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Primary Education: Standards

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Labour, Nottingham South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to evaluate the effect of the national curriculum on the teaching and learning of subjects other than English and mathematics in primary school.

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

All state-funded schools are accountable to pupils, their parents and the wider community. They must all teach a broad and balanced curriculum and there is a statutory requirement for maintained schools to teach the National Curriculum. They are required to publish their curriculum provision, content and approach, by academic year and by subject online. Ofsted inspectors will also consider the extent to which the school is providing a broad and balanced curriculum, which helps pupils progress and succeed across the range of subjects.

The National Curriculum, which was introduced in schools in 2014, focuses on the essential knowledge that must be taught, allowing teachers to take greater control over the wider curriculum in schools and how it is taught. Schools have the freedom to organise their lessons as they see fit and to teach any part of the programme of study for a particular Key Stage at a time they judge suitable for their pupils during that Key Stage.

The Department collects and publishes data about primary schools, including the amount of time a sample of primary school teachers estimate is spent teaching each subject in their school. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/584503/Teacher_Voice_Summer_2016_Report_Final.pdf.

The Standards and Testing Agency also publishes the results of the biennial Key Stage 2 science sampling test which tracks science attainment of primary school pupils.

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