Any curriculum shake-up must focus on skills

14th January 2011 at 00:00

Though I agree with many of Brian Lightman's observations about the English Bac ("Bac to bac problems with this qualification", January 7), his statement at the end - "I am far from convinced that ad hoc changes to performance tables are the best way to implement a 21st-century curriculum which will genuinely raise our standing in the international stakes" - left me disappointed.

Surely a curriculum designed and appropriate for the challenges our young people will face now and in the future should concern itself with far more than how it might enhance our standing in international comparisons?

Countries currently at the top of international education league tables, such as Singapore and South Korea, are recruiting skilled people from overseas to fill gaps in their job markets, meaning they are short of home-grown talent to fill vital roles. Any curriculum revision has to have a sober appraisal of the skills our young people need now and will need, so that they can be adaptable in a whole host of difficult-to-predict and unimagined scenarios.

Rather than proposing "reforms" more in tune with bygone ages, is it too much to ask that our political leaders should be forward-looking, open to current, peer-reviewed evidence, and should always favour innovation over orthodoxy?

Helen Flynn, Campaign for State Education, Harrogate.

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