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Curriculum and assessment

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NAHT is working to ensure that the curriculum supports the learning, progress and success of all pupils. NAHT supports the principle that a broad and balanced curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

NAHT is campaigning to: 

Support schools to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for their pupils

  • Challenge the government policy, including EBacc, which may narrow the curriculum
  • Enable and support schools to successfully deliver statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education
  • Lobby for improvements to government policy which supports schools to deliver inclusive education and fulfil their responsibilities under the public sector equality duty
  • Support schools to deliver effective careers education for all pupils
  • Support schools to deliver high-quality Religious Education to all pupils
  • Provide guidance, materials and information to support schools in educating pupils about environmental issues.

Ensure a valid and proportionate approach to statutory assessment in primary schools

  • Lobby the government to reconsider the introduction of the multiplication tables check
  • Lobby the government to ensure changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Early Learning Goals are appropriate and relevant for the early years sector
  • Influence the development and implementation of the reception baseline assessment
  • Support members to implement the new statutory assessment for pupils with SEND
  • Identify and challenge the STA over any impact on members of the contract change to deliver statutory assessment in the primary phase
  • Engage with the STA to influence changes and improvements to statutory assessment including moderation and maladministration
  • Campaign for KS2 SPAG to be made non-statutory and oppose any additional statutory testing in the primary phase

Ensure the KS4 and KS5 qualification framework and examination system is fit for purpose

  • Press the government, Ofqual and exam boards to ensure that reformed qualifications, both academic and vocational, meet the needs of all pupils and schools
  • Explore the issue of grade reliability, identifying solutions and improvements which are supported by members and pressing the government and Ofqual for appropriate action
  • Inform members of the latest developments in secondary assessment through engagement with Ofqual, JCQ and awarding organisations. 

How NAHT is supporting its members to meet their responsibilities under the Equality Act

Last month, the government published the final statutory guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education. The new curriculum will be mandatory from September 2020. Schools already have an existing duty under the Equality Act to teach primary children about different kinds of people and families.

In a few instances, school leaders have encountered confusion and resistance from parents about what exactly is being taught.  Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which has been supporting those school leaders under protest, said: "The Secretary of State has already strongly encouraged every primary school to continue what they are already doing – to teach about relationships in an inclusive way. But the protests outside schools need to end, and the best way to achieve that is for the government to be absolutely clear about what will be taught in schools and when and how. At present, DfE guidance says that ‘primary schools are enabled and encouraged to cover LGBT content if they consider it age appropriate to do so’. We’d like the ‘if’ changed to ‘when’.”

“NAHT will continue to work alongside the schools where there have been protests, to help everyone involved restore a peaceful and productive teaching and learning environment. Dedicated public servants faithfully discharging their duty have an absolute right to feel confident and safe, and pupils should never have to experience noisy and aggressive protests at school.”

In an episode of Panorama which aired this week, NAHT national secretary, Rob Kelsall spoke about the impact parent protests are having in affected schools and called on the government to clarify the regulations. Watch the episode in full here

In an article for Politics Home, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, David Isaac also spoke out publicly about the need to make sure schools are “a safe space for children to learn and grow.” And that, “no child should be made to think that who they are, or the makeup of their family, is something to be ashamed of.”


You can also find out more information on what NAHT has been doing nationally and locally in the video below. 

First published 16 July 2019

First published 31 March 2021