One aspect of the programmes of study on which Robin Alexander does comment is the handling of spoken language (‘speaking and listening’ in the current national curriculum). Rather than raise the profile of spoken language as was urgently needed (and as CPR’s final report recommended), ministers have effectively downgraded it, thus rejecting an unassailable body of evidence that demonstrates the essential place of talk in children’s development, thinking and learning across the board as well as, self-evidently, in their literacy and those vital skills of communication whose inadequacy among school leavers the nation’s employers regularly deplore.
Today’s politicians understand only too well the persuasive power of talk. Could it be that they don’t wish to share that power with tomorrow’s voters?
Read Robin Alexander’s response to the Secretary of State’s letter outlining the government’s national curriculum proposals:
Read Robin Alexander’s paper for DfE on spoken language in the national curriculum: