The crucial, distinctive and necessary requirement of universities to act as the conscience and critic of society presses nowhere more immediately than in Departments of Education. They above all must practise as well as preach that message. They have a duty to remind society of its educational promises and to monitor how effectively those promises are being fulfilled, for the fundamental purpose of Departments of Education must be to improve the practice as well as the theory of education. Frequently this involves them in seeking to interpret, extend and give more substance to those promises. And this role has become more important than ever, in this country at this time.