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One head's search for evidence

Headteacher Sue Tite hopes the review will help map the future of primary teaching based on evidence rather than political motivation. Mrs Tite, head of of the 380-pupil Selby Abbey, Selby, North Yorkshire, is a member of the review's advisory committee. She was training as a teacher at about the time of the Plowden report.

Mrs Tite said: "We have had so many politically-driven initiatives guiding or misguiding primary education. This review in its rigorous approach to research will perhaps give us an objectivity about where we are doing things well, good practice and what we should be building upon."

She believes that the national curriculum was a useful document to work to, but it became too prescriptive. She said: "It took an awful lot of schools a long time to put curriculum activities in place for children that many of us felt were not what children needed at that age.

"I don't think the strategies for numeracy and literacy in their original form were particularly helpful. The revised strategies may be more helpful.

"But they did enable teachers to look more systematically at skills-based teaching and that has been beneficial.

"I do think that there are better reading and writing skills at key stage 2 now."

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