The Escort uses a pretty standard set up of discs at the front and drums at the rear. It uses a dual circuit hydralic system which is diagonaly split across the wheel so that each part of the system operates one front caiper on one side of the car and a rear drum on the opposite. This is a safety feature so that if one system fails you still have braking on both sides of the car. This is achieved by using a dual master cylinder. This is basically two master cylinders sat in line in one body with each of the two parts plumbed into one front calliper and one rear drum.
The mk3 Escort has never been famed for it's aw inspiring brakes. In fact, the feel of the brake pedal has come in for some criticism over the years. This can be improved on with one easy modification, change the master cylinder! The 1.6 engined mk4 Orion uses a larger master cylinder than the Escort. As this master cylinder is still of the same design and layout, it can be simply fitted in place of the Escorts original instantly giving a firmer pedal feel and inspiring a little more confidence. It also prepares the braking system for future upgrades such as those listed below.For information on how to fit the Orion master cylinder please refer to your maintanence manual and treat as an ordinary master cylinder.
Orion 1.6i - Master Cylinders - Escort Series 2 RS Rurbo
The other improvement is to the flexible brake hoses, they'll be a bit old and tired by now so replace them with a set of braided hoses. These have a metal braid outer sheath which prevents the hose from expanding like a balloon when brake pressure is applied. They are easily available from most stockists and are a direct replacement.