Give the old Bills a rest

26th November 2004 at 00:00
The past 16 years have produced some momentous education legislation. In 1988 the Education Reform Act paved the way for the national curriculum and local management of schools. Ten years later, the School Standards and Framework Act allowed ministers to intervene in failing schools and signalled a huge expansion of nursery education.

Luckily, the education Bill unveiled in Westminster this week will not create such waves. Most of the measures, such as three-year budgets, are technical changes that have already been announced several times. It is, in fact, a typical pre-election Bill from a government anxious to show it is busy without alienating voters.

Schools tired of constant change can breathe a small sigh of relief. But, after 10 Bills in the seven years since Tony Blair was elected, is it not curious that we need any new legislation at all?

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