My second concern relates to what pupils do in lessons. It is becoming a given orthodoxy that schools impart "skills", and it is now common to find educationists talking about "content-free" curricula and using a dominant language of "competences". This should worry us, for it is at the expense of knowledge and understanding.
I welcome the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's attempt to express the subjects in terms of key concepts. This encourages learning for understanding deeper learning, subject to disciplined frameworks and methods, which is what our information age needs more than ever before. But new flexibilities may again be taken as a short cut to quick-fix, integrated "foundation" courses in KS3. I am convinced that yet more numeracy and literacy, financial well-being and cooking will not help children to grapple with their futures with confidence if the humane subjects are pushed aside.
Dr David Lambert