A Level chem-past papers helpWatch
When excess hot NaOH (aq) reacts, the first ring should break to COONa and ONa as in the mark scheme. But why cant the second ring form a phenol i.e OH gets added to it from NaOH? The mark scheme shows NaO added to the second ring.
There's certainly no NaO involved in any of this. However the answer to your question is that OH- doesn't react with the benzene ring because it is a nucleophile, and reaction with the benzene ring requires an electrophile.
Why aren't the products given in the attached file below not formed? What makes the difference?