ACfE has lost its momentum
Brian Boyd and Keir Bloomer, members of the original curriculum review group and both on the board of the Tapestry partnership, separately criticised its development.
Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, told the conference she was providing the political leadership for ACfE, but that schools and teachers should be reforming the curriculum, rather than waiting for central direction.
She is expected to try and inject fresh vigour into the programme next week when she launches the next curriculum framework document, "Building the Curriculum 3", which will be linked to changes in the qualifications structure.
Mr Bloomer, however, said that in three-and-a-half years, little more had been done to implement the new curriculum than the creation of a website and the publication of 12 sets of learning outcomes. "This is the slowest of any national development programmes so far, and the result is that the momentum has drained away," said the former chief executive of Clackmannanshire Council.
He blamed the loss of momentum on the resignation of former education minister Peter Peacock through illness and the change of government last year.
Professor Boyd described the five levels from age 3-15 and eight curricular areas that had emerged in ACfE as "completely arbitrary" and not part of the original vision. The "big hitters" of HMIE, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, business and industry, and the universities had to come on board, he said, if A Curriculum for Excellence was to mean anything.