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ASE and the new National Curriculum

8 March 2012

Last September, I was asked to speak on a panel at a half-day conference on science in the new National Curriculum. At the time, we all thought that by March 2012 we would have Programmes of Study to look at, and I assumed that I would be able to have something wise to say about them. As it turns out, I am still due to speak, but there are no Programmes of Study on general release, which leaves something of a vacuum in my subject matter.

However, I would like to take the longer view. As a CEO, I am required to be a strategist and the important point for ASE’s strategy and our actions over the next few months is that there will be curriculum change in England. We naturally need to convey the voice of the profession in a detailed response to the proposals, but we also need to think about the support necessary over the next couple of years.

The development of the new strategic plan for ASE, of which I have written before, is forming nicely, with three Strategic Objectives. This is by no means finalised yet, but each time an issue occurs, such as the development of the new National Curriculum, it’s important to test how the strategy would help us deal with it. In this case, in the context of the triplet of objectives being proposed, we could ask:

  • Has ASE’s voice been heard in the development of the curriculum and in the production of the Programmes of Study?
  • What kind of support will our members and science teachers at large need as the change takes place?
  • Is ASE suitably agile and sufficiently well-resourced to produce the appropriate support in a timely fashion, nationally and locally?

The three proposed strategic objectives being about voice, support for science education and the maintenance and improvement of the organisation. To me, this seems to capture the essence of what is needed – I’d be very interested to hear further thoughts.

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