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About Steve

Steve Lancaster is a writer and editor with 20 years' experience in publishing and journalism, both in the UK and in Australia. He's also an experienced vegetarian and vegan chef, has taught history, and is a feisty campaigner.

Website: http://www.newint.com.au/shop/steve-lancaster-p417.htm

The slow death of quality resources for schools

When, in 1992, I started to work in publishing for schools in the UK, the future looked bright. The Government had recently introduced a National Curriculum. So, for the first time, publishers could produce textbooks knowing that all schools in the UK would be covering the same subject matter. In the UK, there were around 4,000 secondary schools teaching around 4 million students and since it was the policy of most schools to buy ‘class sets’, there was a large market to target. Provided that publishers found the right format and approach, they could expect sales in their thousands. At the same time, technology was changing. Design was moving from the drawing board to the computer. Printing presses were becoming digitised, lowering costs. For the first time, printing textbooks in colour was becoming affordable even for small publishers.

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