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Ministers Want a Return to “Public School” Curriculum?

Thursday 20th January 2011

As the government today launches the biggest review of education in 20 years, teachers and academics are calling for what they consider to be essential subjects for learning and understanding society, like citizenship, to remain a compulsory part of the curriculum.

The Telegraph reports that Michael Gove has called for proper mental arithmetic, algebra by the age of 11 and a greater focus on foreign languages. This follows a shake-up of GCSE league tables to ensure schools enter pupils for examinations in the core subjects. Under last week’s reforms, pupils are awarded an “English Baccalaureate” for gaining a C grade or above in English, mathematics, science, a language and one humanities subject, however it was reported last week that only one in six pupils passed this new benchmark.

Today, the Government has said that it will announce a panel of senior head teachers and academics that will carry out a complete review of the current framework. It will be led by Tim Oates, director of research at the Cambridge Assessment exam board. The new primary and secondary school curriculum is expected to be in place by September 2013.

Last night, teachers’ leaders accused ministers of advocating a return to the “public school curriculum they were taught over 25 years ago”. Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT union, said: “Teachers want another curriculum review like a hole in the head. This is a pointless review when ministers have already determined that children should have a 1950s-style curriculum."

 

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