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The Education Reform Act 1988 is widely regarded as the most important single piece of
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgating law by a legislature, parliament, or analogous Government, governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law ...
in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
since the 'Butler'
Education Act 1944 The Education Act 1944 (7 and 8 Geo 6 c. 31) made major changes in the provision and governance of secondary schools in England and Wales. It is also known as the "Butler Act" after the President of the Board of Education, R. A. Butler. Historians ...
.


Provisions

The main provisions of the Education Reform Act are as follows: *
Academic tenure Tenure is a category of academic appointment existing in some countries. A tenured post is an indefinite academic appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances, such as financial exigency or program disco ...
was abolished for academics appointed on or after 20 November 1987. * An element of choice was introduced, where parents could specify which school was their preferred choice. *
City Technology College In England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the ...
s (CTCs) were introduced. This part of the Act allowed new more autonomous schools to be taken out of the direct financial control of
local authorities Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government ...
. Financial control would be handed to the head teacher and governors of a school. There was also a requirement for partial private funding. There were only fifteen schools that were eventually set up. The successor to this programme was the establishment of
academies An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociolin ...
. * Controls on the use of the word 'degree' were introduced with respect to UK bodies. *
Grant-maintained school Grant-maintained schools or GM schools were state school State schools (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English and North American English) are generally primary or secondary educational institution, schools th ...
s (GMS) were introduced. Primary and secondary schools could, under this provision, remove themselves fully from their respective
local education authorities Local education authorities (LEAs) are the local councils in England and Wales that are responsible for education within their jurisdiction. The term is used to identify which council (district or county) is locally responsible for education in ...
and would be completely funded by central
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
. Secondary schools also had limited selection powers at the age of eleven. * '
Key Stage A key stage is a stage of the state education system in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish S ...
s' (KS) were introduced in schools. At each key stage a number of educational objectives were to be achieved. * Local management of schools (LMS) was introduced. This part of the Act allowed all schools to be taken out of the direct financial control of
local authorities Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government ...
. Financial control would be handed to the
head teacher A head teacher, head instructor, bureaucrat, headmaster, headmistress, head, chancellor, principal or school director (sometimes another title is used) is the staff member of a school with the greatest responsibility for the management Manage ...
and governors of a school. For further education colleges, the greater autonomy brought in by the 1988 Act was extended by the
Further and Higher Education Act 1992 The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 made changes in the funding and administration of further education and higher education within England and Wales, with consequential effects on associated matters in Scotland which had previously been g ...
to become complete independence of local authority control, as colleges were 'incorporated'. * The
National Curriculum A national curriculum is a common programme of study in school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countri ...
(NC) was introduced.


Commencement


Use of the word 'degree'

The Act uses a common technique in UK legislation in that it makes it illegal to offer or advertise any qualification that appears to be, or might be mistaken for, a UK degree. This restriction is then removed in respect of qualifications from bodies on a list maintained by
statutory instrument In many countries, a statutory instrument is a form of delegated legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legislation, the latter also called delegated legislation or subord ...
.


Religion

The act required "broadly Christian" acts of worship in schools. The
National Muslim Education CouncilThe National Muslim Education Council is a British charity founded in 1978 by the Union of Muslim Organisations of UK. Its first chairman was Safa Khulusi. Its mission is to "coordinate educational activities with other education charities. To help ...
objected and requested that the wording to be changed to "the worship of the one supreme God".New community, Volume 18, Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick, 1991, p.465. This requirement was built upon in the
School Standards and Framework Act 1998 The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was the major education legislation passed by the incoming Labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or mo ...
.


References

{{UK legislation United Kingdom Acts of Parliament 1988 United Kingdom Education Acts Education in England 1988 in education Reform in the United Kingdom Education reform July 1988 events in the United Kingdom