Sud the lot: we lost a great deal in the latest wash-up

23rd April 2010 at 01:00

I was appalled by the indecent haste with which a flamethrower was taken to the Children, Schools and Families Bill in the "wash-up" process that preceded the dissolution of Parliament ("Teaching faces up to the premature death of a reform agenda", April 16). The highest profile casualty in my view was the Rose review, which begs the question about the future of modern foreign languagues as a compulsory element of the new curriculum - given the vehicle for its introduction no longer exists.

Who took this decision? On what basis was it taken? Who was consulted? Why did we find out about it almost by accident? Of course, now that Parliament is dissolved, no one can be accountable for it.

The likely effect is that primary heads will use the uncertainty as an excuse to do nothing - "If it's not compulsory we are not doing it." Provision at key stage 2 will be fragmented and dependent on the whim of individual heads.

Pupils will arrive in Year 7 with an even more diverse range of experience, which will in turn make provision in KS3 virtually unmanageable. In this scenario, languages in primary schools will wither away again, despite funding and support from central government. Only this time we will never get it back again.

There will be loud shouting on May 7. The Rose Review must be reinstated and its recommendations carried out in full, without waiting for another curriculum review in three or four years' time.

John Connor, Independent consultant, MFL, Stourport-on-Severn.

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