School Curriculum

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Lefroy Jeremy Lefroy Conservative, Stafford

What steps his Department is taking to ensure that schools provide a broad curriculum.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

State-funded schools in England must offer a broad and balanced curriculum, which for maintained schools includes the national curriculum. Subject to the consultation outcome, Ofsted’s new framework will place the curriculum at the heart of inspection, with an emphasis on schools providing a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum for all pupils, together with an emphasis on the EBacc for secondary schools.

Photo of Jeremy Lefroy Jeremy Lefroy Conservative, Stafford

I thank the Minister for that answer. Across the House this afternoon, colleagues have mentioned the importance to a broad-based curriculum of music, drama, sport, public speaking, outdoor pursuits and many other things. I am delighted to hear that Ofsted will need to look at this, but does he agree that it is vital that these activities should be offered by all schools in all areas, not just by the schools in which parents and others can provide contributions to ensure that these activities happen?

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

I completely agree with my hon. Friend. All the areas that he has cited are vital for children in schools. Art and music are compulsory in the national curriculum up to age 14, and the Government have provided almost £500 million between 2016 and 2018 for arts education programmes. As he pointed out, Ofsted’s proposed framework increases the emphasis on schools’ provision of a broad curriculum, and inspectors will also expect to see rich extracurricular activities for pupils.

Photo of Marcus Fysh Marcus Fysh Conservative, Yeovil

The breadth of the curriculum is important, particularly when it comes to colleges. Will my right hon. Friend join me in congratulating Yeovil College on its successful institute of technology bid, which will enable the delivery of a much broader curriculum? Will he also meet me to discuss course funding? There is some concern about whether the capital funding made available for the initial T-level pilots will be available for subsequent ones, and in the further roll-out.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

I congratulate Yeovil College on its achievement. I can tell my hon. Friend that £38 million of capital will be made available for T-level development and that an extra £500 million a year will be allocated to that sector of our education system once the courses are up and running.

Several hon. Members:

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Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Conservative, Watford

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Before anyone asks, I did not run the marathon yesterday; I thought I should give other hon. Members a chance. However, I would like to declare a new—