By David Bridges Professor of Education University of East Anglia School of Education; Terence McLaughlin Lecturer in Education and fellow of St Edmund's College Cambridge.
This choice of essays debates the applying of industry ideas to and in the context of schooling. The individuals are all prime figures of their box, offering their rules in an obtainable type to the lay reader. all through, the tutorial and public coverage matters raised through the appliance of industry rules to schooling are heavily tested.
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Third, the government would relinquish its planning role of trying to maintain a balance between the supply and demand of school places, and deciding whether schools should open, close or change their character. These matters would be largely left to the forces of parental demand within the framework of agreed national standards guaranteeing material provision and learning expectations. Fourth, the government would strengthen these quality-control mechanisms, in particular, efficient interventionist ‘safetynet’ arrangements to prevent schools which fall below acceptable standards continuing to operate.
In 1993, with an irrevocably changing relationship between the school and the LEA, and with an increasing awareness that a discerning and empowered customer group regarded us as accountable to them in our own right, our school took the quantum leap into GMS. The First Challenge of GMS It is simplistic but not untrue to note that the process of becoming grant maintained has similarities with the risks of floating a company on the stock ROSALIE CLAYTON 43 market. The initial ‘flotation’ depends, to a large degree on its reputation and ability to create ‘shareholder’ confidence in the company and its future.
GMS was regarded by most as the natural and obvious next step, the culmination of ten years of increasing self-management and the best way to secure the successful future of the school. The governing body of our school saw its responsibility as to assess the national and local environment and decide the appropriate strategic direction for the school in the long and short terms. Its choice was GMS. The task in front of us was to convince our parents of the rightness of our conviction. We tried to think these things through in advance but, as ever, when dealing with the public, we were both right and very wrong.