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The end of the Rose Review?

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By John CoeGeneral Secretary of the National Association for Primary Education

John Coe discusses the future of the primary curriculum, following news that the Rose Review has been removed from the Children, Schools and Families Bill

John Coe

On 6 April, the Opposition refused to support several sections of the Children, Schools and Families Bill and torpedoed the adoption of a new primary curriculum in 2011. More than two years of meetings, the writing and submission of evidence, the visits to schools and conferences, the CPD courses, the publication and discussion of Sir Jim Rose’s Review upon which the new curriculum was to be based; all gone for nothing. And, what about the many schools where teachers eager for reform have already begun to implement the Rose recommendations? Is their work wasted, too?

Poised as we are, just weeks away from the General Election, the air full of the ear-splitting clash of political rhetoric, teachers must keep their nerve and remember the wise advice of Sir Winston Churchill who faced issues of life and death on a daily basis. ‘Keep buggering on’, he said. And, so must we. The children demand it and they, not the politicians, are our first concern.

Teachers in charge

Let’s remind ourselves of the professional freedoms we have.

Schools control methods of teaching and pedagogy. Yes, that’s right. Not the DCSF, the QCDA or Ofsted, but every teacher in every class. Even in the days of the National Strategies’ attempts to direct our teaching, the Strategies were not statutory.

Schools control teaching content that is additional to the statutory curriculum. The National Curriculum is dying fast and we must wait to see what emerges after the election. Of one thing we can be certain: the new primary curriculum will be slimmer and more manageable and will rest on decisions taken by teachers alongside their children.

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Reviews

  1. Christopher Jarman
    on 26 April 2010

    First Rate Stuff

    John Coe has pointed out the inescable truth that whatever governments or ofsted or local authorities say or decree, the teacher in the classroom is supreme. No reputable research or report is wasted if it reflects the professional views of those in charge of schools and classrooms. Teaching is a profession where the buck stops at the classsroom door. Teachers will do what is right and what their professional judgement calls for.

  2. Ian Greenwood
    on 13 April 2010

    Disingenuous

    “Even in the days of the National Strategies’ attempts to direct our teaching, the Strategies were not statutory.”

    Indeed they were not, Mr Coe, but woe betide any school failing to implement these strategies to the letter, for that was the standard applied by Ofsted, thus making them statutory in all but name.

    At the same time you laud the EYFS approach, even suggesting it might be applicable in Year 1. And this is statutory. I find some inconsistency here.

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