Bullock Report (A Language for Life)

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A Language for Life, better known as the Bullock Report, was a UK government report published in 1975 by an independent committee, chaired by Alan Bullock, set up by the government to consider the teaching of language.

Its primary recommendation was that "every secondary school should develop a policy for language across the curriculum".

The Bullock report also called for a re-examination of the debate into what English was, how it should be taught and what needs to be covered. This went on to produce the Cox Report 1989 and the National Curriculum for English followed.[1]

The Bullock Report had a major influence on the thinking of English teachers in the second half of the 1970s and early 1980s; but it was moved to the background by less optimistic and humanistic influences, and the greater emphasis on employability of the Thatcher years. It still makes powerful reading.


  1. ^ An overview commentary on the Bullock Report is provided by: Tom McArthur (1998). "BULLOCK REPORT". Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Encyclopedia.com.  See http://www.encyclopedia.com.
  • The Bullock Report: The Coming of the Age of Democracy, by W. B. Creighton 1977 Cardiff University.
  • Teaching for literacy : reflections on the Bullock report, by F. R. Davis, & R.P. Parker 1978 Ward Lock Pubs.