This paper reviews significant events of the last 25 years in schools and teacher education in England and looks ahead to the next 25 years. Various scenarios for the future are examined and the potential is considered for new forms of teachers' initial education and continuing professional development using information and communications technology. It is concluded that the current centrally-controlled national system is increasingly inappropriate to present needs and will fracture under the combination of pressures of a commodified education market, learners' consumerist expectations of personalised provision, and networks of informal learning enabled by widespread access to portable communications technology. Four lessons from this future prediction are drawn, with recommendations for radical changes in government policy and orientation. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.