History of the Advisory Centre for Education

History of The Advisory Centre for Education

The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) was founded in 1960. Its creators were Michael Young, Lord Young of Dartington, a social activist and politician, and Brian Jackson, a respected and influential sociologist of education.

Michael Young was a unique figure in 20th century social reform and ACE was the result of his passion for education and consumer rights. Some of his other initiatives, such as WHICH? magazine and the creation of the Open University became world famous institutions.

Starting from a £1 a week bicycle shop in Cambridge, public demand for ACE's work grew enormously, along with its scope and influence in the development of education law and policy.

In the 1960s parents knew very little about what went on inside the school gates, so ACE was set up to campaign for their right to be more actively involved.

The 1970s saw progress in this area, as the government began to explore the link between schools and community in greater depth.

Equal opportunity for girls was the subject of much of ACE's advice during the 1980s, and it campaigned on issues such as racial equality, school closures and corporal punishment.

In the 1990s ACE worked to share its expertise in innovative ways, developing the Step-by-Step manuals for community advisors, providing tailored specialist training for other community support groups, and opening a second telephone advice line purely for exclusions.

In the 2000s, the huge social value of ACE's work was officially recognised with regular government funding, and this enabled ACE to expand advice services even further.

In 2010 ACE celebrated its 50th birthday. The Golden Anniversary was the perfect occasion to recognise everything that ACE had achieved over the years. The education landscape in 2010 was almost unrecognisable from that of 1960. Thanks to ACE, parents have greater power now to understand and influence the issues surrounding their children's education.