1996 Tomlinson Report (text)
Tomlinson Report (1996)
Report of the Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities Committee
The Further Education Funding Council 1996
© Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.
John Tomlinson (1932-2005) was educated at Stretford Grammar School, Manchester University, and the Institute of Historical Research.
After serving as a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force from 1955 to 1958, he taught for two years and then became a local authority education officer, first in Shropshire and then in Lancashire. In 1967 he was appointed Deputy Director of Cheshire Local Education Authority, becoming Director in 1971.
From 1985 until his retirement in 1997 he was Professor of Education at the University of Warwick and Director of the University's Institute of Education. Following his retirement he was appointed emeritus professor.
He served on a large number of public bodies: he was chair of the Schools Council from 1978 to 1981, President of the Society of Education Officers from 1982 to 1985, and Chair of the Council of the Royal Society of Arts from 1989 to 1991. He was a significant figure in the creation of the General Teaching Council.
The Guardian described him as 'a prophet':
During his career he anticipated and pioneered significant educational ideas: residential centres, comprehensives, inter-professional collaboration in the interests of the whole child, self-reflective schools and inclusive education. At a time when most of society's ills were being laid at the door of teachers, he nourished their self-respect and dedication, and conveyed his enthusiasm in elegant prose, and powerful, witty speeches and lectures (Obituary, 30 August 2005).
The report was commissioned by the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) following the new responsibilities placed on the Council and the colleges by the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.
The Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities Committee, chaired by John Tomlinson, was given the following terms of reference:
Having regard to the Council's responsibilities towards students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, to review the range and type of further education provision available, and to make recommendations as to how, within the resources likely to be available to it, the Further Education Funding Council can, by working with colleges and others, best fulfil its responsibilities towards these students under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (page 203)The Committee's work took three years (1993-96). An account of their strategy with regard to evidence can be found in Appendix 2 to Annex F
See also the 1997 report Learning Works: Widening Participation in Further Education, produced by the FEFC's Widening Participation Committee, chaired by Helena Kennedy.
Summary of the report's recommendations
The report's key aim was the development of a more inclusive further education sector.
It recommended that:
The report online
The complete report, published by the Further Education Funding Council as a 266-page A4-size paperback, is presented in a single web page. I have not reproduced the two-column layout of the original. Blank pages have been omitted.
The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 21 May 2021.