Since 11 June, when the Secretary of State’s latest national curriculum proposals were published, we’ve been going through a curious phase of what DfE calls ‘pre-consultation’. Alongside a lengthy letter from the Secretary of State, DfE published draft programmes of study for KS1/2 English, maths and science, and these have provoked widespread and often critical comment even though the formal consultation doesn’t begin until the autumn. Yet DfE has actively sought reaction to the proposals, inviting CPR to host sessions with heads, teachers and teacher trainers on 20th and 29th June, and it has told us that these ‘pre-consultations’ matter as much as any government consultation ever does (which cynics would say is not a lot). CPR is certainly taking the process seriously, and we urge you to do likewise; we understand that DfE’s deadline for comment on the proposals is early August.
Being both detailed and controversial, the programmes of study have attracted most attention. The response from Robin Alexander, CPR’s director, concentrates instead on the Secretary of State’s letter, for this is the closest we get to a government view of the national curriculum as a whole … which is not very close at all, for what the government has proposed seems to be neither truly national nor a curriculum.