There was once agreement that education was too important to be left to politicians; now the view is that education is too important to be left to teachers. Whereas the curriculum and syllabus were previously the concern of the professionals, the government now distrusts these professionals. This has resulted in the Secretary for State assuming massive powers in a series of Education Acts, and there is now a national curriculum which intrudes into the fine details of the syllabus. Equally, the twin concepts of accountability and cost effectiveness are now as common in discussions about education as they are in discussions on industry and commerce.; These trends, however, are not restricted to any level of education or to any one country. They are as widespread in the great universities as they are in primary schools, and they are on the agenda not only in Britain and Europe, but in Australia, the US and virtually every country in the developed and developing world. With this in mind, this book examines the role of the state in education in many different countries and cultures.