Originally published in 1990. The rapid decline in the birth rate in the 1970s and the resulting fall in school rolls had a dramatic effect on the curriculum, staffing, organization and management of schools. This book focuses on the national and local politics surrounding school closures, amalgamations and the replacement of sixth forms with tertiary colleges. The author illuminates the changing politics of education through an analysis based on research in LEAs including Birmingham and Manchester. He explores the roles of central government, local education authorities and the politics of increased parental choice. The book shows how spare capacity in schools captures the political struggle between those concerned to protect the post-war tradition of educational opportunity for all and the New Right who want to seize the chance to place schools in the market place, expanding consumer choice and public accountability.