In 1988 Kingman published the Report of the Committee of Enquiry into the Teaching of the English Language (the Kingman Report). This was a document commissioned by the British government in response to fears that standards of English were falling. Its object was to propose a basic framework on which more detailed syllabus plans could be constructed so as to produce generations of school leavers who would be equipped with the necessary linguistic skills required for employment. It also had the more humane aim of recommending how teachers might develop and shape their pupils’ language so that they could express themselves more articulately in other social contexts. The publication of the Kingman Report is a useful starting point for our discussion of language variety both because of its genesis, and because of the specific recommendations that all pupils should be taught ‘Standard English’.