Commenting on the revised national curriculum for schools in England, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Secretary of State has again trotted out tired, old and false assertions about England’s alleged slide down the international leagues tables as a justification for tearing up the qualifications and curriculum framework and pursuing his personal ideological crusade.

“It would seem that expressed concerns from no other than the Office for National Statistics about the Secretary of State misusing international data to justify educational reforms have had no effect.

“The fact is that the UK has a world-class education service which is sixth best in the world and the second best in Europe, and it is a complete falsehood to suggest otherwise.

“Apart from a bit of tinkering here and there, the national framework document published today fails to reflect any of the serious concerns that were raised across all subjects from employers, academics, parents’ groups and teachers. It remains far too narrow and has none of the breadth and balance that experts were demanding.

“It is one of the clearest examples yet of a Secretary of State who is unwilling or unable to listen to the voices of experts and who ignores evidence in order to pursue his ideological campaign.

“The timetable for implementation is dangerously and recklessly short and will leave schools facing potential chaos, which could be hugely detrimental to the life chances of a generation of children and young people. The Secretary of State has put politics above common sense.

“The NASUWT remains committed to engaging in dialogue and contributing to reviewing and improving the education system. But the starting point is to embark on a relationship of good faith and genuine consultation. This Government consistently fails on both those counts.”

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