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Welcome Bill with little bite

The past 20 years have produced some momentous education legislation. In 1988 the Education Reform Act paved the way for the national curriculum, local management of schools and city technology colleges.

Ten years later, the School Standards and Framework Act abolished grant-maintained schools, allowed ministers to intervene in failing schools and signalled a massive expansion of nursery education.

Luckily, the Education bill announced 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 too many 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 slightly curious that we need any new legislation at all?

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