The Education Reform Act 1988 (ERA) has had a major impact on the management of external relations in schools. The Act’s emphasis on competition has encouraged a radical reappraisal of the way in which schools relate to their various ‘publics’. The external world is regarded increasingly as critically important in generating clients and securing the income that is dependent on successful recruitment. The changed climate of external relations is stressed by Sayer:
The relationship of school and context was formerly a grey area, an extension of normal school organization, little considered and less esteemed in the practice of schooling. It is now quite clearly and starkly the priority for future development in both the practice and the theory of management.