School leaders lack confidence in teaching the new curriculum, survey shows

17th December 2015 at 13:48
picture of secondary students

School leaders have revealed a lack of confidence in implementing the government’s new national curriculum in key subjects.

In a survey, grave concerns were raised about teaching the new curriculum in subjects such as languages and computing, with just 51 per cent and 40 per cent of respondents stating they were confident, respectively.

According to the government’s own figures, confidence was higher among senior staff in teaching the likes of English and maths, with 80 per cent and 78 per cent responding positively.

In science, however, respondents were less confident with 24 per cent stating they had doubts about teaching it.    

The findings were taken from the government’s Teacher Voice survey of 2,088 senior leaders and 1,643 teachers over June and July.

Ministers are likely to be most concerned about confidence around teaching languages and computing at both secondary and primary levels. 

Across all subject areas where school leaders lacked confidence about teaching the new curriculum, the main reason given was a lack of proper training for staff.

In computing, 30 per cent of respondents said the absence of decent staff training was the reason for their fears about teaching the subject. 

The Department for Education said it introduced the new curriculum to bring the country's schools on par with the best in the world.

“We trust teachers to adapt and this latest survey shows an improving picture, with three quarters of senior leaders confident in their school’s ability to implement the new national curriculum in English, maths and science, and confidence growing across every subject area," a DfE spokesperson added. "We have provided more than £4.5 million for specific initiatives to support teachers in getting ready for new curricula in computing and languages.”

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