Originally published in 1988, this book was an up to the minute account of the way in which recent government initiatives, including the 1986 Act, would affect accountability and the quest for greater partnership between schools and parents.
It pinpoints the central issues of the current debates at the time in a lucid and highly readable way, asking how public commitment to education can be created and sustained, how minimum standards can be reconciled with local variety and freedom, how choice for parents can be reconciled with equal opportunity for children, how less confident and articulate parents can become involved and how a sense of common purpose can be fostered among the confident minority. The book provided an up-to-date assessment of progress in parental involvement; an account of the recent movement here and overseas; and a detailed working guide to the development of school government under the 1986 Act and beyond.
While providing an important critique of the consumerist approach to education, the author argues the case, illustrated with practical examples, for a new approach emphasising partnership, mutual accountability, better communication, more open habits be LEAs and more democratic practices within schools, involving staff, governors and parents.
Table of Contents
Foreword. 1. Beyond the School Gates 2. The Power of the Market Place 3. Parents: Clients or Partners? 4. ‘My Door is Always Ajar’ 5. The Parents’ Voice 6. Parents in Other Countries 7. Agents of Accountability: School Governors before 1975 8. Moving Towards Partnership in School Government, 1975-86 9. Making Partnership Work. Appendix 1: A Summary of the Taylor Report. Appendix 2: A Summary of the Education (No.2) Act 1986. Some Helpful Reading. Index.