Teachers Say 'Review Is Not Necessary' National Curriculum Looked At

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Byline: Nicola Juncar

SCHOOL leaders and teaching unions have criticised the Government's decision to review the National Curriculum. Headteachers and union bosses say the review, which was launched yesterday by Education Secretary Michael Gove, is unnecessary and could lead to less freedom in the classroom.

David Pearmain, headteacher at Kenton School in Newcastle, said: "We simply don't need another review; I don't understand why we are having one.

"When Mr Gove became Education Secretary he said he wanted to give teachers and headteachers more freedom to decide how schools were run; and I'd hoped he was telling the truth.

"With this review, however, we could end up with a National Curriculum that is even more controlled and centralised than before."

Mr Pearmain, who is also the chairman of Schools North East, accused Mr Gove of seriously misunderstanding what was taught in schools.

"He claims children are only taught about two names in history - Hitler and Henry VIII - which certainly isn't true," said Mr Pearmain.

"What's more, he said in geography children are only taught about the UK, and that isn't accurate either.

"He also said schools concentrated on teaching method rather than content, and this is something I strongly disagree with."

The review will be carried out by the Department of Education, supported by an advisory committee and expert panel made up of teachers, academics and business representatives. It will consider what subjects should be compulsory at what age.

English, maths, science and PE will remain core subjects.

Teaching unions are cautious of what the review could lead to. While they welcomed the chance to discuss options, they are concerned some of Mr Gove's plans are outdated. …