Ill-equipped to teach 11-year-olds to read
When I left training college (North Riding College in Scarborough) in 1982, I felt ill-equipped to teach reading; we were taught far less than I had expected. I was left to find out about phonic awareness myself, so I was very pleased to see phonology in the new curriculum.
My first job was teaching 10 and 11-year-olds and I thought that they would all be reading to a good standard; when I found they couldn't, I realised I didn't have a clue about teaching reading. I learnt all I know from in-service courses.
I'm not sure about the specialist subject (the new requirements for all primary teachers to develop a specialist subject to A-level standard). It is more important to have a good general background at primary level.
I'm not convinced either that the new curriculum will attract more people into teaching; a think a lot of students will decide that the salary for newly-qualified teachers simply does not match up to the demanding new requirements.
In general though, my reaction is that this is a remedy to the hotch-potch approach to training and will shake up the whole training system. It's a logical development from the national curriculum for schools. Some headteachers may find it all a bit daunting - they'll be faced with a new generation of extremely well-informed newly qualified teachers who may know more than they do.