Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “It’s so important that we prepare children for the real world, teaching them not just the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to pass exams, but also to navigate the challenges of the digital age. Yes, we need to teach grammar and spelling, but we also need to instil a thirst for knowledge, a love of reading and the critical literacy skills that enable young people to make informed decisions as to what to believe and what to ignore.
“The rigidity of the curriculum and testing regime work against this. High stakes accountability can force schools to focus on teaching only what will be tested, as that is what they are measured on. NAHT support the call for greater flexibility to enable schools to properly equip young people with skills appropriate for the future not the past.
“We’d also like to see protected curriculum space for non-exam subjects, like PSHE. Statutory PSHE would allow schools to teach children and young people about real life issues, including physical and mental wellbeing, online safety including fake news, healthy relationships, financial literacy, and preparation for the workplace.”
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