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26 March, 2013

Massive curriculum changes will affect all teachers: your chance to influence them is almost up

Long lists of specific historical events; particular methods for teaching English; human rights off the citizenship curriculum; no mention of public finance.

These are just some of the many changes in a National Curriculum that is arguably too detailed in core subjects and cuts chunks out of others.

Do you know what is in the draft Programmes of Study? Have you considered how much this upheaval will affect your teaching? Our experience is that many teachers are blissfully unaware.

But the government is listening. Until 16 April, you can respond to its National Curriculum consultation.

And if, like us, you are concerned about the changes to the citizenship curriculum, much of the work has already been done for you:

Campaign group Democratic Life has an online response form that you can use.

It is pre-filled with thoughts about the citizenship curriculum, which you can leave in or edit as you see fit. It is sent automatically to the Department for Education’s consultation team, and a copy is sent to you.

Key concerns for citizenship:

  • Include a clear requirement to teach about human rights
  • Active citizenship is not just volunteering, it involves pupils taking part in genuine social and democratic action in their schools and communities
  • Personal finance education should include economic understanding and public finance
  • Key stage 3 should not focus solely on the UK but should include the European, international and global dimensions of citizenship
  • Improve the subject aims and show appropriate progression between key stages 3 and 4, especially in key aspects such as the law.

(For a fuller critique of the proposed citizenship curriculum, see David Kerr’s National Curriculum implications for citizenship.)

If you care about education, we urge you to respond to the government’s consultation.

If you care about citizenship education, we invite you to take advantage of Democratic Life’s online response form to do so.

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