HOW refreshing it was to see the TES (Roland Meighan, "The Next Way", December 31, 1999) marking the start of a new millennium by giving space to some radical ideas about learning and teaching - ideas which at last break away from the 19th-century model of mass education which has prevailed for so long in this country.
Plans revealed by David Blunkett in a speech a few days later show the Government seems to be aware that changes are needed in a system which hasn't, in essence, changed for over 100 years.
There is talk of more flexible school hours, and even talk of individual earning plans for children. But there is no action. The national curriculum still stands, with an ever more complex accompanying paraphernalia of standardisation, benchmarks, testing, league tables, success - and failure.
There is an illogicality in these proposed reforms. The much-needed individual learning plans, tailored to the needs of each child, require a "catalogue curriculum" (as described in Meighan's article), not a
monolithic national curriculum.
Green Party Education Working Group