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The British government has instituted a wide range of educational reforms to tackle ethnic inequality. This article argues that over the past half century most of these have been driven by immediate political considerations and have failed to incorporate a broader, historical perspective. This has invariably led to short-term, and short cut, solutions to long-term, deeply entrenched problems that, in reality, transcend the world of education. The article evaluates all the major reform programs, ranging from assimilationism to multicultural education to anti-racist education. It concludes with discussion of the merits/demerits of faith schools and the use of school reorganization as a means of tackling ethnic segregation.

Original publication





Book title

International Encyclopedia of Education, Third Edition

Publication Date



737 - 745