Beyond the basics to the core

27th September 1996 at 01:00
It is disturbing that primary headteachers continue to equate the "basics" with the "core subjects" of the national curriculum (TES, September 13). The basics are, in particular, the skills of numeracy and literacy. The core subjects - English, maths, and science, involve far more than these skills.

Indeed, it can be argued that it is these subjects above all that eat into the time said to be required for the "basics". It should be stressed that the foundation subjects, not least geography and history, should equally be seen as contributing importantly to the development of basic skills. The crisis engendered by the Government, media and right-wing critics should not divert us from the return of a broad and balanced national curriculum.

BILL MARSDEN Professor of education University of Liverpool

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today