1979 and all that – Education in England

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

The Education in England (the history of our schools) website contains HMI publications including the (1979) second edition of its Curriculum 11-16 Working Papers.  This deals with environmental education because this was a time when HMI took it seriously, unlike Ofsted today.  But then, HMI thought about curriculum, as did a lot of other groups – unlike today.

The Foreword to the 1979 volume says:

"These papers have been overtaken by events and it is important that neither their content nor their purpose should be misunderstood.  They are working papers written by a group of HMI for discussion by HMI and, we hope, by advisers, schools, groups of teachers and those responsible for the education in our schools.  They take their place along with all the other writings about the curriculum and with them may contribute to discussion about how schools implement their purposes. They are not meant to be read at a sitting; they are intended to be thought and argued about, dipped into and tried out.

The single framework they present is compatible with many interpretations.  Five local authorities are supporting a number of their schools who are working on this framework and it is hoped in a couple of years time to publish descriptions of their work and the variety of local flesh they have put upon the inspectorial bones.  We all know that the Department's review of Curricular Arrangements is likely to be followed later this year by information and guidance about good practice.  And so the debate about the curriculum will go on and we hope these papers will still be of interest in the continuing discussion."

Well, they still are, but there is now little debate.

This is a pity.  Maybe the revolting students will stimulate one.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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