Time management needed in primary curriculum

29th August 1997 at 01:00
John Eggleston's plea to "save our primary technology", (TES, August 15) is a reminder of our schizophrenic attitude to primary education at national level. We want parity with other countries' higher scores in narrowly focused language and arithmetic, but, on the other hand, we want primary schools to deliver on a huge range of foundation subjects, not to mention the social agenda - sex, drugs, values.

No one is prepared to ask objectively whether there might be a qualityquantity trade-off here, and our process for determining the curriculum nationally lacks any attempt at time management. The original national curriculum was unmanageably large; the Dearing version only a small improvement.

Management requires the ability to make tough choices; choices in areas where you wish you didn't have to make them. Until we are willing to apply time management to the national curriculum, primary schools will continue to grapple unsuccessfully with the fudgy cop-out of "broad and balanced with special focus on language and maths".

MICHAEL E HURDLE

Send Woking Surrey

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