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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 11 June 2012
The other review is misleading. This book is recommended as a text for some PGCE courses and gives a good, if simple, introduction to the intricacies of English and Welsh schooling up to late 2008 (i.e. before Free Schools came on the scene).
The authors' perspective is politically and economically astute and I am finding it a useful guide in my training to become a teacher. It provides the practical introduction to the development of schooling that is often missing from other books I'm reading. It is not a guide to the philosophical concepts on which discussions of education theory are based and a PhD student would probably find this book less useful than a BEd or PGCE level student would, but there are plenty of theory-texts for that purpose.
A good buy if you want to understand the practicalities and the politics of working in schools in England and Wales.
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on 19 April 2013
I am currently in my second year of A Levels and the topic in my Politics A Level is Education Policy. The exam board did not provide any textbook but recommended this book as an 'optional and not compulsory' read.

After working my way through it, I have knowledge far superior to that of my classmates and I personally think it should be made a compulsory textbook when studying education policy.

It has vast amounts of complex and important information but is presented in an easy and straight talking way making it a very easy read.

I commend the writer for creating a book with such in depth debate presented in a practical way and I would recommend this book for anyone interested or studying education policy.
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on 31 October 2013
If you are studying Criminology at University Degree Level this is one of the books you will likely be required to purchase as part of your studies.

My 5 star review is for price, quality of packaging and speed of arrival, plus Amazon Customer Service Support
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on 16 May 2011
The reader looking for a broad analysis of 'Key Issues in Education Policy' will be disappointed.

A more accurate title would be: 'A Description of some English School Education Policies'.

There is nothing in this book about the education policies followed either in other anglophone countries, or in neighbouring countries in Europe. The result is a text that fails to contextualise. How can the reader make sense of the information about the introduction of the National Curriculum in England, for example, without knowing how, or if, this fitted into a wider trend? If the National Curriculum was the chosen policy solution in England, what solutions did other countries choose, and with what results?

Indeed, the authors hardly even mention the different policies pursued in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland; they thereby waste a valuable opportunity to compare and contrast different policies, philosophies and outcomes.

The book's evidence base seems somewhat limited; research findings that could help the reader to understand the outcomes of policies are seldom mentioned. Surely it is relevant to ask, for example, how the policies described actually impacted upon student performance. But this kind of question is not addressed.

Furthermore, the text focuses almost exclusively on schools. Policy approaches to education before compulsory school age, education in the workplace, informal and non-formal education, or lifelong learning, are not described. This means that the reader cannot situate the information provided in its wider regional, let alone national or international context.

So, while the authors present a clear and accessible, diachronic description of major developments in English government policy on school education, they have some further work to do before this book can accurately be called 'Key Issues in Education Policy'.
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on 17 November 2014
Useful book.
Thought it would arrive quicker.
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on 29 January 2015
an enjoable book to read and digest
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on 18 October 2015
Makes for an interesting read
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