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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. 

Limited Choices: NAHT's secondary survey 2017


E bacc capture.JPGFollowing a number of reforms to the Secondary curriculum, as well as policy proposals around EBacc, NAHT has released its report following a survey of secondary school leaders. Respondents were asked their views on EBacc, AS/A-Levels, transition and mental health and wellbeing in secondary schools.

NAHT's Limited Choices report highlights that:


  • The majority of individuals (87%) are opposed to the proposal that at least 90% of students in mainstream secondary schools should be entered for the EBacc.
  • Of those that responded, 79% reported a negative impact of the EBacc policy on the curriculum offer in their school.

Key Stage 5 (KS5)

  • For those who offer AS/A Levels, 68% reported having to remove or reduce the number of AS Levels as a result of the decoupling of AS and A Levels, and a further 27% reported a reduction in the range of A Level subjects offered as a result.
  • 62% of individuals reported that changes to sixth form funding had resulted in a decrease in the breadth of subjects offered, and over half (54%) reported that the funding changes had led to an increase in class sizes in KS5.
A levels capture.JPG


  • Just over half of respondents (55%) feel that the key stage 2 (KS2) scaled scores are less or much less useful than the previous KS2 levels.
  • Of those who responded, 85% reported having used year 7 assessments (e.g. CATs, reading and spelling tests) this year.
  • Looking forward, 69% are planning to implement or continue to use this type of year 7 assessments in the next academic year and for the foreseeable future.
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 Mental Health and well-being

  • More than one in five (21%) of individuals reported that their students currently have access to a full-time school-based counsellor, while a further 50% reported that their students had access to a part-time school-based counsellor, both of which are funded out of school budgets.
  • Worryingly, nearly a third of respondents (31%) report a decrease in services they offer for the emotional and mental well-being of students in the upcoming year, with only 13% of people reporting an increase. For those who reported a change in their offer, the most common reason for this is budget pressure (67%).
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The full report can be accessed below. 

If you're not yet a member of NAHT, but would like to join, you can find all the relevant information here
First published 24 July 2020