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1000 years of education;1988-1999;Chronology;Millennium edition

1988 Education Reform Act ushers in national curriculum and national testing; open enrolment; opting out; local management; abolition of the Inner London Education Authority; abolition of university teachers' tenure; independence of polytechnics and colleges.

Higginson Report recommending that students take five A-levels, rather than three, is rejected by Education Secretary Kenneth Baker.

Kingshurst School in Solihull becomes first city technology college.

1989 Berlin Wall comes down.

Kenneth Baker sets out plans for articled teachers - who would train on the job after university rather than taking a PGCE. Also announces aim to double HE participation rate.

Time Plan, the first teacher supply agency, launched.

1990 Poll tax introduced.

Thirteen new education authorities take over from the ILEA.

Margaret Thatcher replaced by John Major, who promises better deal for teachers.

Labour conference adopts education as its Big Idea.

1991 New Schools Bill proposes that local school inspection services be privatised HM senior chief inspector Eric Bolton announces his early retirement.

Staffordshire social services criticised over "pindown regime" in children's homes.

1992 Polytechnics designated as universities.

Black Wednesday financial crisis forces Britain out of the European exchange rate mechanism. First national tables of exam results published General National Vocational Qualification introduced.

1993 The NASUWT achieves landmark victory when Appeal Court rules its boycott of national curriculum tests a legitimate trade dispute. Education Secretary John Patten later announces tests will be slimmed down.

Murder of toddler James Bulger.

FE and sixth-form colleges "set free" from council control.

Lyme Regis tragedy and Hagley minibus crash claim 18 lives.

1994 Furore over Tony and Cherie Blair's decision to send son, Euan, to the London Oratory school not an Islington comprehensive.

1995 The TES receives a leaked copy of a private letter from Gillian Shephard warning that 10,000 teachers' jobs could be lost unless spending is increased.

Mini-riot breaks out at NUT conference - Shadow education secretary David Blunkett forced to retreat into cupboard.

London headteacher Philip Lawrence stabbed to death.

1996 Dunblane massacre. Thomas Hamilton shoots dead 16 pupils and their teacher.

BBC's controversial "Panorama" programme on the Ridings School in Halifax (right).

1997 New Labour Government scraps assisted places.

Education minister Stephen Byers "names and shames" 18 failing schools.

School Curriculum and Assessment Authority and National Council for Vocational Qualifications merge into super quango - the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

1998 Introduction of Literacy Hour and the National Year of Reading.

First cuts in infant class sizes.

Legislation paves the way for an end to GM schools, ballots on selection and a General Teaching Council.

The first serving heads are knighted.

Roger Ward, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, quits following TES investigation into his links with a lecturing agency and a healthcare firm.

1999 Macpherson publishes report on Stephen Lawrence's murder.

Wales and Scotland elect National Assemblies.

First state-funded Sikh school opens in Hayes, Middlesex.

Former IRA leader Martin McGuinness appointed education minister for Ulster.

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