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Gove still not open on curriculum reform

Education minister Michael Gove has refused to give any indication of which subjects may become non-compulsory in the on-going review of the national curriculum.

Michael Gove

Education minister Michael Gove has refused to give any indication of which subjects may become non-compulsory in the on-going review of the national curriculum.

Appearing before the Education Select Committee, Mr Gove did say that he was “anxious” to ensure that students are encouraged to take subjects that will allow them to progress to higher education and good jobs.

The minister has previously said that he wants to see a slimmer curriculum but he would not be drawn on the future of individual subjects during the hearing.

The new-look national curriculum is to be introduced into England’s schools from 2014 and an Expert Panel, appointed by the Department for Education and led by Tim Oates from Cambridge Assessment, published a series of recommendations in December.

These included scrapping the programmes of study for some subjects – including design and technology, ICT and citizenship – meaning they would become part of the basic curriculum alongside things like PSHE and that schools could decide on what content to teach.

The panel also wants to see a greater breadth of required subjects at key stage 4, including geography, history, modern foreign languages, design and technology, and the arts.

The government has not yet announced its position on the Expert Panel’s recommendations, but has promised a full consultation on the final plans later this year.

Mr Gove said he is hopeful that the new-look national curriculum would last for 10 years.

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