Angela Rayner on Rose and Curriculum

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I don't listen to the BBC's "flagship" Today programme, preferring my own prejudices first thing in the morning – and the more calming tones of Radio 3's Breakfast show.  But I see from the NAEE weekly update that Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, was on the show last Friday talking about climate and the curriculum.  You can listen here starting at 1 hour 16 mins.  She called for a commission of experts to advise parliament on what should be in the curriculum in relation to climate.  Sadly Rayner did not mention the ecological problems we face as it was all about climate, saving the planet and securing jobs.

Rayner did mention the Rose Review (well done to Labour; poor show Tories, she said) and you can see what this recommended here.  The ministerial response (it was in 2009 before all the rainbows disappeared) is here.   I think that the expert commission will have to do more than Rose did if it is to be any use.  Interestingly, such a commission is one of the three things that UKSCN is calling for, but they want it to cross-party, as we all should.

The Today inquisitor-in-chief tried to get Rayner to talk about what the relationship would be between climate teaching and science teaching, and about the dangers of politicising the curriculum, but she side-stepped the issues.  She did, however, say that she was clear that it was politicians' role (she may have meant to say parliament's) to set over-arching strategy, not curriculum content.  This is reassuring, although I do wonder if everyone around her leader thinks like this.  We might be cautiously hopeful about all this, if it weren't for the rift between the Labour leader's core team and Rayner whom I am told don't exactly see eye to eye on anything very much.

I have on my bookshelves a guide to education in the DDR which I consult occasionally to prepare me for what might be coming our way; there's no mention in that of public consultations on curriculum led  by experts.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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