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National Strategies won't be missed

Further emphasising education's status as a political football, there comes the news of the Government's intended abolition of the National Strategies and their attendant coterie of one-size-fits-all consultants.

Having imposed a pedagogical straitjacket on schools for the past 10 years in the name of "raising standards", the Government is apparently admitting that the game is up.

For the surface gains in test scores that were initially made, hundreds of thousands of children - especially in primaries - have been force fed a restricted diet of test-based mathematics and English to the exclusion of the intended broad and balanced curriculum. Perhaps children's learning needs will now re-emerge as the centre of schools' planning rather than covering testable areas to inflate test scores.

Professor Bill Boyle, Chair of Educational Assessment, School of Education, Manchester University.

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