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Re the review

May I, as Sarah's Dad, write in support of the excellent and timely advice which John Dunford is offering to Sir Ron Dearing (TES, November 24), but may I add two caveats?

First, "greater emphasis on a modular approach" may be a sensible proposal, but we urgently need some independent research on the student experience of modules before the whole education system from 14 to 25 (or 65) goes modular.

Second, "core skills should be made compulsory for all post 16 students".

But if Sir Ron Dearing's reforms of the national curriculum were truly to be implemented by schools, there would be no need for core skills. Why do we need to teach 16 to 19-year-olds to communicate in their mother tongue, to count and to talk a foreign language?

Shouldn't they be competent in all these areas as a result of studying the national curriculum from 5 to 16?

PROFESSOR FRANK COFFIELD School of Education University of Durham

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