Cultural Learning Alliance

When fathers and mothers talk, play, read, paint, investigate numbers and shapes or sing with their children it has a positive effect on children’s later development

Department for Education and Department for Health
Supporting Families in the Foundation Stage, 2011


Consulting with the Department of Education

Published 24 May 2013

Over the last two months there has been a string of consultations from the Department of Education. It has asked for views on their plans for the National Curriculum, for views on School Accountability measures (notably on the ever-present EBacc and their new ‘8 Best’ system) and it's consulted on plans for vocational qualifications.

Thanks so much to all our many partners for helping us put together the CLA responses to these questions. We held and attended 8 Roundtables over 6 weeks to talk with experts from across the cultural learning spectrum and we all made our case both in person and in writing to the DfE officials leading on these areas.

There has been much debate about the History Curriculum in particular - colleagues who attended our roundtable on History were very concerned about the weight and chronological approach of the proposed programme of study. We were interested to see that the NAHT conference blog reported Michael Gove as agreeing that ‘there would be some extensive rewriting’ of the History curriculum. However we are disappointed to subsequently read that Gove also said ‘One of the things I absolutely wanted to keep was a stress on chronology…and the history of this country’  Read more about the session here

Gove has made a number of statements about cultural learning and the curriculum recently that may indicate his direction of travel. His now infamous ‘Mr Men’ Speech can be read online here.

It shouldn’t be too long before we know the outcome of these processes – with the final draft of the curriculum due out in a couple of weeks. If you haven’t done so already it is worth flagging up the key education reform issues with your MP and directly with DfE in the next crucial few weeks whilst the decisions are being made. Do use the notes from some of our sessions if you find them helpful, or get in touch with us on if you would like to talk anything through.



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Lou and sketch books, Canterbury Children's Centre
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