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Targets
Targets

‘Target’ has military connotations, and is one of the terms adopted by the world of education that has a combative sound – for example, ‘drive up standards’. Targets have to be ‘challenging’. They are set at different levels – whole school, individual teacher (for his or her classes), and individual pupil level.

Target-setting has become a central practice for the measurement of success in large corporations since the 1970s. Departments were set sales and productivity targets according to certain theories of management, and rewarded accordingly if they reached them.

This procedure was then imported into public services, including both the NHS and schools, during the 1980s. At the same time, schools were assigned individual budgets and separated from local authority funding. The controlling idea was that ...

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