By Max Clarke
Commenting on the Education Secretary, Michael Gove’s changes announced to the curriculum are Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), and a spokesperson for the CBI:
“There is absolutely no need for Michael Gove to throw out platitudes such as restoring ‘academic vigour’ to the national curriculum, as this is something that has never left it". Said the NUT's Christine Blower.
“While recognising that the curriculum is over prescriptive, the Education Secretary appears to be dictating not only which subjects are the most important but also what should be taught within them.
“It is encouraging to see that one of the principle objectives of the review is to give teachers professional freedom over how they teach. This must not be undermined by continuing with the system of League Tables and unnecessary floor targets which can lead to teaching to the test and all creativity being knocked out of schools.
“Internationally, countries with the most successful outcomes are those which trust schools to determine their own curriculum and give teachers the freedom to teach it as they see best for their pupils. This is achieved by a comprehensive good local school for every child, not a system in which schools compete with each other.
“What we need is a broad and balanced curriculum that equips children and young people with the skills they need for today’s modern and ever changing world. The Government needs to recognise this when setting what they believe to be important for our children and young people to be learning at school.”
Highlighting the shortage of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills (STEM), a CBI spokesperson has also commented:
“STEM skills are vital for UK business competitiveness, but they are in short supply. Over the next three years more than half of employers expect to have difficulties recruiting staff with these skills, which could hinder growth in critical areas like low-carbon manufacturing and creative industries.
“The National Curriculum Review launched today (Thursday) needs to focus on improving the quality and take-up of STEM subjects which are in huge demand from employers, and will be essential for economic growth.”