Magazine article English Drama Media

English in England: National Curriculum Review

Magazine article English Drama Media

English in England: National Curriculum Review

Article excerpt

The National Strategies ceased to exist on March 31st this year, leaving many LA strategy consultants and English advisers out of a job. Meanwhile, a new National Curriculum Review is taking place, which will result in a new National Curriculum to be taught from September 2013. According to the DFE, this will 'replace the current substandard curriculum with one based on the best school systems in the world.' An expert panel and advisory committee are drawing up the programmes of study, and draft programmes will be available for consultation in early 2012.

It is as yet unclear what the implications of the new curriculum will be for English teaching and related assessment regimes. Some commentators (e.g. John Dunford in the TES) optimistically suggest that a slimmed-down core curriculum could mean that teachers can once again become 'curriculum planners'; however, a great deal will depend on the nature of the prescriptions and associated assessment. A less optimistic view might note the rather conservative make-up of the expert panel, whose leading expert on English is Bernice McCabe, director of the Prince's Teaching Institute. It might also take into account Michael Gove's previous announcement that 'English teaching will be reformed to ensure that the poetry of Pope and Shelley, the satire of Swift, and the novels of Dickens and Hardy are at the heart of classroom teaching. …

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