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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. 

Relationships education in primary schools: new guidance on engaging parents with your policy

From September 2020, relationships education will be compulsory for primary schools. Schools will be required to have a policy, published on their website, setting out how they intend to approach the subject and the statutory guidance says that schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. 

But what does 'consult' mean? For schools, consultation is about them providing formal channels through which parents can express their views about certain aspects of the school's work. In schools, consultation is more commonly thought of as parental engagement. 

NAHT has worked closely with the Department for Education to develop new guidance, Parental Engagement on Relationships Education, which provides information on engaging parents on this subject. The guidance has advice, tips and case studies on how to carry out effective parental engagement including where to go for help and the role governors and trustees can play in the engagement process.

The guidance covers the following:

  • what must schools engage parents on
  • why schools are required to engage parents
  • what do we mean by engagement on relationships education
  • use of existing methods and case studies
  • tips for parental engagement
  • sensitivities
  • where to go for help
  • the role of governors and trustees.

Importantly, the guidance states that schools should be clear with parents, from the outset and throughout, that while their views are welcome and will be genuinely reflected on, they do not amount to a veto over curriculum content. Different parents are likely to have conflicting views and the school needs to consider other factors, alongside parent views, in making their decision. Ultimately it is for schools to decide their curriculum, having taken these views on board.

First published 11 October 2019

First published 11 October 2019