail. Unfortunately, neither stability nor coherency is a hallmark of the English education system.

Helping Schools Succeed: lessons from abroad investigates five systems – New Zealand, Canada (Ontario and Alberta), Hong Kong and Sweden – which generally perform better than England on counts of excellence and equity.

By looking at the interplay between the macro elements of English education such as funding, accountability, professional autonomy, curriculum and assessment in an international context, Helping Schools Succeed offers a realignment of these elements to produce more effective and more equitable practice.


Sam Freedman

Head of Education Unit, 2006-2009

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