asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he will publish an account of local education authorities' responses to circular 8/83 on the school curriculum as promised in paragraph 40 of the White Paper "Better Schools"; and if he will make a statement.
I have placed in the Library a copy of an account published today of LEAs' responses to DES Circular 8/83 which asked about their curricular policies. Many of the responses on which the paper is based were made as early as 1984—since when the effects of current Government initiatives have been fully experienced. The paper documents the extent to which, through partnership between central and local government, progress is being made towards the broad agreement about the objectives and content of the school curriculum envisaged in "Better Schools". It is now widely accepted that local education authorities should have a curricular policy in order to carry out their functions, and there is much common ground on the principles on which that policy should be based. As authorities themselves recognise, much still has to be done to give their policies practical effect, but I am encouraged by the substantial progress which has so far been achieved.