Dr Adam Kirk Edgerton, Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute
With sweeping ambition, Brighouse and Waters’ About Our Schools provides a compelling narrative of how markets came to dominate education policy-making since the 1970s – and how we can change course. Throughout the bulk of the book is a detailed review of educational policy in England and its trend towards centralisation, their insights, drawing upon personal interviews with dozens of policy-makers, also ring true for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic. They provide a compelling account of what happened to the hope and optimism of the post Second World War era, avoiding nostalgia, and acknowledging where trust in the system of public education went awry. And by proposing 39 policy solutions ranging from smarter accountability to fairer admissions, the authors deliver a sweeping road map to transform English schools from islands of autonomous competition towards a cohesive, collaborative whole.