Documents Archive

On this page:

Major reports
all the major reports on education in England and Wales (and some on education in Scotland and Northern Ireland) since 1861

circulars issued by the Ministry, the DES, DFE and DfEE between 1961 and 2000

Department publications
publications of the Committee of Council, the Board, the Ministry and the Department

HMI publications
publications from Her Majesty's Inspectorate

Ofsted publications
reports and advice from Ofsted

Select Committee reports
reports of the Commons Education Select Committee and other Parliamentary committees

National Audit Office reports
NAO reports relating to education

documents from local authorities, political parties, the Schools Council and the National Curriculum Council (NCC), plus a handful of speeches

Official Papers
green papers, white papers, bills

a selection of historic texts

On a separate page:

Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments relating to education and children.

The Documents Archive


There are now more than 800 historic education documents in this archive, so you can read them in full online - or download them - in many cases for the first time since they were published.

A note on formats

Since around 1988, most government documents have been produced as pdf files.

Older documents are presented here as web pages (html). They are reasonably accurate representations of the originals, though they are not exact facsimiles: the font (Times, Arial etc) and size of print - and therefore the number of words to a line and lines to a page - are determined by the settings you have chosen for your web browser. However, the page numbering is correct: if something is shown as being on, say, page 103, you can be sure it appeared on page 103 in the original.

Crown copyright material is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence for public sector information.

Major reports

on education in the UK

1848 Commission of Inquiry The State of Education in Wales: three Commissioners were required to report on 'the means afforded to the labouring classes of acquiring knowledge of the English language'. (See also 1927 Welsh in Education and Life.)

1861 Newcastle Report Royal Commission on the State of Popular Education in England Vol I: recommended provision of 'sound and cheap' elementary education; led to the 1870 Elementary Education Act.

1864 Clarendon Report Royal Commission on the Public Schools: made recommendations relating to the nine 'great' public schools; formed the basis for the 1868 Public Schools Act.

1868 Taunton Report Report of the Schools Inquiry Commission (Vol I): recommended a national system of secondary education based on the existing endowed schools; led to the 1869 Endowed Schools Act.

1871-75 Devonshire Reports Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction and the Advancement of Science: eight reports which called for more and better science teaching in schools, colleges and universities, and recommended the appointment of a Minister of Science or a Minister of Science and Education.

1882 First Samuelson Report Royal Commission on Technical Instruction: preliminary report of the Commissioners charged with reviewing the provision of technical instruction in foreign countries; dealt mainly with France. (See also Second Samuelson Report 1884.)

1884 Second Samuelson Report Royal Commission on Technical Instruction: the Commission's main report warned that Britain's industrial leadership was being challenged around the world by countries with well-educated populations.

1888 Cross Report Final Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales: reviewed the working of the Elementary Education Acts of 1870, 1873, 1876 and 1880, and recommended public funding for the secular curriculum in church schools (implemented in the 1902 Education Act). Eight of the 23 members of the Commission felt unable to sign the main report and instead submitted minority reports.

1889 Egerton Report Royal Commission on the Blind, the Deaf and Dumb: recommended the introduction of compulsory education from 5 to 16 for the blind, and the deaf and dumb; and improvements in the care and training of those it called 'imbeciles' and 'idiots'.

1895 Bryce Report Royal Commission on Secondary Education: reviewed the progress made since the report of the Schools Inquiry Commission in 1868. Its recommendations were implemented by the 1899 Board of Education Act and the 1902 Education Act.

1898 Sharpe Report Report of the Departmental Committee on Defective and Epileptic Children: aimed to improve the education and lives of children who were 'feeble-minded' or epileptic. Its recommendations formed the basis of the 1899 Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act, though because of the costs involved, the Act's provisions were not as far-reaching as the Committee had wished.

1904 Fitzroy Report Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration: investigated the causes of 'physical deterioration ... in certain classes'; led to the 1906 Education (Provision of Meals) Act.

1906 Dyke Report Questions Affecting Higher Elementary Schools: report of the Board of Education Consultative Committee made recommendations regarding the role, staffing and curriculum of Higher Elementary Schools.

1908 Acland Report School Attendance of Children Below the Age of Five: report of the Board of Education Consultative Committee made recommendations regarding the provision and content of nursery school education.

1908 Oxford Report Oxford and Working-class Education: recommendations by a joint committee of Workers' Educational Association and University representatives. (See also George Curzon's 1909 book Principles and Methods of University Reform.)

1909 Acland Report Attendance, Compulsory or Otherwise, at Continuation Schools: report of the Board of Education Consultative Committee argued that LEAs should be empowered to require under 17s to participate in some form of post-elementary education.

1909 Trevelyan Report Partial Exemption from School Attendance: the report of the Inter-Departmental Committee recommended that partial exemption should be completely abolished and that there should be strict limits on total exemption. (See also the 1917 Lewis Report.)

1911 Acland Report Examinations in Secondary Schools: report of the Board of Education Consultative Committee - their second report on exams (the first - not currently online - was published in 1904). It argued that the existing system needed simplifying.

1913 Acland Report Practical Work in Secondary Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): report of the Board of Education Consultative Committee argued that secondary schools should provide teaching in 'some branches of Educational Handwork' as an integral part of the curriculum.

1917 Lewis Report Juvenile education in relation to employment after the war Report of the Departmental Committee: proposed a school leaving age of 14 with no exemptions, followed by attendance for at least 8 hours a week or 320 hours a year at 'day continuation' classes up to age 18.

1918 Thomson Report The Position of Natural Science in the Educational System of Great Britain (19 February): made 83 recommendations covering elementary and secondary schools, technical education, the professions and the universities.

1918 Leathes Report The Position of Modern Languages in the Educational System of Great Britain (2 April): argued the importance of modern languages for Britain's schools and universities.

1920 Young Report Report of the Departmental Committee on Scholarships and Free Places: argued that 'practically all children, except the subnormal' were capable of profiting by full-time education up to 16 or beyond.

1921 Crewe Report The position of the Classics in the Educational System of the United Kingdom: report of a committee appointed by Prime Minister David Lloyd-George.

1921 Newbolt Report The Teaching of English in England: made 105 wide-ranging recommendations. (See also Bullock 1975, Kingman 1988, Cox 1989, Warwick 1994 and Ofsted 2012.)

1923 Hadow Report Differentiation of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls Respectively in Secondary Schools: Consultative Committee made 24 recommendations including greater freedom in the curriculum for boys and girls.

1924 Hadow Report Psychological Tests of Educable Capacity and their possible use in the public system of education: Consultative Committee made 37 recommendations and expressed some concerns about the use of tests.

1925 Burnham Report The Training of Teachers for Public Elementary Schools: Departmental Committee chaired by Viscount Burnham made 69 recommendations.

1926 Hadow Report The Education of the Adolescent: Consultative Committee proposed primary and secondary schools with transfer at age 11, secondary education for all, and increase in school leaving age to 15.

1927 Owen Report Welsh in Education and Life: report of a Departmental Committee whose aim was the promotion and preservation of the Welsh language. (see also 1848 The State of Education in Wales.)

1928 Hadow Report Books in Public Elementary Schools: Consultative Committee called for greater expenditure on books for schools.

1929 Wood Report Report of the Mental Deficiency Committee: made recommendations regarding the classification and education of 'mentally defective' children.

1931 Hadow Report The Primary School: Consultative Committee made 70 recommendations setting out its vision of primary education.

1933 Hadow Report Infant and Nursery Schools: Consultative Committee made 105 wide-ranging recommendations.

1938 Spens Report Secondary Education with Special Reference to Grammar Schools and Technical High Schools: report of the Board of Education Consultative Committee recommended 'tripartite' system of grammar, technical and secondary modern schools.

1943 Norwood Report Curriculum and Examinations in Secondary Schools: backed the tripartite system recommended by the 1938 Spens Report.

1944 McNair Report The supply, recruitment and training of teachers and youth leaders: recommended rationalisation of teacher training provision, a three year course and salary increases.

1944 Fleming Report The Public Schools and the General Educational System: considered how independent boarding schools might be integrated into the post-war education system; recommendations largely ignored.

1945 Percy Report Higher Technological Education: recommended that some Technical Colleges should offer degree-standard courses.

1946 Fyfe Report Training of Teachers: report of the Scottish Advisory Council on Education; sometimes referred to as 'the McClelland Report' since it was William McClelland who convened the Council and wrote the report.

1946 Barlow Report Scientific Man-Power: argued that Britain's universities needed to double their output of scientists to 5,000 a year.

1947 Clarke Report School and Life: the first report of the newly-created Central Advisory Council for Education (England) was an inquiry into the transition from school to independent life.

1947 Fyfe Report Secondary Education: report of the Scottish Advisory Council on Education recommended a comprehensive system for all secondary pupils aged 12 to 16 with a common core curriculum and a common leaving exam.

1948 Clarke Report Out of School: the second report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) looked at facilities for out-of-school activities.

1954 Gurney-Dixon Report Early Leaving: a report by the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) which examined the problem of premature school-leaving in England.

1955 Underwood Report Maladjusted Children: the committee appointed by Minister of Education George Tomlinson in October 1950 recommended that LEAs should set up Child Guidance Services.

1959 Crowther Report 15 to 18: recommended raising the school leaving age to 16 and the provision of further education for 15-18 year olds; questioned the value of day-release provision for apprenticeships.

1960 Albemarle Report The Youth Service in England and Wales: the report of a Committee appointed by the Minister of Education in November 1958. (See also the 1982 Thompson Report Experience and Participation.)

1960 Anderson Report Grants to Students: the Committee was unanimous in opposing the idea of student loans but divided on the issue of means-tested parental contributions: the majority wanted them abolished.

1960 Beloe Report Secondary School Examinations other than the GCE: the report of a Committee appointed by the Secondary School Examinations Council which led to the introduction of the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) in 1965.

1963 Newsom Report Half Our Future: a report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) on children of average or below-average ability.

1963 Robbins Report Higher Education: recommended a massive expansion of higher education provision to cater for all who had the necessary ability. (See also Oakes 1978, Dearing 1997 and Browne 2010)

1967 Plowden Report Children and their Primary Schools: arguably the best known of all education reports, it promoted child-centred education and was much maligned by traditionalists.

1968 Summerfield Report Psychologists in Education Services: the first government-commissioned report on the work of psychologists.

1968 Newsom Report The Public Schools Commission: First Report: like Fleming in 1944, made recommendations about integrating private boarding schools into the state education system. (See also Donnison 1970.)

1970 Donnison Report The Public Schools Commission: Second Report: considered the part independent day schools and direct grant grammar schools might play in a state education system which was undergoing comprehensive reorganisation. (See also Newsom 1968.)

1972 James Report Teacher Education and Training: proposed new arrangements for the training of teachers and argued for a broader role for the higher education colleges.

1974 Houghton Report Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the pay of Non-University Teachers: recommended substantial pay increases for teachers.

1975 Bullock Report A language for life: major report on the teaching of English. (See also Newbolt 1921, Bullock 1975, Kingman 1988, Cox 1989, Warwick 1994 and Ofsted 2012.)

1977 Taylor Report A New Partnership for Our Schools: recommended major changes in the management of schools, implemented in the 1980 Education Act.

1978 Oakes Report The Management of Higher Education in the Maintained Sector: report of the working group appointed by Shirley Williams. (See also Robbins 1963, Dearing 1997 and Browne 2010.)

1978 Warnock Report Special Educational Needs: major report on provision for children and young people with special needs.

1978 Waddell Report School Examinations: recommended a single exam at age 16 to replace the GCE O Level and CSE. (The first GCSE exams were taken in 1988).

1978 Sneddon Report Learning to Teach: a report of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

1981 Rampton Report West Indian Children in our Schools: interim report of the Committee of Enquiry into the education of children from ethnic minority groups. (The final report was Swann 1985 - see below).

1981 Trenaman Report Review of the Schools Council: report by Nancy Trenaman for the Secretaries of State for Education and Science and for Wales.

1982 Thompson Report Experience and Participation: report of the Review Group on the Youth Service in England. (See also the 1960 Albemarle Report The Youth Service in England and Wales.)

1982 Cockcroft Report Mathematics counts: a major report on the teaching of maths.

1985 Swann Report Education for All: the final report of the Committee of Enquiry into the education of children from ethnic minority groups (their interim report was Rampton 1981 - see above).

1985 Jarratt Report Report of the Steering Committee for Efficiency Studies in Universities: a report commissioned by the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals.

1988 Kingman Report The Teaching of English Language: made recommendations on attainment targets and programmes of study for the English component of the new National Curriculum. (See also Newbolt 1921, Bullock 1975, Cox 1989, Warwick 1994 and Ofsted 2012.)

1988 Higginson Report Advancing A Levels: its recommendations for broadening the sixth form curriculum were rejected by the Thatcher government.

1988 Black Report National Curriculum Task Group on Assessment and Testing (TGAT): made recommendations on tests and school league tables.

1989 Elton Report Discipline in Schools: commissioned by Education Secretary Kenneth Baker, it included the findings of a national survey of teachers (Appendix D).

1989 Cox Report English for ages 5 to 16: the report which formed the basis of the English component of the new National Curriculum. (See also Newbolt 1921, Bullock 1975, Kingman 1988, Warwick 1994 and Ofsted 2012.)

1990 Rumbold Report Starting with Quality: the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the quality of the educational experience offered to 3 and 4 year olds, chaired by Angela Rumbold.

1992 'Three Wise Men Report' Curriculum Organisation and Classroom Practice in Primary Schools: produced by Robin Alexander, Jim Rose and Chris Woodhead at the request of Education Secretary Kenneth Clarke.

1994 Warwick Evaluation Implementation of English in the National Curriculum: commissioned by the NCC in response to widespread concerns about the English curriculum; produced by a team based at the University of Warwick. (See also Newbolt 1921, Bullock 1975, Kingman 1988, Cox 1989 and Ofsted 2012.)

1994 Dearing Review The National Curriculum and its Assessment: Final Report: the National Curriculum and its assessment arrangements had proved hopelessly complicated. Ron Dearing's review sought to make them more manageable.

1994 Robertson Report Choosing to change: Extending access, choice and mobility in higher education: a report by Professor David Robertson and team for the DfE, Employment Department, the former CNAA and the Higher Education Quality Council.

1996 Dearing Review Review of Qualifications for 16-19 Year Olds: commissioned by Gillian Shepherd, this was the second review produced by Sir Ron Dearing.

1996 Tomlinson Report Inclusive Learning: a major report about further education by the Committee on Students with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities, appointed by the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC).

1997 Kennedy Report Learning Works: Widening Participation in Further Education: report by the Widening Participation Committee of the Further Education Funding Council, chaired by Helena Kennedy QC.

1997 Dearing Report Higher Education in the learning society (July): commissioned by the previous Conservative government with the support of the Labour Party, Ron Dearing's third review recommended wider participation in higher education. (See also Robbins 1963, Oakes 1978 and Browne 2010.)

1997 Literacy Task Force The Implementation of the National Literacy Strategy: report of the working party under Michael Barber appointed by David Blunkett in May 1996.

1998 Crick Report Education for citizenship and the teaching of democracy in schools: recommended that citizenship education should be a statutory entitlement in the school curriculum.

1999 Moser Report Improving literacy and numeracy: a fresh start: report of the Working Group on adult literacy and numeracy appointed by David Blunkett in June 1998.

1999 Robinson Report All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education: report of the National Advisory Council on Creative and Cultural Education commissioned by David Blunkett and Chris Smith in February 1998.

2000 Sutton Trust Entry to Leading Universities: report by the Sutton Trust showed that the seven per cent of children who attended private schools took 39 per cent of the places at top universities.

2001 Cantle Report Community Cohesion (December): report by the Community Cohesion Review Team into the riots in northern towns in 2001.

2002 Roberts Review SET for success: report of the enquiry into the supply of people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.

2003 Scottish Executive Educating for Excellence: Choice and Opportunity (January): the Scottish Executive's response to the National Debate on education.

2004 Smith Report Making Mathematics Count: report of Professor Adrian Smith's inquiry into post-14 mathematics education.

2004 Scottish Executive Assessment, Testing and Reporting 3-14: final report of the Consultation on Partnership Commitments conducted by Dr Effie Maclellan.

2004 Tomlinson Report 14-19 Curriculum and Qualifications Reform: recommended replacing GCSEs, A Levels and vocational qualifications with a new single modular diploma at four levels.

2004 Scottish Executive A curriculum for excellence: report of the Curriculum Review Group.

2005 Steer Report Learning behaviour: report of the Practitioners' Group on School Behaviour and Discipline.

2006 Independent review of the teaching of early reading: the final report of the review conducted by Jim Rose endorsed the use of synthetic phonics.

2006 Wanless Review Getting it. Getting it right.: report of the Priority Review chaired by Peter Wanless into the number of black pupils excluded from school. See also this letter from Martin Bull at the DfES explaining the background.

2006 2020 Vision: report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group, chaired by Christine Gilbert.

2007 Ajegbo Report Diversity and Citizenship: said pupils should have the skills to 'participate in an active and inclusive democracy, appreciating and understanding difference'.

2007 Our Shared Future: the final report of the Commission on Integration and Cohesion included recommendations relating to schools. (See also the government's response in 2008.)

2007 Faith in the System: produced jointly by 'the Government and the providers of publicly funded schools with a religious character' to try to tackle the problem of faith schools and community cohesion.

2008 The Government's Response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion: the government's reponse to Our Shared Future (see above).

2008 NUT/NCSL Successful leadership for promoting the achievement of white working class pupils: report by Denis Mongon and Christopher Chapman for the National Union of Teachers and the National College for School Leadership.

2008 IRPC Interim Report Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum: first report of the 'Rose Review'.

2009 Stonewall Homophobic bullying in Britain's schools: results of a survey of teachers and non-teaching staff in primary and secondary schools.

2009 IRPC Final Report Final Report of the Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum: final report of the 'Rose Review'.

2009 Cambridge Primary Review Towards a New Primary Curriculum interim reports: Past and Present and The Future.

2009 Steer Report Learning Behaviour: Lessons Learned: follow-up to the Steer committee's first report Learning Behaviour (2005).

2009 Macdonald Report Independent Review of the proposal to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education statutory: published by the DCSF.

2009 Report of the Expert Group on Assessment: commissioned by Ed Balls to make recommendations in relation to England's testing regime.

2009 Nuffield Foundation Education for All: The future of education and training for 14-19 year olds Summary, Implications and Recommendations: final report of the Nuffield Review into 14-19 education.

2009 Milburn Report Unleashing Aspiration: Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions (for the government's response, see 2010 Unleashing Aspiration in Official Papers below).

2009 Parental choice of primary school in England: what 'type' of school do parents choose?: report by Simon Burgess, Ellen Greaves, Anna Vignoles and Deborah Wilson of the University of Bristol.

2010 Browne Review Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education: recommendations mostly ignored. (See also Robbins 1963, Oakes 1978 and Dearing 1997.)

2010 Steer Report Behaviour and the role of Home-School Agreements: advice on implementing changes to home-school agreements as specified in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

2011 Henley Review Music Education in England: a review by Darren Henley for the DfE and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. See also the government's response to the review and The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education.

2011 Tickell Review The Early Years: Foundations for life, health and learning: made recommendations relating to the EarlyYears Foundation Stage.

2011 Bew Review Independent Review of Key Stage 2 testing, assessment and accountability: called for a greater focus on progress and broader accountability measures, and recommended that the statutory assessment system should include both external testing and teacher assessment.

2011 National Curriculum Review The Framework for the National Curriculum: report of the advisory panel chaired by Tim Oates.

2011 Wolf Report Review of Vocational Education: made wide-ranging recommendations.

2011 DfE The National Strategies 1997-2011: set out the education department's (positive) assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the National Strategies.

2012 Henley Review Cultural Education in England: an independent review for the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. See also the government's response to the review.

2012 Lingfield Report Professionalism in Further Education: the interim report of the Independent Review Panel.

2012 Lingfield Report Professionalism in Further Education: the final report of the Independent Review Panel.

2013 Academies Commission Unleashing Greatness: getting the best from an academised system: the self-styled Academies Commission presented a mixed picture of the academies programme.

2013 The School Food Plan: prepared for the government by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent.

2013 SMCPC Social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain: the first annual State of the Nation report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission blamed schools in deprived areas for their pupils' lack of progress.

2014 ULIE Conflicts of interest in academy sponsorship arrangements: report by the University of London Institute of Education for the Commons Education Select Committee.

2014 City & Guilds Sense and Instability: report examining how changing government policies had affected the skills landscape over the previous three decades.

2014 SMCPC Cracking the code: how schools can improve social mobility: report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

2015 Warwick Commission Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth: warned that creativity, culture and the arts were being neglected in the school curriculum.

2015 Sutton Trust Subject to Background: report by Pam Sammons, Katalin Toth and Kathy Sylva for the Sutton Trust looked at A Level results of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

2015 Sutton Trust Missing Talent: report by Education Datalab for the Sutton Trust looked at GCSE results of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

2015 NFER A Guide to Regional Schools Commissioners: Schools Commissioners were part of the government's academisation policy, which aimed to make local education authorities redundant.

2016 Rochford Review Assessment for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests: final report of the panel chaired by Diane Rochford for the Standards and Testing Agency.


circulars (and one administrative memorandum) issued by the Ministry, the DES, DFE and DfEE between 1961 and 2000

1961 Ministry Circular 11/61 Special educational treatment for educationally sub-normal pupils (3 July): reviewed some of the ways in which special education could be arranged for 'educationally sub-normal' pupils and the progress which was being made in providing extra special school places.

1965 DES Circular 7/65 The education of immigrants (14 June): advised schools on the education of the 'increasing numbers of immigrants from Commonwealth and other countries overseas' who had recently arrived in the country. (See also DES Survey 13 (1971) below).

1965 DES Circular 10/65 The organisation of secondary education (12 July): requested LEAs to submit plans for comprehensivisation. (See also Circulars 10/70 and 4/74).

1966 DES Circular 10/66 School building programmes: set out proposals for 1967-70.

1967 DES Administrative Memorandum 20/67 Inhalation of asbestos dust: advised of the dangers of asbestos in school and college buildings.

1970 DES Circular 10/70 The organisation of secondary education (30 June): withdrew Circular 10/65 (see above) and allowed LEAs to decide whether to proceed with plans for comprehensivisation. (Withdrawn by Circular 4/74 - see below).

1971 DES Circular 8/71 Raising of the school leaving age to 16 (24 August): set out arrangements for the raising of the school leaving age to 16 in September 1972.

1973 DES Circular 7/73 Development of higher education in the non-university sector: advised local authorities about how they could meet the government's targets for non-university higher education up to 1981.

1974 DES Circular 4/74 The organisation of secondary education: reinstated the request (made in Circular 10/65 and cancelled in 10/70) that LEAs should submit plans for comprehensivisation.

1975 DES Circular 2/75 The discovery of children requiring special education and the assessment of their needs: provided 'a fresh statement of what is involved in discovering which children require special education'.

1975 DES Circular 7/75 Phasing out of direct grants to grammar schools: explained how the Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations 1975 would be implemented.

1976 DES Circular 11/76 Education Act 1976: explained that local authorities which had not submitted schemes for comprehensive reorganisation would now be expected to do so.

1976 DES Circular 12/76 Education Act 1976: Support by Local Education Authorities of Education in Non-Maintained Schools: required arrangements to be 'consistent with the Government's policy of abolishing selection for secondary education'.

1976 DES Circular 13/76 Provision of Milk and Meals (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1976: revised arrangements for the remission of the school dinner charge: a brief circular explaining the implications of the new regulations for local education authorities.

1977 DES Circular 14/77 Local Education Authority Arrangements for the School Curriculum: invited local authorities to 'assemble relevant information and to report the results to the Secretaries of State by 30 June 1978'.

1977 DES Circular 15/77 Information for Parents: set out the nature and extent of the information the Secretary of State believed schools should provide.

1979 DES/Welsh Office Local Education Authority Arrangements for the School Curriculum Report on the Circular 14/77 Review: report summarising the responses received from local authorities.

1981 DES Circular 6/81The School Curriculum: required LEAs to review curriculum policies in the light of what was said in The School Curriculum (1981).

1981 DES Circular 8/81 Education Act 1981: explained, for local education authorities (LEAs), the provisions of the 1981 Education Act.

1983 DES Circular 1/83 Assessments and statements of special educational needs: in this circular, the DES explained the implications of the 1981 Education Act and of the 1983 Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations for the assessment of a broad range of special educational needs.

1983 DES Circular 7/83 Education Act 1980: application of section 2 to maintained special schools: this circular and its attached Order extended the provisions of 1980 Education Act relating to governing bodies to all maintained special schools to which those provisions did not already apply.

1983 DES Circular 8/83 The School Curriculum: required LEAs to report on progress in developing curriculum policy as requested in Circular 6/81.

1986 DES Local Authority Policies for the School Curriculum: booklet summarising local education authorities' responses to Circular 8/83.

1987 DES Circular 1/87 Follow-up to HMI Reports: explained how local education authorities and others should report on the measures taken following HMI inspections, as mentioned in paragraph 269 of the White Paper Better Schools.

1987 DES Circular 11/87 Sex education at school: explained the new duties and responsibilities of governors, heads, teachers and local authorities in relation to sex education, following the passing of the 1986 Education (No. 2) Act.

1989 DES Circular 15/89 Education Reform Act 1988: temporary exceptions from the National Curriculum: offered guidance on section 19 of the 1988 Education Reform Act and the 1989 Education (National Curriculum) (Temporary Exceptions for Individual Pupils) Regulations, which allowed head teachers of maintained schools to make temporary exceptions from the National Curriculum for individual pupils.

1989 DES Circular 22/89 Assessments and statements of special educational needs: procedures within the education, health and social services: updated previous advice to local education and health authorities on the making of assessments and statements for children with special educational needs. It replaced DES Circular 1/83, Health Circular HC(83)(3) and Local Authority Circular LAC(83)2.

1991 DES Circular 12/91 School Teacher Appraisal: provided local education authorities and schools with guidance on implementing the 1991 Education (School Teacher Appraisal) Regulations.

1992 DFE/Welsh Office Circular 9/92 Initial Teacher Training (Secondary Phase): set out new criteria and procedures for the accreditation of initial teacher training courses.

1994 DFE Circular 1/94 Religious Education and Collective Worship: set out the legal responsibilities of head teachers, governors, local authorities, SACREs, agreed syllabus conferences, teachers and teacher trainers in the light of the 1993 Education Act.

1994 DFE Circular 2/94 Local Management of Schools: consolidated the guidance on local management of schools previously given in Circulars 7/88 and 7/91, which were now withdrawn.

1994 DFE Circular 5/94 Education Act 1993: Sex Education in Schools: underlined the requirement to provide a 'moral framework'.

1997 DfEE Circular 10/97 Teaching: High Status, High Standards: set out new criteria for courses of Initial Teacher Training and specified (in extraordinary detail) the English and mathematics curricula to be taught to all trainees on all courses of primary initial teacher training (replaced DFE Circulars 9/92 and 14/93).

1998 DfEE Circular 4/98 Teaching: High Status, High Standards: repeated the content of Circular 10/97 and added curricula for ICT (information and communications technology), primary science, and secondary English, maths and science (replaced DFE Circulars 9/92, 14/93 and 10/97).

1999 DfEE Circular 4/99 Fitness to Teach: gave advice about the Regulations relating to the physical and mental fitness to teach of those applying for teacher training and existing teachers, and of other staff working with young people.

2000 DfEE Circular 0116/2000 Sex and Relationship Education Guidance: replaced Circular 5/94.

Department publications

documents from the Committee of Council on Education, the Board of Education, the Ministry of Education and the Education Department

1833 Treasury Minute: set out rules regarding the distribution of the first (20,000) grant for education.

1839 Orders in Council: created the Committee of the Privy Council on Education; approved the Committee of Council on Education's report on the distribution of funds for public education.

1839-59 Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education:

24 September 1839: regulations governing the appropriation of grants
25 August and 21 December 1846: appointment of inspectors; teachers' qualifications and pensions; education of pupil teachers and stipendiary monitors; support for Normal Schools
6 August 1851: grants to certificated teachers in training schools
23 July 1852: grants to assistant teachers in elementary schools
2 April 1853: grants for the support of schools
20 August 1853: Queen's Scholars, apprentices and certificated teachers
2 June 1856: admission of Queen's Scholars and annual examination of students in training colleges
4 May 1859: cancelled Section 9 in the Minute of 20 August 1853.
1862 Revised Code ('Lowe's Code'): introduced 'payment by results'. Minutes and Regulations of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education; Instructions to HMI: advice on the administration of the Revised Code.

1904 Regulations for Secondary Schools: Board of Education document defining a four-year subject-based course.

1905 Regulations for the Instruction and Training of Pupil-Teachers: Board of Education document which set out the regulations relating to the training of pupil-teachers for 1905-6 and the syllabuses for various examinations.

1905 Reports on children under five years of age in public elementary schools, by Women Inspectors: five reports containing interesting information not only about the schools but about the home conditions of the children.

1928 Board of Education The New Prospect in Education Pamphlet No. 60 set out the Board's response to the 1926 Hadow Report.

1937 Board of Education Handbook of Suggestions: the Board's advice for teachers in elementary schools. This was the last edition of the Handbook, which had first been published in 1905.

1937 Board of Education Homework Pamphlet No. 110 set out the Board's views on the setting of homework in elementary, secondary and vocational schools.

1943 Board of Education Sex Education in schools and youth organisations: Pamphlet No. 119 offered the 'warm support and encouragement' of the Board to those who were 'giving serious attention to this subject'.

1945 Ministry of Education The Nation's Schools: Pamphlet No. 1 explained and sought to justify the 'tripartite' system of secondary schools.

1945 Ministry of Education A Guide to the Educational System of England and Wales: Pamphlet No. 2 set out the structure of the post-war educational system for England and Wales, as provided for in the 1944 Education Act.

1945 Ministry of Education Youth's Opportunity: Pamphlet No. 3 set out the government's proposals for the new county colleges which the 1944 Education Act required local authorities to provide.

1945 Ministry of Education Building Crafts: Pamphlet No. 4, written by HM Inspectors with assistance from staff in the building industry, set out syllabuses for part-time day and evening courses in a range of crafts.

1946 Ministry of Education Special Educational Treatment: Pamphlet No. 5 explained the implications of sections 33 and 34 of the 1944 Education Act for the provision of education for children with special needs.

1946 Ministry of Education Art Education: Pamphlet No. 6 gave advice on art education in publicly-supported schools of all kinds from the primary school to the college of art.

1946 Ministry of Education Entrants to the Mining Industry: Pamphlet No. 7 provided guidance for those concerned with the training of entrants to the mining industry.

1947 Ministry of Education Further Education: Pamphlet No. 8 explained the existing provision of further education in England and Wales and set out plans for the future.

1947 Ministry of Education The New Secondary Education: Pamphlet No. 9 reiterated the government's commitment to the 'tripartite' system of secondary schools.

1948 Ministry of Education Local Studies - Bishop Aukland: Pamphlet No. 10 used the Ministry's Visual Unit to illustrate the use that could be made of local studies.

1948 Ministry of Education Organised Camping: Pamphlet No. 11 gave advice - in extraordinary detail - on planning and running camps for young people.

1948 Ministry of Education UNESCO and a World Society: Pamphlet No. 12 set out Britain's response to the creation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, whose constitution was adopted in London on 16 November 1945.

1948 Ministry of Education Safety Precautions in Schools: Pamphlet No. 13 provided some statistics on accidents in schools and advised teachers on the measures to be taken to ensure the safety of pupils.

1949 Ministry of Education Story of a School: Pamphlet No. 14 - a former primary school head described how liberal methods could be introduced in an archaic building.

1949 Ministry of Education Citizens Growing Up: Pamphlet No. 16 originated in the conviction of Minister of Education George Tomlinson that 'in a democratic community we must all take a share in preparing our young people for the responsibilities of active citizenship'.

1950 Ministry of Education Challenge and Response: Pamphlet No. 17 explained how the Ministry set about training 70,000 teachers in the immediate aftermath of World War 2.

1950 Ministry of Education Reading Ability: Pamphlet No. 18 was a response to concerns that reading standards had fallen as a result of the second world war. It offered 'some suggestions for helping the backward'.

1951 Ministry of Education The Road to the Sixth Form: Pamphlet No. 19 set out the post-war Labour government's thinking on the grammar school.

1952 Ministry of Education Metalwork in Secondary Schools: Pamphlet No. 22 gave advice on the planning of instruction in metalwork as part of a non-vocational course of workshop craft in secondary technical, grammar and modern schools.

1952/3 Ministry of Education Physical Education in the Primary School: published in two parts as Pamphlet No. 24 Moving and Growing (1952) and Pamphlet No. 25 Planning the Programme (1953).

1954 Ministry of Education Language: Pamphlet No. 26 explored the relations between language, thought and culture; offered suggestions for teaching the mother tongue; and illustrated the contribution of imaginative literature and of broadcasting to education.

1955 Ministry of Education Evening Institutes: Pamphlet No. 28 (reprinted 1956) gave an account of the history of evening institutes and described the courses on offer in the mid 1950s.

1956 Ministry of Education Music in Schools: Pamphlet No. 27 (second edition, 1960) was a comprehensive survey of music education.

1956 Ministry of Education Modern Languages: Pamphlet No. 29 offered advice on 'the choice of modern foreign languages to be taught in our schools', which it described as 'an educational problem of great importance'.

1956 Ministry of Education Education of the Handicapped Pupil 1945-1955: Pamphlet No. 30 reviewed the progress which had been made in the education of handicapped pupils in the decade after the war.

1956 Ministry of Education Health Education: Pamphlet No. 31 was an updated version of the Board of Education's Handbook of Suggestions in Health Education, first published in 1928 and revised in 1933 and 1939.

1957 Ministry of Education The story of post-war school building: Pamphlet No. 33 outlined the progress that had been made towards providing 2m new schools places between 1945 and 1961 at a cost of 360m and how the Ministry had endeavoured to secure value for money in the process.

1957 Ministry of Education The Training of Teachers: Pamphlet No. 34, written by a group of H.M. Inspectors with experience in the work of training colleges, made proposals regarding the extension of the teacher-training course from two years to three, which took effect in 1960.

1958 Ministry of Education Teaching mathematics in secondary schools: Pamphlet No. 36 was the Ministry's first major publication concerning secondary school maths. It updated the Board of Education's Senior School Mathematics, published in 1934.

1959 Ministry of Education Suggestions for the Teaching of Classics: Pamphlet No. 37 gave detailed advice on the teaching of Latin (mainly to grammar school boys). It was a revised version of that published by the Board of Education in 1939.

1959 Ministry of Education Primary Education: offered suggestions for the consideration of teachers and others concerned with the work of primary schools.

1960 Ministry of Education Science in Secondary Schools: prepared by a group of HM Inspectors, Pamphlet No. 38 aimed 'to help and stimulate the better teaching of science'. Part I contains a useful history of science teaching. (See also Pamphlet No. 42 (1961) Science in Primary Schools.

1961 Ministry of Education Schools and the Commonwealth: written by a group of HM Inspectors, Pamphlet No. 40 made the case for more time for Commonwealth studies in the school curriculum.

1961 Ministry of Education Science in Primary Schools: Pamphlet No. 42 discussed some of the possibilities for primary science. (See also Pamphlet No. 38 (1960) Science in Secondary Schools.

1963 Ministry of Education English for Immigrants: Pamphlet No. 43 gave advice on the teaching of English as a foreign language to immigrant children and adults.

1967 DES Units for Partially-hearing Children (Education Survey 1): this survey, the first in a series published by the Department of Education and Science, was written by members of HM Inspectorate and Medical Officers of the Department. (See also Survey 6, 1969.)

1968 DES Drama (Education Survey 2): this survey of drama in schools, the youth service and colleges of education was written by John Allen and colleagues in HM Inspectorate.

1968 DES Blind and Partially-sighted Children (Education Survey 4): this Survey of more than 2,000 children in 54 special schools and eight special classes in England and Wales was written for the DES by Dr Shirley R Fine.

1968 DES Parent/Teacher Relations in Primary Schools (Education Survey 5): this Survey was a response to the 1967 Plowden report's recommendation that the DES 'should issue a booklet containing examples of good practice in parent/teacher relations'.

1969 DES Peripatetic Teachers of the Deaf (Education Survey 6): this Survey was carried out by the members of HM Inspectorate and Medical Officers of the Department. (See also Survey 1, 1967.)

1970 DES Towards the Middle School: Pamphlet No 57 set out suggestions on the curriculum and organisation of middle schools.

1970 DES HMI Today and Tomorrow: an account of the history, role and organisation of HM Inspectorate.

1971 DES Survey 13 The Education of Immigrants: set out the 'policies and courses of action pursued by the Department, by local education authorities, and by other statutory and voluntary bodies'. (See also DES Circular 7/65 above).

1976 DES School Education in England: problems and initiatives: the so-called 'Yellow Book' set out the state of school education in England in the mid-1970s.

1980 DES/Welsh Office A framework for the school curriculum: set out the government's thinking on the school curriculum.

1981 DES/Welsh Office The School Curriculum: advice for LEAs on curriculum development.

1985 DES/Welsh Office Science 5-16: A statement of policy: booklet setting out policies for the school science curriculum.

1985 DES Quality in Schools: Evaluation and Appraisal: based on surveys by HMI of practice in a small number of schools and LEAs.

1986 DES A new choice of school: glossy brochure setting out the Thatcher government's proposals for city technology colleges.

1987 DES/Welsh Office The National Curriculum 5-16: consultation document setting out proposals for the introduction of the National Curriculum and associated assessment procedures.

1990 DES/HMI Public Education in England 1839-1989: this publication, celebrating 150 years of public education in England, contains useful histories of the education department and Her Majesty's Inspectorate.

1999 DfEE/QCA The National Curriculum: Handbook for primary teachers in England: set out details of the revised National Curriculum.

2000/1 DfEE/QCA Curriculum guidance for the foundation stage (2000) and Planning for learning in the foundation stage (2001): handbooks for early years practitioners.

2002 DfES Languages for all: languages for life: set out the government's strategy for the teaching of foreign languages.

2004 DfES/QCA The National Curriculum: Handbook for secondary teachers in England: set out details of the revised National Curriculum.

2004 DfES Building Bulletin 98: Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects.

2004 DfES Building Bulletin 99: Briefing Framework for Primary School Projects.

2004 Every Child Matters: change for children: provided advice and support to those required to implement the 2004 Children Act.

2005 DfES/NFER Excellence in Cities: The National Evaluation of a Policy to Raise Standards in Urban Schools 2000-2003: Report by the National Foundation for Educational Research for the DfES.

2006 DfES Primary National Strategy: Primary Framework for literacy and mathematics.

2006 DfES School Admissions Code: came into force in February 2007.

2007 DCSF Homophobic bullying (November): guidance for schools.

2008 DCSF School Admissions Code: came into force on 10 February 2009.

2009 DCSF Breaking the Link between disadvantage and low attainment (March): the first of two documents aimed at breaking the link between children's circumstances and their achievements (see also 2010).

2010 DCSF Breaking the Link between special educational needs and low attainment (March): the second of two documents aimed at breaking the link between children's circumstances and their achievements (see also 2009).

2011 DfE Training our next generation of outstanding teachers: discussion document from new education secretary Michael Gove.

2011 DfE Teachers' Standards: teaching reduced to one side of A4. Came into force in September 2012.

2011 DfE Training our next generation of outstanding teachers: Gove's plan for teacher training - employ troops.

2012 DfE Equality Act 2010: Advice for school leaders, staff, governors and local authorities: non-statutory advice for schools and local authorities.

2012 DfE Statutory Framework for the EYFS: set out the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five (see also 2014).

2012 DfE 2013 EYFS Profile Handbook: set out details of the profiles for five-year-olds.

2012 DfE School Admissions Code and Admission Appeals Code. (See also three Statutory Instruments: Admissions Regulations; Admission Appeals Regulations; and Admissions (Infant class sizes) Regulations.)

2013 DfE The national curriculum in England: Framework document: set out the overall framework of the National Curriculum. (See also: Key stages 1 and 2 framework document; Key stages 3 and 4 framework document; Equalities impact assessment; Consultation summary; and the Statutory Instrument Attainment Targets and Programmes of Study.)

2013 DfE School uniform: Guidance for governing bodies, school leaders, school staff and local authorities: non-statutory, but the DfE expected schools 'to take full account of this guidance'.

2014 DfE Behaviour and discipline in schools: advice for heads and school staff.

2014 DfE Statutory Framework for the EYFS: set out the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five (see also 2012).

2019 DfE Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education: Statutory guidance. The new curriculum to be mandatory from September 2020.

2022 DfE The reading framework: guidance in the teaching of phonics for primary schools, teacher trainers and others in England.

2023 DfE The reading framework: an expanded version of the 2022 framework.

HMI publications

publications from Her Majesty's Inspectorate

1964 HMI Survey of Industrial Classes in Greater London, Hertfordshire and Essex: a 7-page pamphlet setting out the findings of a survey of courses for industrial groups provided by the London Joint Tutorial Classes Committee and by the London and Eastern Districts of the Workers' Educational Association in 1963-4.

1965 HMI Training for Adult Education in England and Wales: a 15-page pamphlet reporting the findings of an HMI survey into the provision of training for adult education tutors by the Responsible Bodies and by Departments of Adult Education.

1977-82 HMI Matters for Discussion A series of 15 discussion documents:

1 Ten Good Schools (1977)
2 Classics in Comprehensive Schools (1977)
3 Modern Languages in Comprehensive Schools (1977)
4 Gifted Children in Middle and Comprehensive Secondary Schools (1977)
5 The Teaching of Ideas in Geography (1978)
6 Mixed Ability Work in Comprehensive Schools (1978)
7 The Education of Children in Hospitals for the Mentally Handicapped (1978)
8 Developments in the BEd Degree Course (1979)
9 Mathematics 5 to 11 (1979)
10 Community Homes with Education (1980)
11 A View of the Curriculum (1980)
12 Modern Languages in Further Education (1980)
13 Girls and Science (1980)
14 Mathematics in the Sixth Form (1982)
15 The New Teacher in School (1982)

1977-83 HMI 'Red Books' Curriculum 11-16:

Red Book 1 (1977) (second edition 1979) Working papers by HM Inspectorate: a contribution to current debate
Red Book 2 (1981) A review of progress
Red Book 3 (1983) Towards a statement of entitlement

1978-85 HMI surveys In response to Plowden's suggestion that the quality of education in England should be reviewed every ten years, HMI produced, between 1978 and 1985, five major surveys covering the whole school age range:

1978 Primary education in England
1979 Aspects of secondary education in England
1982 Education 5 to 9
1983 9-13 Middle Schools
1985 Education 8 to 12 in Combined and Middle Schools

1980 HMI Educational Provision by the Inner London Education Authority: report summarising inspectors' findings over the previous five years.

1982 Study of HM Inspectorate in England and Wales: part of the 'Rayner Review', a series of studies commissioned by the first Thatcher government.

1983 Young children with special educational needs: set out the findings of an HMI survey of the provision made for children with special educational needs in 61 nurseries of various types.

1984-9 Curriculum Matters A series of 17 discussion documents from HMI:

1 English (1984)
2 The Curriculum from 5 to 16 (1985)
3 Mathematics (1985)
4 Music (1985)
5 Home economics (1985)
6 Health education (1986)
7 Geography (1986)
8 Modern foreign languages (1987)
9 Craft, design and technology (1987)
10 Careers education and guidance (1988)
11 History (1988)
12 Classics (1988)
13 Environmental education (1989)
14 Personal and social education (1989)
15 Information Technology (1989)
16 Physical education (1989)
17 Drama (1989)

1990 HMI Language Awareness and Foreign Language Taster Courses: a survey of secondary schools concluded that there was 'very great variability in the aims, content and structure of the courses'.

1990 HMI The Teaching and Learning of Language and Literacy: this inspection review was one of the Aspects of Primary Education series.

1990 HMI The Teaching and Learning of Reading in Primary Schools: this HMI survey concluded that there had been no fall in reading standards since 1978 but that there was still room for improvement.

Ofsted publications

Note: An archive of inspection reports can be found on the Ofsted website

1995 Guidance on the Inspection of Nursery and Primary Schools: handbook for inspectors and schools.

1996 Worlds Apart? A Review of International Surveys of Educational Achievement involving England: prepared for Ofsted by David Reynolds and Shaun Farrell, this review looked at the major international surveys of educational achievement between 1964 and 1990.

1999 Ofsted inspection documents effective from January 2000:

Handbook for Primary and Nursery Schools
Handbook for Secondary Schools
Handbook for Special Schools and Pupil Referral Units
Inspection Forms: forms and guidance notes for all schools.

1999 Ofsted Report Summerhill School (see also 2007).

2002 Ofsted Report Inspection of Birmingham Local Education Authority: described Tim Brighouse's leadership of the Authority as 'outstanding'.

2003 The education of six year olds in England, Denmark and Finland: a comparative study by Ofsted which described 'what England might learn, particularly in terms of the curriculum, teaching and learning, from Denmark and Finland'.

2003 School place planning: The influence of school place planning on school standards and social inclusion: report by Ofsted and the Audit Commission warned that parental choice was exacerbating social divisions.

2003 Bullying: effective action in secondary schools: Ofsted survey, based on visits by HMI to LEAs and schools in 2001/02.

2004 Reading for Purpose and Pleasure: An evaluation of reading in primary schools (December): called for further intervention in schools where reading standards were poor.

2007 Making sense of religion: report on religious education in schools and the impact of locally agreed syllabuses.

2007 Ofsted Report Summerhill School (see also 1999).

2007 Ofsted Annual Report 2006-7 (19 October): newly-appointed HMCI Christine Gilbert's report on the previous year's inspections and on Ofsted's new (broader) remit.

2008 Using data, improving schools: aimed to help schools to make use of data but also to understand its limitations.

2008 Mathematics: understanding the score: presented evidence from inspections of mathematics between April 2005 and December 2007 in 192 maintained schools in England. See also two follow-up documents - one for Primary schools and one for Secondary schools.

2009 Planning for change: the impact of the new Key Stage 3 curriculum: evaluates the progress being made in implementing the new Key Stage 3 curriculum, based on visits to 37 schools between May 2008 and March 2009.

2009 Ofsted Annual Report for 2008-2009: HMCI Christine Gilbert's report on the previous year's inspections.

2010 The National Strategies: a review of impact: evaluated which aspects of the National Strategies' programmes had been effective and which less so.

2012 Moving English forward: report setting out proposals for raising standards in English. (For other reports on the teaching of English see Newbolt 1921, Bullock 1975, Kingman 1988, Cox 1989 and Warwick 1994.)

2013 The framework for school inspection (September). (See also: School inspection handbook; and Subsidiary guidance.)

2017 Bold beginnings: report on the Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding schools visited by HMI in the summer term 2017.

Select Committee reports

reports of the House of Commons Education Select Committee (and a handful from other Parliamentary committees)

1977 The West Indian Community: report of the Commons Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration. Includes a section on education (pages 19-23.)

1981 Racial Disadvantage: report of the Commons Home Affairs Committee. Includes a section on education (pages 54-70.)

2003 Secondary Education: Diversity of Provision: report of the Commons Education Select Committee criticised the government's specialist schools policy.

2005 Secondary Education (17 March): report by the Commons Education Select Committee critical of the academies programme and the government's plans for 'independent specialist schools'.

2006 DfES: Improving school attendance in England: report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

2007 Bullying: report by the Commons Education Select Committee called for a national inquiry into the scale of bullying in schools and was critical of the Roman Catholic Church for refusing to follow government guidelines relating to homophobic bullying.

2007 Sustainable Schools: Are we building schools for the future?: report of the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee

2007 The Academies programme: report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee argued that academies were 'a relatively costly means of tackling low attainment'.

2008 Testing and Assessment: report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee expressed concerns about England's testing regime.

2008 Preparing to deliver the 14-19 education reforms in England: report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee expressed reservations about aspects of the government's diploma proposals.

2008 Getting on, getting ahead (November): discussion document from the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit analysing the trends and drivers of social mobility.

2009 The cumulative impact of statutory instruments on schools: House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee urged the DCSF to reduce the number of regulations affecting schools.

2009 National Curriculum: report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee said the National Curriculum was in 'urgent need of significant reform'.

2010 School Accountability (7 January): report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee on school self-evaluation, inspection, league tables etc.

2011 Behaviour and Discipline in Schools: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee.

2011 Report of the Inquiry into Overcoming the Barriers to Literacy: report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education criticised the government's (phonics) approach to the teaching of reading.

2011 Participation by 16-19 year olds in education and training: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee criticising the govenment's decision to abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance.

2011 The English Baccalaureate: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee warned that there was little support for the government's proposals.

2012 Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee advocating performance-related pay.

2012 The administration of examinations for 15-19 year olds in England: report by the Commons Education Select Committee.

2013 From GCSEs to EBCs: the Government's proposals for reform: the House of Commons Education Select Committee criticised Gove's plans for an English Baccalaureate (which were abandoned a week later).

2013 DfE: Managing the expansion of the Academies Programme: House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report criticising the DfE for its management of the academies programme.

2013 School sport following London 2012: No more political football: report of the House of Commons Education Select Committee urged schools to offer both competitive and non-competitive sporting opportunities to their pupils.

2014 Character and Resilience Manifesto: report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility.

2014 Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee.

2015 Academies and free schools: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee argued that academy chains should be as fully scrutinised as local authorities.

2015 Life lessons: PSHE and SRE in schools: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee said sex education should be compulsory in all primary and secondary schools.

2015 Make or Break: The UK's Digital Future: House of Lords Digital Skills Committee report argued for greater emphasis on the teaching of digital skills.

2015 Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19 year-olds: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee argued for better quality apprenticeships which would not be seen as a 'second class option'.

2015 Closing the gap: the work of the Education Committee in the 2010-15 Parliament: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee summarising its work.

2015 Extremism in schools: the Trojan Horse affair: report by the House of Commons Education Select Committee warning the DfE to be alert to the risks of abuse of academy freedoms.

2016 Training new teachers: report of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee expressed disappointment that the DfE had 'missed its targets to fill teacher training places four years running'.

2017 Capital funding for schools: report of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee described the system for funding new schools and new school places as 'increasingly incoherent and too often poor value for money'.

2019 Disinformation and 'fake news': final report of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended that 'digital literacy should be a fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing and maths'.

2021 Speak for Change: final report of the Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry made a range of recommendations aimed at improving education in oracy.

National Audit Office reports

NAO reports relating to education

2001 Education Action Zones: Meeting the Challenge: report on the lessons identified from auditing the first 25 zones.

2007 The Academies Programme: review of the performance and cost of academies.

2008 Mathematics Performance in Primary Schools: Getting the Best Results: evaluated the extent to which the National Strategy for Mathematics had succeeded in raising performance levels.

2012 Managing the expansion of the Academies Programme: warned that there had been a 1bn overspend on academies in two years.

2013 Capital funding for new school places: warned of a 256,000 shortfall in school places by 2014.

2013 Establishing Free Schools: reported that the first 174 free schools had cost 1.1bn.

2014 Academies and maintained schools: Oversight and intervention: called for more coherent inspection regimes and systems for raising standards.

2014 Investigation into the Education Funding Agency's oversight of related party transactions at Durand Academy: report on the use of public money by Durand Academy Trust which had a 'large number of conflicts of interests'.

2016 Financial sustainability of schools: noted that cost pressures would result in an eight per cent real-terms reduction in per-pupil funding for mainstream schools between 2014-15 and 2019-20.

2023 Condition of school buildings: a comprehensive review of the state of the nation's school buildings in the light of concerns about reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).


documents from local authorities, political parties, the Schools Council and the National Curriculum Council (NCC), plus a handful of speeches

1922 Labour Party Secondary Education for All: policy document edited by RH Tawney.

1947 London County Council The London School Plan: LCC's development plan for post-war education in London included proposals for comprehensive secondary education. Here is the Plan itself, and also Replanning London Schools, a 64-page booklet explaining the background to, and contents of, the Plan.

1951 Labour Party A policy for secondary education: pamphlet setting out the policy on comprehensive schools which the party had adopted in October 1950.

c1960 Middlesex County Council School Health Services: Notes for Parents: a pamphlet setting out the services available in Southgate, Wood Green, Friern Barnet and Potters Bar.

1964 Stewart C Mason The Leicestershire Experiment and Plan: booklet on Leicestershire's scheme for comprehensivisation.

1965 Schools Council Change and Response: the Council's report on its first year of operation.

1967 Schools Council The Educational Implications of Social and Economic Change: contains the papers read at a Schools Council conference held at the University of Nottingham in July 1966 as part of the Council's work in preparation for the raising of the school leaving age to 16 (which eventually took place in 1972).

1970 Sir Alec Clegg Education in Society (text): in his Arthur Mellows Memorial Lecture, Sir Alec offered some radical ideas for the future.

1970 Sir Alec Clegg The centenary of public education (audio): Sir Alec's address as one of the two guests of honour at the celebration in Westminster Hall, which was chaired by Rab Butler. Recording kindly supplied by Sir Alec's son, Andrew (mp4 audio file - click to play).

1972 Sir Alec Clegg Making the whole world wonder (text): an after dinner speech given on 3 August 1972 at the end of a vacation course for teachers at Bingley College of Education.

1976 Jim Callaghan Ruskin College speech (text): the famous speech in which the Prime Minister called for a 'Great Debate' about education.

1981 Schools Council The practical curriculum (Working Paper 70): the Council's contribution to the 'Great Debate'.

1991 NCC Religious Education: A Local Curriculum Framework: a National Curriculum Council paper offering advice to SACREs, agreed syllabus conferences and LEAs.

1993 NCC Spiritual and Moral Development: a discussion paper produced by the National Curriculum Council.

1994 Labour Party Opening doors to a learning society: education policy document prepared by Ann Taylor for the party's annual conference in 1994: Tony Blair declined to endorse it.

1995 Labour Party Diversity and excellence: A new partnership for schools: New Labour's first education policy document.

1996 Tony Blair Ruskin College lecture (text): given on 16 December 1996 to mark the twentieth anniversary of Jim Callaghan's 1976 Ruskin College speech (see above).

2007 Conservative Party Raising the bar, closing the gap: Policy Green Paper No. 1 - 'an action plan for schools'.

2007 Public Record Office of Northern Ireland Education Archive: an invaluable document from PRONI setting out the history of education in Northern Ireland and listing the records held.

2009 Liberal Democrats Equity and Excellence: paper setting out education policies for discussion at the party's spring conference.

2014 Labour Party Review of education structures, functions and the raising of standards for all: Putting students and parents first (the Blunkett Review): policy paper prepared by David Blunkett.

Official Papers

green papers, white papers, policy documents and bills

Green papers set out the broad direction of government policy to inform public discussion; White papers contain specific proposals for government Bills, which, if passed, become Acts of Parliament; recently governments have also published what are described as 'policy documents'.

1941 The 'Green Book' Education After the War: confidential memorandum produced by Board of Education officials. Many of its recommendations - including the 'tripartite' system of secondary schools - were included in the 1943 White Paper.

1943 White Paper Educational Reconstruction: formed the basis of the 1944 Education Act.

1972 White Paper Education: A Framework for Expansion: announced planned increases in nursery provision but mainly focused on the expansion of higher and further education.

1974 White Paper Educational disadvantage and the educational needs of immigrants: set out the government's response to the Report on Education of the Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration.

1977 Green paper Education in schools: a consultative document: requested LEAs to review their curriculum policies as part of the 'Great Debate'.

1978 White Paper Secondary School Examinations - A single system at 16 plus: set out the government proposals for replacing GCE and CSE with the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).

1980 White Paper Special Needs in Education: in this White Paper Margaret Thatcher's first government responded to the recommendations of the 1978 Warnock Report Special Educational Needs. Its proposals formed the basis of the 1981 Education Act.

1981 White Paper A New Training Initiative: set out the first Thatcher government's plans for implementing the proposals of the Manpower Services Commission, including the Youth Training Scheme.

1983 White Paper Teaching Quality: set out the first Thatcher government's thinking on teacher supply and training.

1984 Green Paper Parental Influence at School: proposed that parents should play a major role on school governing bodies.

1985 White Paper Better Schools: incorporated proposals from the 1984 Green Paper; formed the basis of the 1986 (No. 2) Education Act.

1987 White Paper Higher education: meeting the challenge: set out the government's proposals for changes in the structure and planning of higher education.

1991 White Paper Education and Training for the 21st century (May): its proposals were included in the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

1991 White Paper Higher Education: A New Framework (May): its proposals were included in the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

1992 White Paper Choice and Diversity: A new framework for schools: its proposals (including making it easier for schools to achieve grant-maintained status) formed the basis of the 1993 Education Act.

1996 White Paper Self-Government for Schools (June): set out the government's proposals for giving grant-maintained schools more freedom, extending choice and diversity, and encouraging the establishment of new grammar schools.

1996 White Paper Learning to Compete: Education and Training for 14-19 Year Olds (December): set out 'the Government's vision of the education and training world we shall need to meet the demands of the next century'.

1997 White Paper Excellence in schools: formed the basis of the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act.

1997 Green Paper Excellence for all children: Meeting Special Educational Needs: set out five year plan.

1998 Green Paper The Learning Age: a renaissance for a new Britain: set out government proposals for lifelong learning which formed the basis of the 1999 White Paper Learning to Succeed.

1998 Green Paper Teachers: meeting the challenge of change: New Labour's first Green Paper on the teaching profession.

1999 White Paper Learning to Succeed: a new framework for post-16 learning (June): proposed Individual Learning Accounts and the University for Industry (UfI).

2000 Policy Paper A Sporting Future for All: published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this paper set out New Labour's vision for increasing participation in sport.

2001 Green Paper Schools: building on success: trumpeted the achievements of the first New Labour administration and set out an agenda for a second term, proposing greater diversity in secondary schools.

2001 Policy Paper The Learning Country: the National Assembly for Wales announced its intention to create a fully comprehensive system of secondary schools.

2001 White Paper Schools: achieving success: formed the basis of the 2002 Education Act.

2002 Green Paper 14-19: extending opportunities, raising standards: set out proposals for the 14-19 curriculum.

2003 White Paper The future of higher education: controversially proposed allowing universities to charge variable top-up fees; formed the basis of the 2004 Higher Education Act.

2003 Green Paper 14-19: opportunity and excellence: set out proposals for the 14-19 curriculum taking into account responses to the 2002 Green Paper. (Published in two volumes but combined here into a single pdf file).

2003 Green Paper Widening participation in higher education: set out the government's proposals for the creation and remit of the Office for Fair Access.

2003 Policy Paper 21st Century Skills: Realising Our Potential: set out the government's Skills Strategy.

2003 Green Paper Every child matters: proposed the integration of children's services so as to take a holistic view of children and their life chances; formed the basis of the 2004 Children Act.

2004 Green Paper Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners: formed the basis for the 2005 White Paper Higher standards, better schools for all.

2004 Green Paper Ambitious, excellent schools: produced by the Scottish Executive, this was Scotland's version of the Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners.

2005 White Paper 14-19 Education and Skills: rejected most of 2004 Tomlinson Report's recommendations.

2005 White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All: proposed independent trust schools; formed the basis of the 2006 Education and Inspections Bill.

2006 Green Paper Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care: formed the basis of the 2007 White Paper Care Matters: Time for change.

2007 Green Paper Raising Expectations: staying in education and training post-16: proposed that all young people should stay in education or training up to the age of 18.

2007 White Paper Care Matters: Time for change: the Blair government's last education White Paper set out proposals for improving 'the plight of children in care'.

2007 Policy Paper The Children's Plan: Building brighter futures: ambitious plan for all future government policy relating to children, families and schools.

2007 Education and Skills Bill: became the 2008 Education and Skills Act.

2008 White Paper Back on Track: set out the government's proposals for the education of children excluded from school.

2008 Green Paper Excellence and fairness: Achieving world class public services: set out the government's proposals for increasing social mobility.

2008 Green Paper 21st Century Schools: A World-Class Education for Every Child: DCSF consultation paper, part of The Children's Plan.

2009 White Paper New opportunities: Fair chances for the future: set out the government's vision of post-recession Britain.

2009 White Paper Your child, your schools, our future: wide-ranging proposals, including the abandonment of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies; formed the basis of the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

2009 Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill: became the 2009 Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act.

2009 Children, Schools and Families Bill: intended to become the 2010 Children, Schools and Families Act, but a general election meant that almost all its provisions were lost.

2009 Policy Paper Higher Ambitions - The future of universities in a knowledge economy: the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills set out its 10- to 15-year strategy.

2010 Policy Paper Unleashing Aspiration: the government's response to the Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions (see 2009 Milburn Report in Major Reports above).

2010 Academies Bill: the coalition government's proposals for speeding up the conversion of local authority schools into academies.

2010 White Paper The Importance of Teaching: wide-ranging document covering teaching, leadership, behaviour, new schools, accountability etc.

2011 Green Paper Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability: proposed the abolition of statementing and advocated personal budgets.

2011 White Paper Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System: published by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

2011 2011 Education Bill: proposals included the abolition of the General Teaching Council for England, the Training and Development Agency for Schools, the School Support Staff Negotiating Body, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, and the Young People's Learning Agency for England.

2012 White Paper Reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs: its recommendations formed the basis of Part 3 of the 2014 Children and Families Act.

2016 White paper Educational Excellence Everywhere: set out the government's proposals for turning all schools into academies.

2016 Green paper Schools that work for everyone: proposed the creation of new grammar schools and more faith schools.


1780 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) The Education of the Human Race: a book by the influential German philosopher, poet, dramatist and art critic.

1908 Matthew Arnold Reports on Elementary Schools 1852-1882 edited by FS Marvin; contains a selection of Arnold's annual reports on schools and teacher training colleges.

1909 George (Lord) Curzon Principles and Methods of University Reform: the Chancellor of Oxford University set out his thinking on reform.

1911 Edmond Holmes What Is and What Might Be: the former Chief Inspector condemned the arid drill methods of the contemporary elementary school in a book which has been seen as the first manifesto of the 'progressive' education movement (see also Holmes 1914 below).

1913 Edmond Holmes Introduction to A Montessori Mother by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, whose book commended the Montessori system of education to mothers in the US and elsewhere.

1914 Edmond Holmes In Defence of What Might Be: Holmes responded to criticisms of his 1911 book (see above).

1915 AF Leach The Schools of Medieval England: a book charting the history of English schools before the Reformation. (Leach is not without his critics, however. See for example Joan Simon's Education and Society in Tudor England Cambridge University Press 1966.)

1918 New Ideals in Education Educational Experiments by Head Teachers in Elementary Schools: part of the progressive education movement of the early 20th century, New Ideals in Education held annual conferences between 1914 and 1937. This book contains papers from those held in 1914 and 1915.

1918 WH Kilpatrick The Project Method: an article by the American pedagogue who became a major figure in the progressive education movement of the early twentieth century. First published in Columbia University's Teachers College Record and then reprinted in booklet form.

1946 GCT Giles The New School Tie: Giles, a lifelong and passionate advocate of comprehensive schools, gives his views on the 1943 White Paper, the 1944 Education Act, and the Labour government's commitment to the 'tripartite' system.

1954 Robin Pedley Comprehensive Schools Today: contains Pedley's survey of early comprehensive schools, plus critical essays by HC Dent, Harold Shearman, Eric James and WP Alexander.