Curriculum Breadth, Innovation and Creativity…

I was thinking this morning, so I tweeted… "GB founded upon leading world in innovation and creativity. Can't see the big picture vision for current education policy." Thank you to those who re-tweeted.

I really was thinking (quiet ex colleagues). I know of many highly regarded education figures who believe that current education policy is catastrophically flawed.

Despite the increasingly loud protestations of educators, I can't currently see the Government listening. The attitude appears to be that we are wrong, they are right and that discrediting the profession will make the direction palatable to the voting population. One of our best hopes currently, is the momentum that has built up around @HeadsRoundTable. This may get some to listen, but I do wonder if the 6 point plan is a little too broad or idiosyncratic. Do I support @HeadsRoundTable, yes, emphatically yes. But, do I actually believe in all of the 6 points of the plan, no not really. Perhaps a second tighter version of the aims which moved towards a more consensual focus purely upon children, learning and Curriculum would harmonise more. As an example, designed to reduce the number of people who get to the end of this article, I don't see OFSTED as a particular problem… bye bye some readers.

Do I think that change was required in the examination system, wholeheartedly, yes. GCSEs needed tweaking and A Levels were messed up quite badly by the AS A2 nonsense, in my view. A chap called Tomlinson had some good ideas a few years ago, why wouldn't we invite him back to help develop from our current framework?

Do I actually think the EBC is a bad idea… well, it depends what you think it is. Am I happy for all children to be measured against it? Yes, since any employer looking for a student with Musical ability for instance, won't be too concerned with it. Would I lead a school in the UK that didn't broaden well beyond it to ensure that all children can succeed to their optimum across a range of subjects? No. The main problem is that it is nonsense of course, but will it actually harm our children, not if we all lead strongly and proceed as we are, breadth, depth, understanding, etc.

Do I actually disagree with most of what Mr. Gove says? No. He is very articulate in outlining his philosophy and plans. It is just his conclusions and actions that give me more than pause for thought. His thoughts, blended together with the thoughts of others, without perverse incentives, make for a rich and complete education. We shouldn't polarise our Curriculum thoughts. Strong leaders will remain balanced, ensuring that all components of quality education are in place. Perversely, weaker leaders may achieve more success if anyone does take notice of very narrow school success measures based upon the EBC. So let's look forward to a future where the schools lower in the league tables are the best place to send your child! That would be fun!

I suppose that this will in all likelihood be rescued by some New political party realising the error of the 'plan' and coming into power on a ticket something like; "Education, Education, Education." Hmmm that probably wouldn't work either. Again, politics has no place in education.

Strong experienced education leaders across the country, please do what your esteemed leader tasked you with. You are now an academy, do what is right for your children, innovate, be creative, engage the learners, develop their skills and knowledge. Know that the future of education isn't a polar choice, it isn't throw out the good to bring in the new. Balance knowledge and skills, depth and breadth… prepare your children through both creative skill strengthening project work and know that there is a place for learning facts, and, be strong. Your children will succeed.