New curriculum

25th January 2008 at 00:00
As the school leader identified as saying "trendy lessons on climate change and multiculturalism were having a disastrous impact" (TES, January 11), I want to clarify the position of the Independent Association of Prep Schools and myself.

When I addressed the IAPS last year, I said that after 10 years of the national curriculum, a review of what is taught in our schools is overdue, and called for a debate about a curriculum with "a return to knowledge as its core". With respect to Vicky Tuck, head of Cheltenham Ladies' College, I want to make it clear that the curriculum review agreed between the independent associations is not an attempt to turn back the clock to the 1950s. A new curriculum would be contemporary in skills and content, and intellectually rigorous. The debate should consider how we might unclutter a curriculum that risks being unbalanced by the weight of social issues now being incorporated.

An independent schools' curriculum review is not advocating old-fashioned education, but rather the consolidation and focus on a firm platform to prepare pupils for GCSE and beyond and inspire them with a love of learning where their interests and talents lie.

Michael Spinney, Chairman, Independent Association of Prep Schools, and head of The Beacon School, Leamington Spa.

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