The phrase ‘quality management’ is by definition attractive to managers, who if only superficially would wish to be associated with this term. However, when it comes to analysing precisely what this means in the context of schools, many are deterred whilst others continue to pay lip-service to a phrase which provides some gratification by even a fleeting association. The problem is that to pursue quality management goals is to strike at the heart of most conventional school management practices, a task which has to be achieved against the backdrop of the 1988 Education Act, with its defined targets and prescribed curriculum content. School managers who are sincere in their desire to adopt a quality management approach will be both inviting and demanding active participation and openness at all levels. Those who do not feel truly comfortable with this situation should not get beyond an initial flirtation with a concept that they may consider desirable but which in reality will be unattainable.