ABSTRACT

Since the early 1990s, there has been a proliferation of ‘flagship’ national educational policy programmes in Europe, North America, Australasia and South-east Asia which have sought to ‘transform’, ‘renew’, ‘turnaround’, ‘future proof’, ‘regenerate’, ‘(re)build’ or ‘(re)design’ schools and schooling, often ‘for the twenty-first century’. Some well-documented examples include: Australia’s Building the Education Revolution (BER), the Portuguese School Modernisation Programme, the school ‘turnaround’ programme in the USA, and – our focus in this chapter – the English BSF programme. While successive high-profile educational policy interventions have been a ‘fact of life’ in these geographical contexts for at least the last century (Woolner et al. 2005), these more recent policy programmes seem to us to share some particular, and in some respects unprecedented, characteristics.