Presentation on theme: "1 Curriculum and General Qualifications reform… so far Council for Subject Associations 17 April 2012 Jacquie Spatcher Head of National Curriculum Review."— Presentation transcript:
1 Curriculum and General Qualifications reform… so far Council for Subject Associations 17 April 2012 Jacquie Spatcher Head of National Curriculum Review Division
Our aims To establish a new National Curriculum that is a clear, robust and internationally respected body of knowledge against which achievement can be measured. To develop General Qualifications to make them the most rigorous in the world, providing a good basis for future education and employment. 2
The case for change “.. so many great schools, so many superb teachers and so many outstanding head teachers..” but we are performing below our potential and failing to keep pace with the world’s best-performing education nations” Latest PISA results: –England ranked 25 th for reading, 27 th for mathematics and 16 th for science –ahead of countries like Spain and Italy but well behind Finland, Hong Kong and Canada –trend data suggests we have slipped back in rankings since 2006 But our best schools are bucking the trend. 3
The case for change: National Curriculum The NC has become larger and more complex than originally intended, and encourages pace at the expense of instilling deep learning We need to bring it back to its original intended purpose – a guide to study in key subjects which ensures pupils acquire the core knowledge necessary for progression The NC should embody the cultural and scientific inheritance to which all young people are entitled. And we need to learn lessons from the most successful education jurisdictions. 4
5 NC Review – where are we? In December we published: Expert Panel report and recommendations Summary report on the Call for Evidence Evidence on curriculum breadth in other countries Evidence on curriculum content in English, mathematic and science Extension of timetable by one year to: To consider fully the Expert Panel recommendations ensure full alignment of National Curriculum with GCSE reform Allow more time to develop the National Curriculum for English, mathematics and science in the light of feedback New curriculum for all subjects will now be taught from September 2014.
6 Expert Panel recommendations Aims, breadth and structure Aims, and breadth Defining whole curriculum and subject specific aims Retaining statutory breadth in Key Stages 1-3 Introducing greater statutory breadth at Key Stage 4 Structure Two year Key Stages in primary Consider two year Key Stage 3 & three year Key Stage 4 Short Programmes of Study and no Attainment Targets except for English, mathematics and science Programmes of Study content defined by Key Stages but see case for year on year approach for primary mathematics
Expert Panel report – options re breadth Option 1 – make subjects non-statutory Option 2 – reclassify subjects Change statutory basis so that certain subjects are moved into the ‘Basic Curriculum’ (no Statutory Programme of Study or Attainment Targets) Option 3 – reduce prescribed subject content “Refined and condensed” Programmes of Study– Government prescribes only the key elements and minimal Attainment Targets 7
9 Expert Panel report recommendations Attainment targets and progression Defining expectations through Attainment Targets: Level descriptor model is flawed: Exacerbates idea of differentiation as an end in itself Gives false precision Undue focus on pace not depth Parents do not understand sufficiently Advocate more detailed statements of specific learning outcomes related to the Programme of Study itself At primary - focus on pupils having secure understanding before moving on
10 Next steps Government response to Expert Panel report Engagement with subject experts on draft Programmes of Study Full consultation early in 2013 on all subjects in the National Curriculum Final Programmes of Study in schools by September 2013 First teaching from September 2014
The case for change: GCSE reform Despite rising results at GCSE, employers and universities still tell us school leavers do not have a good grasp of the basics Evidence that some GCSEs allow unacceptable narrowing of the curriculum Modular GCSEs have led to pupils taking too many exams at the expense of deep learning Need to ensure our exams are as rigorous as those in the highest performing jurisdictions
12 GCSE reform: our plans Measures to strengthen Ofqual’s governance arrangements and revise their objectives to ensure that our qualifications keep pace with the most rigorous systems from across the world Changing the rules in the short term so that exams on existing syllabuses are taken at the end of the course Specific marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar in key subjects Longer term changes to GCSEs to ensure that they reflect the new National Curriculum and support good teaching and in-depth study
The case for change: A level reform Two key pieces of research 1.Fit for Purpose? The view of the higher education sector, teachers and employers on the suitability of A levels. (Ipsos Mori Report for Ofqual) Content of A levels does not always meet requirements of HE Students lack essential academic skills including researching, essay- writing, problem solving, analysis and critical thinking Modularity and re-sits have created/exacerbated several problems including grade inflation, over-examination and a ‘second chance’ mentality. 2.We know what HE want from A levels (Cambridge Assessment- interim findings) Content and assessment are too predictable Universities want to see more essay/open-ended style questions Re-sits should be limited
A level reform: our plans 30 March 2012: Secretary of State wrote to Ofqual setting out his proposals for A level reform: DfE should step back from A level development AOs/universities to work together on content and assessment Ofqual to convene annual post-examination review to inform future qualification development Ofqual to establish core “design rules” for new qualifications – formal consultation planned for summer 2012 … those with the strongest interest in maintaining standards in A levels have the greatest say over their future direction.