More breadth and balance needed
The national curriculum and control over teaching methods and testing has driven up test scores, but at the expense of a broad and balanced curriculum, and fewer opportunities for projects such as creating costumes for a parade.
However, the researchers said teachers had gained a sense of enhanced professionalism because of a need for more collaborative lesson planning and management, though this was off-set by increased work.
There was particular concern about the decrease in time devoted to science in favour of literacy and numeracy. The study also found "the quality of teacher-pupil interaction has been negatively influenced by the pedagogy of the national strategies".