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The review of the National Curriculum in England was launched by the Secretary of State on 20 January 2011. At the time of launch we made clear our intention that the review would be conducted in a way that is open and outward-facing. This update, which is the third in a series which we will publish through the course of the review, aims to give all those who are interested a sense of the progress of the review as it continues its work to determine the design and content of the new National Curriculum.
If you have any questions or comments, please email us at NationalCurriculum.REVIEW@education.gsi.gov.uk.
Since our last update the review expert panel has continued its work reviewing and refining the evidence base for the review, including responses to the call for evidence. This work has fed into the preparatory work on new draft programmes of study for the subjects being considered in phase 1 (English, mathematics, science and physical education). In addition this work has informed the panel’s thinking about the cross-cutting issues within its terms of reference, including assessment and progression.
The fourth meeting of the advisory committee took place in June. Following a discussion about the emerging findings from the call for evidence for the review, the committee then spent some time discussing options for the design and content of programmes of study for each of the phase 1 subjects. The fifth meeting, which took place earlier this month, focussed its discussions on implementation issues and the matter of the overall shape and design of the National Curriculum and the implications for the wider school curriculum.
We have continued our consultations with stakeholders on the phase 1 subjects and have engaged with a number of subject experts on the details of content of the initial drafts of the programmes of study for English, mathematics, science and physical education. Draft programmes of study reflecting those discussions are currently being prepared, and it is our intention to share this work more widely as it develops (see below).
In addition to subject-oriented events with teachers and others to discuss the development of the phase 1 programmes of study we have also held a number of other events. These include a seminar focussing on issues relating to how the new National Curriculum can be developed so that it takes account of the needs of pupils with special education needs and disabilities, and an event for primary school teachers focussing on the implementation challenges which will arise for primary schools as a consequence of the planned changes to the National Curriculum. We have also held an event with young people to discuss their views on the National Curriculum, their education generally, and their views on how pupil feedback and assessment of their progress in schools is organised.
Following a number of recent consultation events with stakeholders, there will now be a break in engagement activity during the school holidays. We will be running further events in September and October.
In the meantime work will continue on the drafts of programmes of study for English, mathematics, science and physical education. In line with the commitment made by the Secretary of State in a speech he delivered at the Royal Society on 29 June, it is our intention to open up this process at the start of the new school term by sharing work in progress on programmes of study for these subjects with subject communities and other key stakeholders for discussion and collaboration. This will enable a wider group of subject experts and other interested parties to engage in the development of the National Curriculum before the review starts to firm up its recommendations. Further details of this exercise will be published on the National Curriculum review homepage in due course. It remains our intention to carry out a full public consultation on the final drafts of the programmes of study early in 2012.
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