Free to be imposed upon

16th December 1994 at 00:00
Nicholas Tate's cautious rebuttal of utilitarianism as an adequate vision for schools (TES, December 2) marks a significant step forward as does the Chris WoodheadSir Ron Dearing letter emphasising that schools now have "a real opportunity" to use their discretion in implementing the curriculum.

Teachers reject the utilitarianism of the curriculum and assessment not because they are against "the basics" and high standards but because the Government has imposed its own vision of education on schools by a set of prescribed targets.

Indeed Nicholas Tate himself argues that the first task schools face is to set their own targets but then defines them as the Government's National Targets.

He is right about schools being the place where the debate about values should take place, but he neglects to mention that for years successive governments have been engaged in deriding schools' attempts to define their own values.

If the coming of the revised national curriculum is to herald a new era then the Government's practice of imposing targets rather than negotiating them with schools has to change.

If that is what Nicholas Tate is saying then I look forward to the next instalment.

JOHN BANGS

Assistant secretary

Education and equal opportunities

National Union of Teachers

Hamilton House

Mabledon Place

London WC1H

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now