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ASE Response to Government's draft National Curriculum - The aims need to be clear

18 April 2013

The Government's consultation on the draft National Curriculum has now closed. Annette Smith, ASE Chief Executive made the statement,

"Following extensive consultation with our members from all aspects of science education, ASE has submitted, as part of SCORE, our response to the National Curriculum consultation in England.  We welcomed the opportunity to comment, which we have done in full, and the response has benefitted from the full discussions with our SCORE partners.  Before this draft was produced, ASE was pleased to be involved in work that improved it markedly from the initial draft, particularly in the area of Working Scientifically.

We have considerable concerns, however.  ASE is a member of the Council for Subject Associations and we have links with the Cambridge Primary Review Trust. We also have many primary members.  We consider that, although the individual subject Programmes of Study may be much improved by the consultation process, the overall process is flawed and rushed.  Not enough attention has been paid to implementation and assessment and an impossible task is being set for primary teachers who need to work across the curriculum.  The transition to Key Stage 3 and from the Early Years Foundation Stage is insufficiently thought through. 

We would like to see a clear reworking of the aims of the curriculum, which we feel define insufficiently the purpose of the curriculum, a period of piloting and a managed implementation period. This would allow teachers to introduce changes in a considered way, and would allow professional development, from ourselves and others,  to be effective in supporting them over the period of change."


SCORE response:

CfSA response:


SCORE is a partnership of organisations, which aims to improve science education in UK schools and colleges by supporting the development and implementation of effective education policy.The partnership comprises the Association for Science Education, Institute of Physics, Royal Society, Royal Society of Chemistry and Society of Biology.

CfSA (Council for Subject Associations) supports subject associations like the ASE to support it's members. The Council for Subject Associations exists to strengthen the role, operational effectiveness and influence of subject associations.