On the Review of the National Curriculum
20 December 2011
I’ve started to write this a number of times, and each time another development has sent me back to the beginning again. Now we have a statement on the Review of the National Curriculum and the release of the Expert Panel report, perhaps I can safely put fingers to keys without having to reach for delete immediately.
On the review of the National Curriculum, there is much to admire in the Expert Panel report. I am delighted to see the focus on purpose – not just overarching, but for each subject – as I’ve been arguing for this for quite some time. At the time of writing, I haven’t studied the entire document or the other materials that are about to be released, but there will be much more to pick over and take forward in the New Year. I am very pleased that some of the major players – David Russell from the DfE, Stephen Twigg, Labour Education shadow minister and Tim Oates from the Expert Panel will all be at the ASE's Annual Conference in January to take the debate forward.
The main press point from the latest announcement is, of course, the delay by a year of the introduction of the new curriculum which could lead to the question – what do teachers do in the interim? Well, there will be quite a few answers to that at the Conference as well – attendance really should be compulsory!
Over the past week or so, I have had cause to reflect on the work that ASE has done, as I spend some time thinking of bon mots to drop in when I am called upon to say a few words at various events at the Conference. We have done much on practical and outdoor science in the past twelve months, for example, some with collaborators and some by ourselves. I wonder whether or not it will make any difference. Only time will tell, of course. I’m convinced that there is more work to do in making the case to government, so I will be making sure that we carry the campaign on into next year.
There will be many other issues next year and we will be very careful to select the arguments which will have traction. We can’t say (to quote the Marx brothers) “whatever it is, I’m against it” or protest too much (Shakespeare) or our comments have much less chance of being valued.
For now, though, I wish you all the very best for the holiday season and I hope to see you in Liverpool for a brave new 2012.
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