Thatcher may be gone but her work is not forgotten

19th April 2013 at 01:00

While generally I was cheered by your article about Thatcher ("From 'milk snatcher' to pioneer of autonomy", 12 April), I wish you had not joined the succession of people who credit Jim Callaghan with opening up the idea that the government should enter the "secret garden" of the curriculum. Former education secretary Sir David Eccles was the first, as is shown in this quote from Hansard on 21 March 1960: "For this purpose we shall need to undertake inside the Department more educational research and to strengthen our statistical services. Crowther, in paragraph 697 of the Report, prodded us to do this and action is now in hand. In the meantime, the section in the Report on the sixth form is an irresistible invitation for a sally into the secret garden of the curriculum."

Actually, his comment was sparked by the launch of the first USSR spacecraft, and a Washington meeting of Western education ministers wondering what the USSR was doing in its schools to produce people who could manage that feat.

Norman Thomas, Hertfordshire.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now