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Dangers and desires for the decluttered curriculum

Jean Nesbit, president of AEDIPS: "My hope is that, as quality improvement officers, we can assist headteachers to get out of this terrible straitjacket we are in where everything is about results and teaching to 5-14. That has meant that teachers have lost their imagination. I hope that we can use ACE to enrich children's experiences far more than we do."

Laurie O'Donnell, head of future learning and teaching in Learning and Teaching Scotland: "My hope is that we get a world-class education service, and that every young person gets an education that meets their needs which does prepare them for life.

"I share the fear that we strip out some content but that people with a vested interest in the curriculum think they own bits of it and won't want to share that ownership."

Linda Kinney, head of children's services with Stirling Council: "My hope is that it will place greater focus on early learning and children's capacities. One line in the curriculum framework states that the pre-school way of working should move into primary, and my fear is that, whatever sector we are in, we will look to the sector before and get them to back-fill."

Tim Steward, Languages Network manager, Scotland, rejected suggestions that the reforms would need "a lifetime of cultural change" and said: "You have an annual cohort which you will supply to business and industry and you are talking about a lifetime.

"How much do you want to marginalise your kids and your grandchildren? If this is not ready this year, then it should be next year. The timescales have to be short and sharp. We need these young people now."

Richard Coton, head of Monifieth High: "The danger is that we declutter the curriculum and that gives us more opportunities to revise for exams and get even better at it, forcing the kids down the familiar routes - that we get better at passing exams, control them more and they go off with neat labels round their necks that don't mean anything."

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