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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. 

Anti-equality protests must be stopped by the end of term


On Tuesday 11 June, NAHT held a parliamentary briefing in Westminster on Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education. With just a few weeks remaining of the summer term, the event brought together some of the main figures involved in efforts to stop the anti-equality protests in Birmingham that have been making national headlines.

Speakers included Emma Hardy MP, Sara Khan, lead commissioner of the Commission for Countering Extremism and David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Nazir Afzal, former Crown Chief Prosecutor for the North West also submitted a short video where he called on the government to mandate the correct approach and to take the heat off of schools. You can watch this video in full below.  

Primary school leaders in Birmingham and some other areas of the country have been the targets of campaigning, protests and abuse relating to their commitment to equality and diversity, and the teaching of LGBT+ inclusive relationships. School leaders Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, head teacher of Anderton Park Primary School and Andrew Moffat, deputy head teacher of Parkfield Primary School spoke about their experiences of dealing with the protests in their schools in Birmingham.

NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “Without meaning to, the government has put school leaders in an extremely difficult position. They and their staff have had to endure threats against their careers and their personal safety. The protests need to end, and the best way to achieve that is for the government to be absolutely clear about what they expect schools to do.”

NAHT is calling for clarity from the government on three key areas:

  • Relationships Education in primary schools must be inclusive of all protected characteristics and treat the different types of relationships in our society equally, reflecting their equal status under the law and so promoting tolerance and respect for diversity.
  • Relationships Education in all schools will include LGBT content as set out in the statutory guidance that has already been published.  In addition to that guidance, the DfE has said: “Primary schools are enabled and encouraged to cover LGBT content if they consider it age-appropriate to do so” which is not helpful to school leaders. The correct wording should be: “Primary schools are enabled and encouraged to cover LGBT content when they consider it age-appropriate to do so”. 
  • School leaders and their teams should receive the full support of the government and the full protection of the relevant authorities when delivering Relationships Education.

Over the past few months, NAHT has been supporting the schools under protest, as well as working with the DfE and others to try to bring a swift resolution. Mr Whiteman said: “Whilst schools are required to involve parents and the community in what they’re planning to teach, that engagement does not provide parents or others with a veto on curriculum content. Equality is not an ‘optional extra.’"

We will continue to press the government for clarity in these areas. Please find a pledge card below to send to your local MP to sign. 


First published 13 June 2019
First published 31 March 2021