The Vision: Curricula and assessment are stabilised and support excellent teaching and learning.

Curriculum

Frequent changes in curriculum and assessment absorb the time and energy of teachers better spent preparing more inspiring lessons or on professional development to improve teaching and encourage innovation. 

Since the National Curriculum was introduced in 1989, there have been at least 10 reforms to the curriculum and national assessment in England alone. In Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, wholesale changes to the national curricula have taken place during the past 6 years and a new National Curriculum is being introduced in England from this September.

These changes have resulted in teachers feeling disempowered and disillusioned and increased pressure to ‘teach to the test’, ultimately compromising young people’s educational experience.

National curricula in science and mathematics should be the collective responsibility of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community, politicians of all mainstream parties and other relevant agencies. 

The expertise of the STEM professional bodies, under a strong overarching body, should be used to stabilise the curriculum and assessment, providing a platform for excellent science and mathematics teaching.

Recommendations

  • Establish new, independent, expert bodies in England and Wales, and enhance existing structures in Northern Ireland and Scotland, to provide stability in curriculum and assessment and allow teachers space to innovate in their teaching
  • Commit to invest in these bodies long term to enable STEM experts, including employers, to contribute their knowledge and experience.
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Vision for science and mathematics education

Final report
Published: June 2014

Next steps

Research programme

Stakeholder engagement programme

Project details, Committee and Call for views

Blogs

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