This article essays comparisons between nineteenth- and twentieth-century school management and its direction and control by central government. Its starting point is 1816 when Jeremy Bentham presented his utopian vision of a model school, to be managed by a school master exhibiting competences detailed in his Chrestomathic Table. This has similarities to the headteachers’ competences required in the late twentieth century by the government through the Teacher Training Agency. The article presents several areas for comparisons in addition to competences: definitions of effective management, governance and local community influence and the focus on quality assurance. Both periods have seen major changes in educational management and administration but will the lessons learnt from these innovations when first introduced in the nineteenth century be transferred to the late twentieth century
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