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Schools: Primary Curriculum

Volume 697: debated on Wednesday 9 January 2008

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Children's Plan announced that Sir Jim Rose had been appointed to lead an independent review of the primary curriculum. I have today written to Sir Jim Rose setting out the remit for the review. Sir Jim Rose will begin his review immediately and provide a report and recommendations by March 2009 so that agreed changes to the curriculum can be implemented by September 2010.

The primary curriculum must ensure that pupils build on prior learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to develop the essential literacy, numeracy and personal skills they need in order to learn and develop, and to ensure they are able to make a smooth and seamless transition into later learning. It must provide all pupils with a broad and balanced entitlement to learning that encourages creativity and inspires in them a commitment to learning that will last a lifetime.

This will be a fundamental review of the primary curriculum. In addition to reviewing the existing subjects and programmes of study, Sir Jim Rose's review will also consider and make recommendations on how to:

best introduce languages as a compulsory subject in key stage 2 as recommended by Lord Dearing's languages review;

best introduce pupils to a broad range of subjects during primary education without overcrowding the curriculum or overburdening schools;

provide greater continuity between the early years foundation stage and key stage 1, and between key stage 2 and key stage 3;

introduce greater flexibility to help schools narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers;

improve outcomes for summer-born children and consider whether it would be appropriate to allow greater flexibility in start dates;

develop a framework of the personal development skills that all pupils should expect to develop through their schooling.

I am placing in the Library a copy of my letter to Sir Jim Rose detailing the remit for the review of the primary curriculum.