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Curriculum trimmed down for millennium;Curriculum 2000

THIS latest review of the national curriculum was always intended to owe more to evolution than revolution.

Coming after the Dearing review of 1993-94, its brief was to cut content and increase flexibility. The new national curriculum for 2000 is a leaner version of the present document.

When the formal review was announced in May last year Education Secretary David Blunkett emphasised the importance of cutting curriculum content to create more time for the 3Rs and new lessons in citizenship, moral values and preparation for adult life.

Mr Blunkett said he wanted teachers to have the freedom to decide which subjects to teach and how to deliver them.

The proposals aim to ensure stability in schools by keeping changes to a minimum but also develop an explicit rationale for the curriculum.

For the first time the aims and values of the curriculum are summed up in a non-statutory introduction and each subject is prefaced by a statement explaining its role in the wider curriculum.

Subject organisations, headteachers and local authorities took part in an informal three months consultation which led to the formal document published this week.

The formal consultation runs until Friday July 23. A random sample of schools has been selected to receive a consultation pack and questionnaire. Anyone else who wants to take part in the consultation can obtain the pack from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority website http:www.qca.org.uk or by contacting the QCA orderline on 01787 884444.

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