The internal organisation of the school touches on many areas of contemporary debate. Is there such a thing as a 'good school'? Are large urban comprehensives necessarily impersonal? Are the charges of indiscipline, conflict and declining standards in modern schools based on a failure to understand schools as institutions? At the time this book was first published sociological analysis had neglected to consider schools as organisational entities, preferring to see them as either the sites for negotiated encounters between teachers and pupils or else as agencies of class reproduction. The author redresses this imbalance and by relating the various literatures on the school to the constitutive patterns of its internal organisation he demonstrates the need for a more intensive sociological study of this embattled institution.