My main aim of this assignment is to critically discuss how and in what ways the role of the teacher has altered as a result of legislation since and including the 1988 Education Reform Act. So, in order to fulfil this purpose it will be useful to concentrate on the major issues and changes that have effected schools and teachers as a result of the transformation of the Education System.
Among the people with whom most teachers have professional relationships, several groups may be distinguished, which potentially have considerable influence upon the role of the teacher. So, for this reason, the most appropriate way to begin would be by defining the 1988 Education Reform Act which has had an immense effect on the role of the teacher in the modern era. It was the most important and far-reaching educational law-making for England and Wales since the Education Act of 1944 and it altered the basic power structure of the education system.
Maclure (1992:1) describing this change says:
"It increased the powers of the Secretary of State for Education and Science and it restored to the central government powers over the curriculum which had been surrendered between the wars and set up formal machinery for exercising and enforcing these powers and responsibilities. It also introduced important limitations on the functions of the LEA's, who were forced to give greater autonomy to schools and governing bodies."
The most obvious and striking aspect of the new Act, which greatly changed the work of teachers, was the establishment for the first time of a prescribed national curriculum for all state schools from the age of 5 upwards.
Chitty (1999:30) explaining in detail this major change says:
"The 1988 Act defined mathematics, English and science as core subjects with a second group of foundation subjects...