Publishers' comments on textbook developments

17th March 2000 at 00:00
Brenda Stone, Editorial director at Oxford University Press, stand PV60

"Funding is the major influence. If there's money for literacy or numeracy, it affects sales hugely. Syllabus developments also have a major impact and publishers need to be able to give a very fast-footed response. Our whole life is devoted to A-levels at the moment: should we split ASA2? Should we go for board-specific texts? Will discounts influence teachers' ultimate choice?

"The next looming development is KS3 schemes of work. These were a real side-swipe, just when we thought the revised national curriculum was not too significant. We've had to change all our current KS3 projects to fit the latest trends."

Kay Symons

* Managing director of secondary publishing at Heinemann stand PV270

"The course book has become more responsive to curriculum needs. Sometimes this is done within the same course, such as the Core and Foundation editions of most of our history, geogaphy and RE titles, where the same book has text at different levels, or as parallel books (up to three for maths). These books are designed so that they follow the same content but are pitched at different levels and move at a different pace for thorough differentiation."

Andrew Thraves

* Publishing manager for secondary humanities at Longman stand PV10 "There is some evidence that the impact of the primary literacy and numeracy frameworks means that teachers are questioning the relevancy of the all-embracing scheme and instead prefer to pick and mix.

"However, at secondary level, the core course is still king. This is down to two things: first, when budgets are tight (as they always are) the core text still offers the most practical and cost-effective way for teachers to teach whole class groupsyear groups the key requirements of the syllabus; second, at times of significant curriculum change the coursebook acts as a security blanket."

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