This spring, teachers will have the chance to influence the future of the school curriculum. Government proposals for revised "early learning goals" for three to five-year-olds have already gone out for consultation, and draft plans for a national curriculum for 2000 will be distributed in May.
Although it's clear that the Government won't turn when it comes to English and maths, there is still much to play for - for instance, the place of citizenship, health and social education.
The early years document sensibly proposes that key stage 1 should start at the beginning of Year 1, rather than on every child's fifth birthday, and moots a foundation stage for ages three to five. But Ministers and officials are caught between the wish for a more informal, play-based curriculum and the belief that concrete foundations for the 3Rs require more structure. There are widespread concerns among the early years lobby that the new document is bringing literacy-hour style prescription down to an even younger age. We hope teachers will read both sets ofproposals carefully and have their say.
Diane Hofkins Editor, TES Primary