Sandra, an experienced special school teacher, had sat through the mathematics coordinator’s presentation on the Dearing Review and was experiencing an overwhelming sense of deja-vu . When the National Curriculum was first introduced she had expressed doubts about its relevance to her pupils. She couldn’t understand why her headteacher had been so determined that the school should follow it and she was convinced that the new orders made it no more likely that her pupils would achieve an acceptable standard in the subject.