Past TimesEd

25 years ago May 27, 1977

A NATIONAL framework for primary and secondary curricula is to be proposed by Education Secretary Shirley Williams in a Green Paper. Teachers will be free to decide how to teach the subjects considered to be essential. English, maths, religious education and probably a foreign language and science will be the basic core subjects in secondary schools. Primary schools should concentrate on reading, writing and arithmetic. No other curriculum aims should deflect primary teachers from making sure that their pupils can read, write and add up.

50 years ago May 30, 1952

OCCASIONALLY a famous public or grammar school will publish an inquiry into what its boys want to do in life choices. It is remarkable how few declare a preference for industry or business. Headmasters are happy about the professions and the civil service; they feel their work has been well done when a boy goes out to administer a colony, as 50 years ago his father did a tract of India. For industry, there is a marked lack of enthusiasm. The prejudice will die, but the need for its death is urgent. It is fantastic to suppose that the government of a territory oversea is more dignified, more humane, than the government of 2,000 fellow citizens in a factory.

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