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News - 12 April 2013

Could Curriculum changes cause chaos?

The Association of School and College leaders say the national curriculum changes "cannot be implemented" by 2014 as the government desires, and if they are rushed through they could cause chaos.

It also warns that some parts are so difficult they could create more disaffection and failure, and calls for the period of consultation to be extended.

The ASCL general secretary Brian Lightman said:
"Teachers need more time to digest it, to understand the implications and respond fully to the proposals," and that, "Teachers and school leaders feel that they have had no ownership of this new curriculum.”

The head of the National Association of Head Teachers, Russell Hobby, echoed these concerns, saying the government had failed to sell the reforms to the teaching profession.

"If teachers don't believe in the curriculum it won't work. Because once the classroom door shuts, it is what inspires teachers that get done," he said.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“There is still anxiety about how the Department for Education is going to respond to the wide-ranging concerns raised by many of the academics, teachers' leaders and others who had been involved in the formulation of the plans in the run up to their publication.”

The new history curriculum has been dubbed "unteachable" while the maths curriculum is said to be too challenging, with children being asked to cover some areas as many as two years earlier than at present. Some English teachers are critical of what they say is a prescriptive focus on spelling lists and grammar that does not relate to children's use of language.

The Department for Education said its draft national curriculum was challenging and ambitious.

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

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