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News - 8 July 2013

New curriculum in England announced

A revised national curriculum for schools in England is to be published with the aim of catching up with the world's best education systems.

Prime Minister David Cameron says this "revolution in education" is vital for the country's economic prosperity.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said the new-look curriculum would provide the "foundation for learning the vital advanced skills that universities and businesses desperately need - skills such as essay writing, problem-solving, mathematical modelling, and computer programming".

Labour said the curriculum should be written by experts and not depend on ministers' "personal prejudices".

Teachers' unions have warned that the timetable for implementing the changes in autumn 2014 is "completely unrealistic".

Head teachers have also asked whether politicians should be so directly involved in deciding what is taught in the classroom.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“The re-written national curriculum will set out the framework for what children in England's state schools should be taught between the ages of five and 14, it will, however, not be mandatory for Academy Schools.”

In maths, there will be an expectation of a higher level of arithmetic at an earlier age. There will be a requirement for pupils to learn their 12 times table by the age of nine, rather than the current 10 times table by the age of 11.

Computing will also be linked to the digital start-up and apps culture, with pupils being taught coding and how to create their own computer programs.

In science, there is a shift towards scientific knowledge and a more robust sense of content and away from what is described as "vague, abstract statements".

Mary Bousted, leader of the ATL teachers' union, accused the education secretary of wanting to "steamroller ahead" with rushed changes.

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said that Mr Gove should "listen to the experts and not try to write it himself based on his personal prejudices".

If you need any help and advice with Free School or Academy Schools, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
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