Bloomer slams 'cop-out' curriculum

17th May 1996 at 01:00
David Henderson reports on the political pledges made to the Association of Head Teachers at Dunblane. The 5-14 programme is a "cop-out" that has done nothing to narrow the divide between primary and secondary school, Keir Bloomer, director of education and community services in Clackmannan, declared.

Mr Bloomer said: "If we are going to grasp the issues of keeping children, especially those not well supported by their family and not well motivated, in meaningful contact with education over that transition and into the middle ages of secondary education, we are going to have to look at this an awful lot more seriously and radically than we do just now."

The curriculum in the first two years of secondary school was "uniquely fragmented" largely because of vested interests among teachers, he said. Whatever its advantages, the programme was not set up to help children over a difficult stage of development and was far removed from its doomed forerunner, the 10-14 programme.

Scotland was no longer at the "cutting edge of educational advancement", Mr Bloomer warned, in spite of progress in many areas. Provision for science and technology was inadequate in primaries and there was little progression into secondary.

Challenging other conventional beliefs, he argued that the emphasis in primaries on modern language learning was misplaced because teacher training did not have a compulsory element of language learning and English was the dominant world language. "It is little more than a fig-leaf for the Government's determination to appear like good Europeans, now probably a thing of the past," he stated.

Mr Bloomer also warned that parents were being deluged with "assessment-speak gibberish, incomprehensible to all"

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