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FORUM: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education

Every issue of FORUM from its first issue in 1958 is now freely available online at

For over fifty years FORUM has been in the thick of the struggle for comprehensive education in Britain.  Back in the Autumn of 1958 the inaugural issue declared that the journal would concern itself with four principal areas: the new types of school being developed around the country, the steps modern schools were taking to transcend their limitations, the attempt to re-think the way pupils were organised (which meant the movement away from streaming), and new approaches to the content of education.  The journal would provide a basis of facts and ideas, and a locus for lively discussion and the exchange of experiences.  Its pages would be steeped in the issues and questions of the day, for they would be written by those working in the new schools and committed to the new trends in education.

Now the FORUM archive offers readers the chance freely to access every single article ever published in the journal since its inception.  As well as scholarly pieces by writers such as Brian Simon, Michael Armstrong and Constance Rosen, readers will find first-hand accounts of classroom experience by teachers (for example: ‘teaching unstreamed English’ or ‘introducing Nuffield Science into school’).  They will find analysis of the politics of educational change from commentators as acute as Caroline Benn, Robin Pedley and Clyde Chitty.  They will find opinion and discussion pieces by teachers and academics, evidence presented to public commissions (notably the Plowden Committee), critical symposia, case-studies, book-reviews, even a range of adverts for educational books and materials.  ‘Forward Trends in the Treatment of Backward Children’, anyone?

FORUM declared itself a journal by and for teachers, administrators, advisers, parents, governors and councillors.  Their words, and the words of academics, fill the pages of the archive.  Politically engaged, always internationalist (for a while the journal even boasted an American correspondent), rooted in real classrooms and schools, and enduringly at the leading-edge of progressive educational change, the archive is a testimony to victories and defeats as experienced by those who participated in the struggle, and continue to do so.  Multi-racial and anti-racist education, testing and teaching, education 16-19, the 1988 Education Reform Act, assessment, provision for the rising-fives, new technologies in school, the reflective practitioner…  Decade by decade, such sub-headings indicate the wealth of material accessible now at

The Editorial Board of FORUM, and their publishers, are immensely grateful to Angela Cutts, Librarian at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, and to her colleagues, who so kindly (and very bravely) allowed their stock of printed back numbers to be copied to create this archive.




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