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Don't be bound by 'tyranny of timetable'

Cameron Harrison, the curriculum council's chief executive, last week signalled the council's intent when he asked history teachers in St Andrews: "Why are we bound by the tyranny of the timetable in secondary schools because they certainly are not in primary?"

Mr Harrison said: "We are bound into the notion that we must organise the curriculum into chunks with a little of these chunks happening every week. Can we not reconceptualise in a way that gives us rather more freedom and takes away the obstacles to good teaching?" There were professional challenges teachers should not duck because of self-interest, Mr Harrison said. It was "not acceptable" for them to continue practices that were not in the interests of young people. He told the conference: "Please do not man the barricades because there are not many places to retreat."

Mr Harrison said the need to make subject choices in S2 distorted content and methodology in the first two years, had a serious effect on the 5-14 curriculum and washed back into primary.

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