'Championing the rights of children'

Queen's Speech: Changes to exams, curriculum and teachers' pay highlighted

Garry Thu 09 May 2013 08:30

Wide-ranging changes to the exam system, the national curriculum and teachers' pay in England have been confirmed in the Queen's Speech.

Some exam changes, such as the end of modular GCSEs, have already been brought in and more are planned.

Teachers' pay will be more closely linked to performance.

And a new national curriculum is planned from 2014, which will apply to state-funded schools that are not academies.

As semi-independent schools, academies have the freedom to set their own curriculum.

Ministers say the curriculum will be slimmed down, but there will be "detailed programmes of study" for English, maths and science that will set out the "core knowledge" expected.

Other subjects will have looser guidance, focusing "only on the essential knowledge to be taught".

A key change will be that it will be compulsory for pupils in the older years of primary school to learn a language.

The government has confirmed schools will be free not to follow most of the existing curriculum for the next academic year, "to give schools greater flexibility to prepare to teach the new national curriculum".

State schools will still have to teach national curriculum subjects, but not the detailed programmes of study, except for the last two years of primary school.

In Parliament, the Queen said: "My government will take forward plans for a new curriculum.

"My government will also take forward plans for a world-class exam system."

Read more ... (BBC News - 8 May)