Fact, fact, fact! Who put the philistines in charge?

22nd June 2012 at 01:00

I would like to support Professor Andrew Pollard's remarks on the proposed "revised curriculum" quoted in the national press ("Experts wanted to quit curriculum panel over 'prescriptive proposals'", 15 June). These "leaked" curriculum proposals do not have the pupil at the centre of learning (how can you have a curriculum programme that is not grounded on the complexity of pupil learning needs?) but instead focus on measurement of content coverage and thinly domained accountability testing.

It does not surprise me that Tim Oates (quoted in defence of the proposals) is prepared to defend the indefensible. For 10 years I was the contracted research director responsible for collecting the government's data on the school curriculum, and throughout that period (1997-2007) supplied him with information that clearly demonstrated that primary school teaching was being reduced to teaching to the English and maths tests, to the detriment of a broad and balanced curriculum experience. The response from Mr Oates to 10 years of such data? No action. So don't expect any broadening of the proposals now unless concerned educationalists make a concerted demand for a curriculum that moves away from this proposed "one size fits all" model.

Bill Boyle, School of Education, University of Manchester.

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