Some clarity around curriculum aims

Posted in: News and Updates

Being confused about English school curriculum aims (statutory, voluntary or otherwise), I recently asked the DfE this;

If you go to:

... you find three aims for the national curriculum set out.  On the right, there is a link to part of a 1999 QCA text at:

... where each of these three aims is elaborated with detailed points.   As the DfE refers to this QCA text as "The overall aims of the National Curriculum",  this implies that this elaboration should be considered a statutory part of the NC aims.

My query is whether this is the case.


I got their response today:

The current aims of the national curriculum are not statutory.  The closest you can get to statutory aims relates to the whole curriculum rather than the national curriculum alone. This is the requirement on all publicly funded schools to provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum that:

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of learners at the school and within society; and
  • prepares learners at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

As I think you know, we consulted on overarching and subject level aims as part of the statutory consultation on the national curriculum and we will be announcing the outcome of the consultation in due course.

Interesting, ...

Posted in: News and Updates


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