HMI Red Books 1977-1983

Background notes

Red Book 1 (first edition, 1977)
Curriculum 11-16 Working papers by HM Inspectorate: a contribution to current debate

Red Book 1 (second edition, 1979)
Curriculum 11-16 Working papers by HM Inspectorate: a contribution to current debate

Red Book 2 (1981)
Curriculum 11-16 A review of progress

Red Book 3 (1983)
Curriculum 11-16 Towards a statement of entitlement

Red Book 1 (1st edition):
Curriculum 11-16 (1977)

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various chapters:

Introduction (page 1)
Section 1 (3)
The case for a common curriculum
Section 2 (9)
Schools and society
Section 3 (15)
Schools and preparation for work

Supplementary papers
1 Subject committee statements (19)
2 Mobility and the curriculum (59)
3 Timetabling (63)
4 Staffing and curriculum development (73)

Appendix: The educational transect (82)

The text of Curriculum 11-16 (first edition) was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 24 September 2017.

Curriculum 11-16
Working papers by HM Inspectorate
(first edition, 1977)

London: Department of Education and Science 1977
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


[title page]

Curriculum 11 - 16

Working papers by HM Inspectorate:
a contribution to current debate

December 1977

[page ii]

This publication is intended to stimulate professional discussion. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Inspectorate as a whole or of the Department of Education and Science. Nothing said is to be construed as implying Government commitment to the provision of additional resources.

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General introduction

Section 1
The case for a common curriculum in secondary education to 16

Section 2
Schools and society

Section 3
Schools and preparation for work

Supplementary papers
1 Statements by HMI Subject Committees
    Craft, design and technology33
    Religious education42
    Economic understanding53
    Political competence56
2 The national educational pattern - mobility and the curriculum59
3 Timetabling63
4 Staffing structure as an enabling device for curriculum development73
Appendix. The educational transect82

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These papers have been overtaken by events and it is important that neither their content nor their purpose should be misunderstood.

They are working papers written by a group of HMI for discussion by HMI and, we hope, by advisers, schools, groups of teachers and those responsible for the education in our schools.

They take their place along with all the other writings about the curriculum and with them may contribute to discussion about how schools implement their purposes. They are not meant to be read at a sitting; they are intended to be thought and argued about, dipped into and tried out.

The single framework they present is compatible with many interpretations.

Five local authorities are supporting a number of their schools who are working on this framework and it is hoped in a couple of years time to publish descriptions of their work and the variety of local flesh they have put upon the inspectorial bones.

We all know that the Department's review of Curricular Arrangements is likely to be followed later this year by information and guidance about good practice. And so the debate about the curriculum will go on and we hope these papers will still be of interest in the continuing discussion.

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General introduction

This essay is concerned with secondary education up to the age of 16, assuming that for the greater number of pupils this begins at 11.

The supplementary papers either support or extend its thesis. The first supplementary paper consists of a selection of statements by HMI subject committees, who were asked to indicate how they saw the contribution of their subjects to secondary education in the terms outlined in the main paper. A consideration of the statistics of secondary reorganisation 10 years or so after Circular 10/65, coupled with some reasonable assumptions about population mobility and particularly school population mobility, led to the second supplementary paper, the 'educational transect'. The other two supplementary papers deal with time tabling and staffing structure.

This initial paper is addressed to three main themes, namely the case for a common secondary curriculum to 16, schools and" society, and thirdly schools and preparation for work.

Our society requires its children to go to school and to stay there for 11 years. Most of them now receive their secondary education, following the reorganisation that has taken place in recent years, in comprehensive schools. Much of the present scrutiny and criticism is directed towards what has been achieved by 11 years of compulsory schooling, schooling for all and not only for the more intelligent or gifted.

The heart of the matter is the relationship of society to the educational arrangements made in its name, and for which it pays. One teacher said recently that "we have no educational system, we only have schools". There is no intention anywhere in the papers which follow of advocating a centrally controlled or directed curriculum; nevertheless, if the questions which are proposed are regarded as valid, all who are concerned professionally with education, and above all teachers themselves, have an obligation to seek answers and to work out the consequences. What has so often been implicit may well have to be explicit, including the definition of roles, duties, and responsibilities at the many different operational levels.

The group of HM Inspectors who wrote this paper felt that the case for a common curriculum, as it is presented here, deserves careful attention and that such a curriculum, worked out in the ways suggested, would help to ameliorate the inconsistencies and irrationalities which at present exist, without entailing any kind of centralised control. It calls, in fact, for an enhanced sense of professionalism in teachers, and a determination to work out the implications of an increased range of partnerships. We have to ensure that the curriculum does everything possible to help pupils to develop as individuals, to begin to find their way in a complicated society, and to face with some security the world they encounter after the age of 16. Some strongly held assumptions are bound to be questioned, not least those concerning the degrees of autonomy to be enjoyed by the school, the head, the head of department and the teacher in the classroom; but our experience suggests that most teachers would welcome partnership, and are not defending isolation; indeed they feel intensely the loneliness of their profession. It is the question of the diversity of our system that we wish all the partners but particularly the teachers to consider critically.

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Section 1

The case for a common curriculum in secondary education to 16


The last twelve years have seen massive changes in secondary education, most obviously and notably as a consequence of reorganisation. The relatively simple pattern of grammar and modern schools which once widely prevailed has been "succeeded by a 'patchwork quilt' of different types of local comprehensive scheme. By far the majority of pupils now attend comprehensive schools, but the schools themselves, though sharing common ideals, are more various than before in terms of size and age-range and style.

There has been necessary change, too, in the work that goes on inside them. Twelve years is a brief span in the history of an evolving national system, but it is the secondary school lifetime of eight generations of pupils. Teachers have found themselves needing to think through the curricular implications of reorganisation, together with the implications of the raising of the school-leaving age, even while the institutional changes are still being completed. The period has therefore seen markedly increased activity and acceleration of pace in curricular development, whether of the kind exemplified in the large projects of the Schools Council and other major agencies or in the explorations of individual schools and teachers.

On this busy educational map must also be superimposed the effects of population mobility (see Supplementary Paper 2, pp 83 - 86): difficult though it is to make detailed and statistically up-to-date statements, such mobility is characteristic of advanced industrial societies and has to be taken into account in assumptions about children's learning experience.

Most secondary teachers now find themselves working in fairly recently constituted schools, generally larger than those they were used to before; many are dealing with an unaccustomed ability range among the pupils; the pupils themselves are, since 1973, at school for a year longer. Our society meanwhile has become noticeably more complex, and in many cases blurred in its perceptions of important issues. More and more responsibilities have been accepted by schools, particularly in matters of the personal and social welfare of pupils. During these same years a host of projects, schemes, proposals and suggestions about the curriculum has appeared. It is difficult to ascertain who has been influenced by what, and how; but teachers have been subject to a confusing series of propositions about what should or should not be done.


It is hardly surprising, therefore, that, in matters of the curriculum especially, variety is the order of the day. Such variety can reflect a healthy environment and vigorous and purposeful development in response to local need and opportunity; but equally it can be associated with an inadequate sense of direction and of priorities, with too little coordination both within and between schools, and with a reluctance to evaluate the curriculum offered as a whole. The contributory factors are many.

Schools have often been stimulated into changing their curricula and introducing new patterns of working, but many of the teachers concerned may have had little training or experience in planning such developments. It is, indeed, fair comment, we believe, that the hierarchical organisation of many secondary schools does not give the majority of teachers the sense and experience of being involved in fundamental educational thinking: decisions are often taken by the few and carried out by the many.

Or, schools may have operated in comparative isolation, picking up some ideas from outside, but largely having to learn from their own mistakes. The advice and teaching materials from major curriculum projects have not always made the expected contribution, and indeed there is so much on offer that to evaluate the findings and achievements presents schools with yet another problem. In too many cases, curriculum planning has been piecemeal - a matter of trying to cope with particular situations and problems as they arise rather than of developing a coherent programme based on a carefully thought out set of objectives, appreciated, understood and agreed upon by the whole staff.

Undoubtedly, too, a major obstacle to coherent development is the sense of 'autonomy' of the individual school, and often of the individual teacher in the classroom, and a deep reluctance to face the implications of partnership in curriculum planning. They nevertheless must be faced - and shared responsibility must be accepted.

It is doubtful if the country can afford - educationally as well as financially - the wasted effort, experiments embarked upon and left unfinished or unexamined, unnecessary repetitions, and most of all, the apparent lack of agreement on fundamental objectives. Indeed, all this is freely acknowledged in discussions all over the country by heads, teachers and administrators. Schools and administrators alike are anxious to do a good job, and there is concern about the bewildering diversity of practice, the problems of lack of balance within the curriculum, and the possibly adverse impact on pupils when unacceptable differences in the quality and range of educational experience offered result. The risks are recognised of inefficient use of resources, unnecessary fragmentation and lack of

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coordination. Much of the present unease and argument about education arises from a need to reconcile the right which a political democracy properly exercises in making local and national decisions on education with the considerable independence traditionally enjoyed by heads and teachers in determining how schools are run and what is taught, as well as how it is taught. Some common framework of assumptions is needed which assists coherence without inhibiting enterprise. Many heads and teachers will acknowledge this privately if not in public, and indeed often call for more drastic measures than we would think appropriate.


Given this greater willingness to look critically at our schools, we suggest that the general arrangements for the first five years of secondary education need particular scrutiny. In the typical curricular patterns which have emerged in comprehensive schools, there is generally a clear distinction between what is provided in the first three years for pupils aged 11 - 14, on the one hand, and in the fourth and fifth years for pupils aged 14 - 16 on the other. Most secondary schools now have a broad common curriculum in the first three years which is followed by all their pupils, with some exceptions in the case of those with need of remedial attention or with other marked learning difficulties. A typical example of such a curriculum would include English, Mathematics, Science, a foreign language (usually French), History, Geography, Art, Music, Handicraft/Home Economics, Religious Education, Physical Education and Games. Sometimes its description may appear as English, Mathematics, Science, a foreign language, Humanities, Music, Craft Design and Technology, Physical Education. Such curricula are likely to continue unchanged throughout the first three years, except that many schools offer the linguistically more able pupils the opportunity to begin a second foreign language in the second or third year.


It is in the fourth and fifth years, however, that the pattern of a broad generally balanced curriculum common to all pupils gives way in the great majority of comprehensive schools to a structure in which they offer pupils a greater or lesser number of compulsory subjects - generally referred to as the 'common core' - together with a greater or lesser number of optional subjects - often only English, mathematics, religious education and physical activities - together with a large number of options arranged in blocks, from each of which a pupil has to choose one subject.

From such groupings a variety of broadly balanced curricula which match pupils' aspirations and keep open their career options can easily be chosen; but it is equally evident

that a pupil allowed free choice from the subjects offered in each block Gould construct for himself a quite arbitrary and incoherent programme. There is a growing recognition that in such or similar circumstances continuity and progression in knowledge and understanding may be cut off or impaired, that decisions may be made prematurely, without any possible adequate basis of knowledge or foresight. Some pupils drop studies simply because they do not interest them or they are not making evident progress, but we all know that pupils are not well placed at 13 or 14 to foresee what skills and what knowledge they will need at 16, still less later on, and that they may subsequently continue to regret for many years the limitations of the programme they chose to follow.

These may be the obvious weaknesses in some options systems in secondary schools, but there may also be less obvious ones. It may need careful scrutiny of individual programmes to discover how satisfactory, for example, is the actual education of girls to the age of 16 as opposed to the opportunities which are nominally available; or to what extent special needs, such as those of the gifted, the least able, or of ethnic minority groups, are being met. In practice, freedom of choice is likely to be limited by a number of factors, not least the guidance legitimately exercised by teachers in the interests of individual pupils. Nevertheless, it remains true that the options system as commonly operated is inherently risky in that pupils may choose a programme in which major elements of knowledge and experience necessary to their future well-being are lacking or under-represented.


A significant feature of the discussions and arguments of recent months is that, nationally, attention has moved from the organisation and management of schools to what it is that they are organising and managing: the curriculum. Schools exist above all else to carry out a curriculum. This is the term commonly used to refer to the formal programme of courses organised by a school. In secondary schools,

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these are what is timetabled, with teachers and accommodation allocated to groups of pupils on a regular basis. Most of these courses are identified by subject labels, and in syllabus statements tend to be described in terms of 'content areas'. There is an implied assumption that we know what the individual subjects involve, and that such courses are designed to bring about learning of value to the pupils both for their own sakes and in their future lives as citizens and workers. The meaning of this term, curriculum, can be and often has been extended to include other school-based activities, such as clubs and societies, the nature of pupil/teacher relationships, and the approved procedures and forms of conduct through which the school conveys implicit values. This wider application recognises that schools are complex systems, and attempts to take account of the full range of learning experience provided through other influences within and outside the school as well as those organised in terms of subjects and lessons.

We are concerned here, however, to concentrate attention upon that learning which is planned by the school. In this sense, if the curriculum is planned to include work outside 'official' school hours, and indeed outside the school itself, then this is for our purposes fully a part of the formal, intended curriculum. The curriculum, in other words, is that which the school intends as its educational policy, and is the public expression of its educational thinking. We repeat that it is not the intention to advocate a standard curriculum for all secondary schools to the age of 16, not least because that would be educationally naive. One of the greatest assets of our educational arrangements is the freedom of schools to respond to differing circumstances in their localities, and to encourage the enterprise and strengths of their teachers (see History paper p 49).

What is now rightly under scrutiny all over the country is the appropriateness, the extent, and the effectiveness of each individual school's response to its particular circumstances. This is, among other things, a challenge to teachers individually and collectively to display their thinking about the curriculum and to show how particular decisions match with their pupils' and the community's needs.


We indicated earlier why the approach to the curriculum most commonly found in schools is unlikely to satisfy the needs of pupils as we discern them. It is not particularly difficult to advocate and indeed to implement, given the appropriate resources, the notion of English, mathematics and science as a compulsory core for all pupils to 16. This, however, merely begins an educational discussion and does not provide a programme. What English? What mathematics? What science? If these are on the one hand compulsory, but on the other hand appropriately diversified in their objectives, content and methods of teaching, what exactly has been gained? Is this common enough? Or, indeed, is it a large enough common core to meet contemporary needs? We wish to put forward here for consideration a much broader curriculum for all pupils in secondary schools which would inevitably claim a substantial proportion of their time.


Since the majority of pupils leave school at the statutory leaving age, the nature and purposes of the curriculum up to this point must be determined by what we believe 16-year-olds should know, be able to do, and be able to do better at 16 than they could do at 11. Pupils and their particular needs and circumstances differ but we believe there are general goals appropriate for all pupils, which have to be translated into curricular objectives in terms of subjects/ disciplines/areas of learning activity. If our view is right and more agreement could be reached nationally about these objectives, then the consequences of the diversity of schemes of secondary reorganisation and of school population mobility could be mitigated, though clearly not removed. In other words, if agreement about the objectives of teaching, say, history could be reached by national professional consensus, it would be of less consequence that pupils may move from a school where they have studied one period of history to a school in which they will be asked to study a completely different one; discontinuity of syllabus content there will still be, but the pupils should be able to discern more clearly than many of them do at present why they are being asked to study history, and in this respect at least their experience should be consistent. There is a lot to be said for all those concerned with the drawing up and teaching of curricula defining their aims and objectives and trying to think within the context of wider needs, rather than solely with reference to their own circumstances.


What have pupils a reasonable right to expect, given that they are obliged to be in school until they are 16? In the first place, without any doubt they have the right to expect to be enabled to take their place in society and in work, and this means that schools must scrutinise their curricula most carefully to see what is being done, by deliberate policies, to meet these expectations. Insofar as pupils may marry at 16, vote at 18, and become involved in legal responsibilities, what has the curriculum - the schools' deliberate educational policy - done to help them in these matters of fundamental importance to adult life? More than this, even though it may sound somewhat grandly put, pupils are members of a complicated civilisation and culture, and it is reasonable to argue that they have nothing less than a right to be introduced to a selection of its essential elements. Options systems may well prevent this from happening; the freedom to stop studying history, or art, or music, or biology at 14 means that pupils are not being given the introduction to their own cultural inheritance to which we believe they have a right. No one disputes the irrefutable case for basic skills and techniques (1); equally there is a case for cultural experiences and an introduction to values.

There is also just as strong a case - less often acknowledged

(1) The subject appendices indicate the kinds of skills which each subject aspires to promote but additionally they point the way to a better definition of basic skills. See Economic Understanding p53, History p49, Language, p20, paras 5, 6 and 8 show how important it is that the schools are clear about what they can and should do, so that they can develop their professional response even in the face of criticism.

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for the formation of attitudes: to each other, to work, to obligations in society and not least to themselves (1). For themselves, pupils will need competence and an increasing sense of self-reliance, and the means whereby to develop a sense of integrity in the inevitably changing circumstances that await them.

It is for these reasons that our definition of a common curriculum is broad and makes substantial claims on time. We see that common curriculum as a body of skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge, to be pursued, to a depth appropriate to their ability, by all pupils in the compulsory years of secondary education for a substantial part of their time, perhaps as much as two-thirds or three-quarters of the total time available. The remainder would be used either to deepen understanding of studies already in hand, or to undertake new activities, or both.


It is at this point that we come to the heart of our thesis. We see the curriculum to be concerned with introducing pupils during the period of compulsory schooling to certain essential 'areas of experience'. They are listed below in alphabetical order so that no other order of importance may be inferred: in our view, they are equally important.


Areas of experience

The aesthetic and creative
The ethical
The linguistic
The mathematical
The physical
The scientific
The social and political
The spiritual

The list is not, or should not be, surprising; but the existing curricula of many pupils might well not measure up to it very satisfactorily. It does not in itself constitute an actual curricular programme. It is a checklist, one of many possible ones, for curricular analysis and construction. An advantage of such an approach is that many teachers would be rethinking what they know and do already, rather than beginning as novices in a new field. It does not in itself demand anyone way of teaching or model of time tabling or pattern of internal school organisation. Given time for preliminary thinking and planning and the assembling and distribution of resources, it could be realised through a familiar-looking programme of single subjects, or through forms of interdisciplinary work, or with a combination of both; or it could lead to novel groupings and titles of studies. It does, of course, by enlarging the notion of a common 'core' to a curriculum that occupies the greater part of all pupils' time, put into question some types of 'option' scheme, though it does not deny the possibility of proper exercise of choice. The essential point to retain, in our view, is that any curriculum provided for pupils up to the age of 16 should be capable of demonstrating that it offers properly thought out and progressive experience in all these areas. Only so, we believe, can pupils' common curricular rights and society's needs be met.

None of the areas listed should be simply equated with a subject or a group of subjects, although obviously in some cases, e.g. the mathematical, a particular subject is recognisably the major contributor and means to learning. There is nothing essentially new in recognising that certain forms of learning experience, skills and concepts may be sought in a variety of curricular contexts: the Bullock report, A language for life, emphasised the importance of, but did not create, 'language across the curriculum' or the essential role of language in learning; the place of the aesthetic in mathematics or of the mathematical in music or geography has long been a familiar idea. Ethics does not normally appear as a separate and identifiable school course but it has a place in many sectors of the curriculum, wherever serious ethical questions need to be considered. Similarly, the spiritual aspects of human experience can be explored, for example, through art, music and drama as well as in say, history, literature and religion: but those planning the exploration need to know where they are going, and those engaged in it need to be helped to recognise what they have discovered (2).

It is also important to emphasise the fact that subject or 'course' labels often tell us surprisingly little about the objectives to be pursued or the activities to be introduced, still less about the likely or expected levels of achievement. An individual subject may make valid, although varied, contributions in different schools; or to different pupils in the same school; or to the same pupils at different ages or stages of individual development (3). Any framework to be constructed for the curriculum must be able to accommodate shifts of purpose, content and method in subjects, and of emphasis between subjects. In other words, it is not proposed that schools should plan and construct a common curriculum in terms of subject labels only: that would be to risk becoming trapped in discussions about the relative importance of this subject or that. Rather, it is necessary to look through the subject or discipline to the areas of experience and knowledge to which it may provide access, and to the skills and attitudes which it may assist to develop.

Some schools are consciously moving towards an enlarged common curriculum, by extending, for example, the central core of compulsory subjects to include some form of science and/or social studies and/or health education. Such curriculum construction in terms of subjects is acceptable when, but only when, everyone is clear what is to be achieved through them. There is, therefore, nothing necessarily to criticise in the following example taken from

(1) See Mathematics p24 paras 1 and 2 for a specific view of the subject's contribution to the individual child's personal development; or Art in the Curriculum p36.

(2) Technology, p30, on the interrelationship of subjects in promoting 'a diversion within standard disciplines'.

(3) Classics pp45 -48 examines some of the factors which operate in making available courses to different ranges of ability and children at different stages of development.

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a school, and yet if it stood unexplained and unexplored, it could fall far short of what we would want to see in practice.

It is based on a 40-period week and corresponds to our estimate that the common curriculum should occupy two thirds or more of the total time available. In this case the eight remaining periods are used to provide two option blocks, which permit pupils to add further subjects (e.g. a second foreign language or a classical study or another science) or to devote more time to subjects already being studied. Other comparable models are possible and are widely found. Whatever the model, all pupils of whatever ability do not normally follow identical courses: within each 'subject', there are possibilities of shaping detailed content, pace and method to suit differing needs and capacities, and different pupils choose different subjects to serve the same curricular aim. What are of prime importance are the intentions and learning objectives to be realised, and the coherence and balance of the total programme for each pupil.


If the checklist is to be used as the basis of curriculum construction or of reshaping and refining existing curricula, it will be necessary for each faculty or subject department to examine what knowledge, skills, forms of understanding and modes of learning it can offer to the education of every pupil, and for all departments together to consider how their various and complementary roles combine in the pupils' developing experience. Once matters have been clarified thus far, planning can be taken a stage further by looking at the curriculum in a three-dimensional framework. The first dimension will consist of the essential areas of experience; the second of the subjects, groups of studies or courses within which the learning is to be organised; and the third will be the progression that is planned for over five years. Within such a framework can be considered also the more effective utilisation of time over the whole span of secondary education: the balance of emphasis between activities may shift from one stage to the next, as best suits the developing skills and maturing interests of the pupils, and new elements of knowledge or experience may need to find a place, but the balance over all can be kept in steady perspective.

Given these three dimensions of the curriculum, it should be easier to identify gaps in the sum of the parts: for example, to examine how well the school is preparing any given group of pupils to live in a technological society. The detailed discussions required for this kind of analysis should be valuable in improving the morale of teachers; they would perceive more clearly how their contribution fitted in and understand better how to assess the results of their efforts.


We are not unaware, of course, that in years 4 and 5 the education of many pupils is strongly orientated towards external examinations. It is important that the framework provided by the external examinations system should not hinder schools from implementing programmes that they acknowledge to be necessary for the development of individuals and of whole groups of pupils. There is, however, as is widely demonstrable in the work of many schools, no reason why education should stop as soon as an examination syllabus is embarked upon; indeed, a clearer and widely agreed definition of curricular objectives could assist the development of improved instruments of assessment, including public examinations. Examination boards have shown themselves in recent years encouragingly willing to develop new approaches in response to changing perceptions of needs and fresh curricular thinking.


How far is the kind of approach we are suggesting practicable? Still more, how far is it likely to lead to a more soundly based curriculum, better able to meet educational needs as now perceived, and capable of responding to new perceptions in the future? There will be some readers who are aware, as we are also, of individual schools already independently engaged in this kind of thinking and in critical reappraisal of their own curricular assumptions. There will be others dissatisfied with the generality of these ideas, and urgent that we should even now be translating them into examples of particular programmes and detailed syllabus content. But particular programmes, if they are to be convincing, have to be more than extended theoretical exercises; they have to be rooted in the circumstances and needs of real schools and pupils, and operated by teachers grappling both with the daily problems in the classroom and with the long-term objectives.

We are grateful and gratified, therefore, that, as was earlier indicated, already, a number of schools and LEAs in different parts of the country are engaged in trying to apply our ideas and the propositions drawn from them to their own specific.circumstances. Through their experience and open discussion between all partners in the exercise, the possibilities and limitations of such an approach will be explored, and the principles elaborated in detailed practice to a point where results may be assessed. Different circumstances in different areas will in themselves produce important and

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illuminating variations which will help to test the adequacy of the underlying thesis. Nothing that we have said diminishes or is intended to diminish the essential freedom of schools to choose how to carry out their curricular responsibilities, or makes any less demand - indeed it makes more - on the professional judgements and skills of teachers.

The first duty of compulsory secondary schooling is to help the pupils to realise their potential as fully as possible and to become the better equipped in skills and attitudes to face the future. This paper is no more than a contribution to a necessarily continuing exploration of what that task may mean.

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Section 2

Schools and society


'Education' and 'Society' are elusive concepts. The terms are used easily enough in casual conversation, but their precise definition is a difficult and continuing exercise, not least because the concepts change over time. Another difficulty is that education has two distinct and yet interdependent roles in relation to society. First, the educational system is charged by society - in the sense of parliamentary will - with equipping young people to take their place as citizens and workers in adult life, and to begin to form attitudes to the prevailing patterns in standards and behaviour. In so doing they will immediately encounter assumptions concerning the nature of accepted norms, and the desirability or otherwise of given social and economic arrangements. Secondly there is the responsibility for educating the 'autonomous citizen', a person able to think and act for herself or himself, to resist exploitation, to innovate and to be vigilant in the defence of liberty. These two functions do not always fit easily together (1).

Nevertheless both functions are necessary, each acting upon the other. We all belong to groups of some kind; everyone depends upon other people for survival in a complex, technology-based economy which itself is part of a complex international economy. At the same time we are aware of being individual, and there is a necessary tension between obligations and rights. As well as 'socialising' the young by making them aware of their obligations and behavioural responsibilities as members of society, schools have also to teach them about their rights and qualities as individuals (2).

An insufficient analysis of society will tend to ignore or play down the function of the groups to which we all belong: the family, the peer group, the club, the union, the party, the interest group and so on. The concept of the 'social organism' so prevalent and influential leaves out a good deal more. Any society is based, though not exclusively, upon an economic system, and one requirement of educating pupils to take a place in society is to inform them of how to live and work in such an economy. A society is held together by certain common beliefs and patterns of behaviour, even if and when these are under attack or changing quite rapidly, and any society has a given set of political arrangements, an apparatus of state and authority. We must be clear about the nature and purposes of the 'socialisation' element of education before the more precise obligations of schools can be examined. Any educational discussion quickly reminds us of the compelling special pleas that can and must be made on behalf of minorities. Religious and ethnic minorities are the ones more commonly quoted, but there are many others, for example, the handicapped (itself a rather vague concept), those compelled to move about the country, and children from broken homes whose experience of 'family' is often a wide and unhappy deviation from the norm.

The plurality of such interests and groups in society should be seen as a possible strength. There are many areas of common ground occupied by minorities, for example an interest in toleration and concern for others, in order, in a strong and healthy economy. Schools can obviously do a great deal to make these things plain, and to encourage behaviour appropriate to these ends (3).

There are also groups of a different kind, who see society as it is at present constituted as oppressive and objectionable. It is very unlikely that the mass of citizens in general, or that parents and local education authorities in particular, would countenance a curriculum for violent change, still less that they would be willing to pay for it. For the purposes of curriculum planning we need to have in mind the 'virtuous citizen', probably living as part of a family, in a largely urban, technology-based industrial society, with minority cultures, working in general towards a social harmony which can accommodate change and differences. It is in relation to some such requirements that the school's role has to be considered.


It is clear that schools have multiple obligations and purposes. They service both society and the individual. They are part of a complex system by which a country aims to sustain and improve its position in the world, but schools are also places - though of course not the only places - where pupils should be helped to develop to the full their individual talents and interests irrespective of whether these can be put to immediate practical use. Hence schools must

(1) For a view of the interaction of these two functions see Language paper p20 paras 4, 5 and 6. Economic Understanding and History papers also have considerable regard to the issues raised. See Economic Understanding p52 paras 1, 3 and 4, and History paper p50 paras 6 and 7. Religious Education paper p43 para 6 has a special relevance because of the Agreed Syllabus procedure, and, as the paper concludes 'Religious Education may provide a basis for understanding the search for meaning in life and an invitation to share in that, but it is the pupil's own. life which will provide the experiences which shape his response and test its consistency and quality'.

(2) Political competence (pp56-58) emphasises that the way in which the school undertakes this responsibility is itself a part of political education.

(3) Religious Education p42 and History p50 indicate the nature of the schools' responsibilities in these matters, but for a more general need to 'extend imaginatively beyond the familiar', see Language p22 and Drama p39.

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concern themselves both with preparing adolescents for the adult world, and with helping them to achieve growth, confidence and independence.

The curriculum, the expression of this compromise, is the public expression of the school's educational thinking. It is no new idea to speak of it as a treaty between school and community; it must be continuously reviewed and renegotiated in the light of the differences between the changing demands and expectations of society and the current educational philosophies in our schools. Neither society nor the schools should be the sole arbiter of what is taught and learned.

In the absence of any central control over education in this country, the continuous review.and renegotiation of the curriculum is not a simple matter. Major curricular changes can result only from agreement among a number of different parties, including local authorities, schools, examination boards, and higher and further education. None of these parties specifically represents the interest of the amorphous body which we call society, but all of them are sensitive to the expectations of society as voiced both by consumers of education - the employers, in the widest sense - and by the general public, particularly parents, politicians and the media. One of the major difficulties lies in establishing procedures to discover or foster a consensus among the different interested parties as to what schools can reasonably be expected to achieve.

As schools try to reflect or to react to the multiple expectations of society, society for its part must try to define its priorities more clearly. It does not speak with one voice. In a world of pluralist values the messages received by schools can be contradictory and confusing. The acquisitive urge and the sense of social service exist side by side. Industry asks for a conformist work discipline from some but for initiative and a competitive spirit from others. Value systems are changing rapidly and attitudes towards such problems as violence, sexual morality, and the boundaries of tolerance are increasingly unclear. There are obvious contradictions in a society which implicitly or explicitly advocates materialism and moral laissez-faire but expects the young to be responsible. The role of women continues to change and with it, inevitably, the role of men. Both contribute to the care and upbringing of children. There are expectations that the school should contribute to the development of an understanding of the needs of children within a great variety of social backgrounds. In defining its expectations of schools, society must be careful to match these with its actual needs. For instance. expectations are usually, indeed only too often, expressed in terms of examination results (school leavers are expected to have achieved certain grades at O-level or in CSE examinations), whereas in practice the demands of the job are usually very different. Examination results may offer some evidence of a genuine application to work; they do not necessarily say much about other desirable qualities, such as initiative, the capacity to solve problems, or the ability to get on with other people.

Society tends to expect a finished product from schools (1), whereas it appears to need young people who have acquired certain essential skills, who have learned to work on their own, who have been encouraged to think for themselves and to discriminate, and whose earlier education will enable them to benefit from further education and training.

This is as true of the education of girls as of boys. At one time society may demand that attention must be given to the role of the individual within the family, to the preparation of pupils for parenthood; at another time, society will allege that such preparation is not a job for the school and that obtaining good examination results in traditional and acceptable subjects should take precedence. The ambivalence of society's attitudes has long been epitomised in its approach to girls' education. But women have taken their place alongside men in working life. ' This country is committed to equal opportunity in education, which must lead to some redistribution of responsibilities within the home, as well as in the world of work.

With these qualifications in mind, we can now attempt to be more specific about some of the major expectations of society and to assess their claims to find a place in the school curriculum.


Political expectations

Curricula give out messages; in any curriculum the selection of subjects and skills that are taught and of the attitudes and activities that are encouraged implies certain political and social assumptions and values, however unconscious. It is not the responsibility of education in this country to give direct ideological support to every aspect of the existing political system, in the sense that would be required in a totalitarian state (Economic Understanding p53 and History p49 specifically reject this role. For a fuller discussion see Political competence, pp 56-58). Nevertheless it does reflect the broad general assent to political democracy, and has to be sensitive to public opinion. There are, therefore, pressures on schools to conform to certain conventions and aspirations of the community at large. One of these postulates that schools should generate a certain sense of social obligation. It can be argued that no society, whatever its style of government, can survive for long unless held together by a concern shared by the majority of its members for the general welfare of the community. It is therefore legitimate to expect schools to foster within their community - which in many ways is a microcosm of a larger society - a sense of mutual obligation and to develop a sensitivity to the interests of others. In practical terms this means to minimise anti-social behaviour, to provide opportunities through which a sense of obligation can find expression, to emphasise responsibility for the welfare of others, to stress the obligation of the materially or intellectually well-endowed towards those less well-endowed,

(1) See Language p20 for a general discussion of the issues underlying this point. We have also stressed throughout that school is one among many of the influences in the education of the pupil, a process only partly achieved when the individual leaves school.

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and to enable the less well-endowed to develop a sense of their own worth. None of this entails any subscription to any particular political philosophy (1).

Schools as instruments of change

Some sections of the community expect schools to promote actively the ideal of a fairer society and to help in bringing about, in the language of social reformers, 'a more equal distribution of life chances'. The contribution that education alone can make to the creation of a fairer society is at best limited. It is reasonable to expect schools not to reinforce social disadvantages or injustice; it is neither reasonable nor realistic to expect the ordinary school to act as a substitute home or to compensate for the persistence of social injustice. The obligation upon schools is to provide the best possible educational opportunities appropriate to pupils of all backgrounds and abilities. The fact that all schools ought to be sensitive to the needs of those furthest away from the norm - physically, socially and academically - does not imply the adoption of a particular social philosophy. It does imply that the school system should diagnose learning difficulties and be aware of the differing aspirations of the various and varied groups from which its pupils come.

General accountability

Although schools do not owe allegiance to particular political or social philosophies they are accountable to society, which maintains them at great cost. It is not a simple matter of giving value for money because the definition of value in education is bound to remain subjective and effects are in any case hard to assess. Many things worth teaching cannot be tested or assessed objectively. But society can demand that schools are places in which pupils and teachers work hard, in which certain standards are maintained and certain skills taught, and in which certain general qualities and attitudes - integrity, reliability, application to work, and consideration for others - are established, by example as well as by precept.

Preparation for the future

Society is also justified in expecting schools - always bearing in mind that schools are only one agency in the total educational development of a child - to make some contribution to the 'socialisation' of the young, their induction into adulthood, and their preparation as citizens, parents, wage earners and voters of the future.

'Preparation for the future' may appear to imply the ability to predict the future with some degree of accuracy. But many new social needs arise suddenly and cannot be anticipated by the school curriculum twenty years earlier. Conversely, some of today's requirements for which the curriculum does prepare the young may have ceased to be requirements in twenty years' time. Nevertheless, some assumptions about the future can and must reasonably be made and schools cannot shelve the responsibility of considering them in planning their curriculum. That curriculum must not, however, be too tightly shaped by these assumptions. Adults of the future need to be equipped to make their own response to change (2), Schools have therefore both to encourage flexibility of mind and adaptability of skills, and yet maintain consistent values. The contribution of the curriculum to the moral, ethical and spiritual areas of experience remains of prime importance.


Technological change will increase, processes and techniques of work will be more quickly out-dated. The body of knowledge will grow and syllabuses will have to become more selective. There is a need therefore to develop in everyone a capacity for the acceptance of retraining. If schools are to make pupils capable of continued learning, there is a strong case for

i. Reconsidering the balance in the curriculum between factual knowledge, concepts and skills.
ii. Equipping every pupil with techniques of independent study to strengthen those skills which help in the assimilation of new knowledge.
iii. Emphasising at an appropriate stage problem-solving techniques, in all subjects (3).

It is often said that in the foreseeable future most adults will spend less of each week at work than now. Whether or not that proves to be the case, it is certain that then as now, they will need to find sources of personal fulfilment and recreation. This highlights the need to encourage a wide range of leisure interests, if 'leisure' can be taken to embrace all that time and activity not directly devoted to earning a living. It also raises questions about a curriculum which is, for the majority of pupils, particularly in the last two years of compulsory education, almost entirely geared to examination objectives. How can a school ensure that preparation for examinations does not stunt the development of qualities of curiosity, inventiveness and imagination? Those qualities are, indeed, valuable in work as well as in leisure, but the jobs of many young school leavers may offer little scope for their exercise: it becomes the more important that they should be kept alive to enrich personal living, and that young people while still at school should acquire interests and the confidence to pursue them beyond the limits of formal education.


The 1980s may well be years of even greater political and economic tension than the present day, at home as well as abroad. If so, the greater will be the need for a basic

(1) Religious Education p 43 emphasises that it is in the way that schools treat the pupils that these qualities will be fostered or inhibited from growth. 'If the school itself is a caring community, expressing that care internally in the quality of relationships and externally through service to the community, then pupils will be given deeper understanding of concepts like love and service and of what these may demand in personal terms of humane concern.'

(2) Many of the subject appendices show that methods of learning which emphasise the pupils' own enquiry are likely to grow. Mathematics paper and History paper both indicate a movement away from the didactic methods traditionally used.

(3) Technology and Craft design and technology are informed throughout by these considerations. See also Drama p 39.

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political and economic education for all. Shortly after leaving school, many young people will find that they are expected to play a responsible part in their local communities, and at the age of 18, to cast their votes. Nearly all of them will in due course be wage earners and taxpayers. Many will become parents and will have responsibilities to their own children to ensure their educational opportunity. They will need to understand different viewpoints, appreciate conflicting motives, resist tendentious influences, and appraise critically. They will need to make choices and understand the implications of choices made. They will therefore require not only a basic knowledge of how society is run and how resources are distributed but also an introduction to citizenship involving not so much a study of institutions but of issues, not of constitutional forms but of political motivation and of the criteria for making political choices (1). All these activities require a capacity to comprehend and to use language correctly in context, and hence have important implications for language learning in schools. It is also important that school structures should allow all pupils the possibility of gaining experiences and skills in discussion, argument and decision-making.


It is also safe to assume that the 1980s will not see a society based on a single set of values - indeed, the trend to pluralism is likely to continue and the next decade may well see an increasing polarisation of views. This points to the importance of fostering tolerance and empathy, and of exposing pupils to experiences not only of listening and talking to, but of living alongside, people of different persuasions and convictions. They should be able to begin to formulate a personal code of conduct and to develop enough conviction to live by it.

The world of work

Changes in the world of work and in the expectations of employers and the implications of these changes for the secondary curriculum are discussed in a later section.

The development of the individual pupil

It is reasonable to expect a school to deploy all its human and material resources to help each individual pupil, by means appropriate to his background and requirements, to fulfil himself as a person. There will be a different balance of requirements, largely according to local circumstance: urban or rural, homogeneous or multi-cultural, deprived or prosperous. Even within particular local areas pupils have different needs which depend not only on their ability and maturity but also on the range of their previous experience and the degree of support received from home. Schools must, therefore, be capable of adopting methods suitable to different needs; objectives will have been stated clearly, methods must be flexible to achieve them.

But there is also much common ground. All pupils should feel cared for and appreciated for what they are. In consequence, they may become sensitive to the needs of others. But, in their own interest as much as that of the community, it is equally important that they should be challenged to make the most of their talents, and encouraged to persevere in their efforts. Every pupil needs to be provided with the right balance of care and challenge, of security and stimulus.

In particular, schools must help pupils to acquire a basic understanding of themselves and of the society in which they live, and such skills as will enable them to face with confidence a variety of social tasks. This will involve skills of literacy, numeracy, a certain manual dexterity, skills of communication and discussion, of independent study and of cooperation with others. Pupils also require experience of using language correctly in context, of discriminating between fact and fiction, between reasoned argument and prejudice so that they feel confident in making choices and decisions.

Good classroom practice will go far to stimulate qualities of inventiveness and curiosity. Opportunities should be provided as far as a school's resources permit, to foster interests and enthusiasms through a generous programme of activities which will enrich the life of its pupils and, directly or indirectly, that of the community in which they live. This encouragement is particularly important where there is little support from home. Schools must be aware of the impact on pupils of outstanding individuals who may be instrumental in kindling some enthusiasm and providing an inspirational element in their lives. Pupils will also pick up attitudes from the school's own approach in each classroom to minority groups of all kinds, from its furtherance in day-today practice of its declared philosophy and from the extent to which it shows, in structure and curriculum, equal concern for girls and boys, for the able and less able, for the indigenous and for the immigrant. Not only the whole curriculum, but the conduct of each class must be what a school intends.

To help them to build up sound relationships with others, pupils need to be 'impelled into experience'. They should know what it is to exercise initiative and responsibility as well as to undergo tight discipline and control. In other words, they should have the opportunity to follow, to cooperate and to lead.

Above all they need to develop that confidence which comes from a sense of achievement. This sense of achievement will elude them unless they can be given tasks appropriate to their interests and capabilities. The most valuable gift a school can give its pupils is the confidence that results from work well done; pupils who are denied the opportunity to achieve this confidence leave with a serious handicap.


These, then, are some of the expectations that pupils, parents, employers and the general public might reasonably have of schools. The fulfilment of these expectations, however, is likely to be affected by the following further factors.

1. There are limits to the school's influence. Nor are we unaware of the power of the 'hidden curriculum'. There are,

(1) See Political competence, pp 56-58. The fundamental political question is 'What happens when people disagree?' Under 'Attitudes' p 57, we see that 'The resolution of differences is part of the world of work, the school, clubs and societies, and indeed the family'.

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then, the formal curriculum, the hidden curriculum, and what the French call 'the parallel school', all those influencer outside the school that press so powerfully on pupils. We know also that teachers may well agree on aims, objectives and even on terminology, and proceed to apply them in different ways. Therefore it is desirable to state again that schools are not the only providers of education; they complement other influences or may compete or even conflict with them. A teacher is only one among many to open up new experiences and to mould, consciously or unconsciously tastes and attitudes. Others - homes, peer groups and the public media - may exercise a more potent influence. However, to accept that the school is only one influence does not logically imply minimising this influence. On the contrary, school influence has the advantage of being, ideally, continuous and planned whereas the impact of the public media is spasmodic, peer groups rise and fall, and home relationships may be subject to strain and stress (1). Indeed, many parents are increasingly looking to schools to provide that support which has previously been the province of the home. In their turn, many schools are discovering that they are better able to achieve their objectives by enlisting the support of parents and of the community at large.

2. More serious is the constraint that may be imposed by an out-dated school organisation or ethos, taken over from the attitudes and assumptions of previous decades and circumstances. These may include teaching styles which do nothing to encourage the objectives of participation, syllabuses which continue to emphasise factual content rather than skills and understanding, and an emphasis on competitive examinations which discourages effective cooperation among pupils. Some schools also retain a hierarchical system which offers a genuine experience of responsibility to a small minority only. The function of the secondary school used to be seen primarily as the education of an academic and professional elite. TIle secondary school of today has accepted or is certainly being required to accept the much wider responsibility of guiding all pupils towards their future role in society. Institutional styles and structures need to be shaped accordingly.

3. Finally, the examination system, which has become the chief and most obvious means of establishing and maintaining national standards, is a powerful influence. The need to prepare pupils for examinations has led many teachers to interpret their task in unduly narrow terms. In this they are confirmed by the importance which attaches to examination results for entrance to further and higher education as well as to industry and commerce. Teachers are only too well aware of the value of certification of all sorts to their pupils and may hesitate to admit content or methods which might interfere with the possibility of success. There have been interesting and encouraging developments in methods and styles of examining in recent years; nevertheless preparation for many examinations still puts a premium on accurate recall of factual information at the cost of less attention to training in independent thinking or encouragement of discrimination.

Although it is clear that the construction of 'personal profiles' presents great problems, they could be of far more value than an arbitrary number of O-level or CSE achievements alone. Such profiles are but one example of recent attempts, both by examination boards and individual schools, to assess pupils in different and interesting ways. Schools need every encouragement to develop in this field and to begin to make assessments of their pupils which will command esteem in the eyes of society.

They need to ensure too that other aspects of their curriculum, not subject to formal assessment, are also afforded esteem. A starting point might be the provision of alternative goals which, if achieved, would carry some currency with employers, for those pupils with few or no examination expectations.


Social objectives do not require the introduction of new subjects into the curriculum. Most of the necessary knowledge can be transmitted through established subjects or combinations of them. Every subject offers opportunities of encouraging the skills and attitudes needed - skills of independent study, of communication and discussion, of cooperation, and of discrimination. Everything that goes on in a school, in and out of the classroom, can contribute to social objectives or, conversely, can impede their realisation, although some objectives will be best served in the classroom and others through activities outside the school.

But above all, the objectives must be realised through the general ethos of the school, through the nature of the personal relationships in the classroom, through a match between the aims of the school and its organisation and through the daily example of all the adults with whom the pupils are in contact. Attitudes cannot be taught, but teachers who are both caring and challenging, tolerant of error but consistent in setting high standards, and skilful in getting pupils to participate in their learning, will, whatever their specialisms, substantially contribute to all the social objectives that are a proper part of education.

In the realisation of social objectives, much will also depend on the quality of the advice and encouragement that individual pupils are given by members of staff who have a close knowledge of them and enjoy their respect and confidence. Pupils should be helped to understand their individual situations and to develop the personal resources for dealing with them. A precondition of active and purposeful study is the development of a caring atmosphere and of correspondingly good personal relationships. As schools have grown, and organisation has become more complex, the opportunities for teachers to know each pupil will have decreased. Many teachers, in large schools, teach two or three hundred pupils a week; in religious education, the problem is often acute. Most schools have found it necessary to set up a pastoral network, but only when all staff feel involved is the academic work effectively supported by this network. No pastoral system can function satisfactorily divorced from the working life of the school.

(1) Drama, p39, discusses how schools, through drama, can help their pupils to explore some of the conflicts of experience.

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Underlying all this is the need to achieve an acceptable balance of academic and social objectives. There is a risk on the one hand of pursuing academic achievements at what can amount to an unacceptable social cost and, on the other hand, of using methods to achieve certain social objectives which impede the realisation of much academic potential. Each school will need to seek a balance in which these different objectives are given due weight.

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Section 3

Schools and preparation for work


The two preceding sections have been concerned with the responsibilities of schools to provide experience, knowledge and progressive understanding for their pupils on their way through compulsory education to the age of 16. The majority then leave, and begin to make the transition, which may be easy, or difficult, or indeed brutally abrupt into what, in recent usage, is called 'the world of work'. This section is concerned with the school's part in preparing for that transition.


There is a danger that the 'world of work', if too narrowly identified, will be seen in isolation from the overall business of living in adult society. To help young people cope with the experience of entering employment is to help them to continue to find their identity as human beings, individuals in society, in larger or smaller groups. For some it will be an enjoyable enlargement of experience; for others it will be a raw, hard and often casual world; all employers are not enlightened, and those who discuss too impatiently schools and their achievements may fail to appreciate what many young people have to offer.

The 16-year-old school leaver should have a foundation that comes from knowing what it is to have done a job well, to have faced up to problems and to have tried to solve them. As was said in Section 2, schools should have developed in their pupils some sense of obligation to other people and sensitivity to their needs and interests, as well as some growing sense of sympathy and understanding with people of a variety of beliefs and practices and cultural backgrounds. All these capacities are most certainty going to be put to the test. In addition, the 16-year-old should have the beginning of a real idea of what paid employment means, of its complexities, duties and rights, and of the uncertainties and fluctuations that some or many will have to face for much and in some cases all of their active life. To receive a pay packet, to work out the deductions, and to face the cost of living can appear to have nothing to do with what one did at school. The links must be made to be real and explicit.

The world of work is extensive as well as complex; it includes any context in which people try to earn their living. It is important that the term 'worker' is not narrowly defined to refer only to those people who man an assembly line. Not all workers in this country are employed by large corporations - the small firms and the self-employed are not only important but of much importance in many parts of the country. Manufacturing is by no means the largest sector of industry and what has often been called 'white-collar work' is increasing. The flexibility that employment will demand in the future makes it important for young people to be adaptable and ready to accept retraining. A substantial number still receives no systematic education after the age of 16, but it is becoming more common for school leavers to find jobs where training and further education are expected and looked forward to. The specific requirements of particular forms of employment will vary greatly; all pupils nevertheless will need a range of general skills, appropriate attitudes and some real, hard knowledge about this world of work.


When a school has considered carefully the general demands which the working life makes, it should accept the responsibility to organise its curriculum to equip its leavers with competence in appropriate skills. During this process a school will have to clarify what it expects pupils to be able to do at the age of 16.

There would probably be wide agreement that most pupils should:

i. be able to participate effectively in a conversation; set down clearly what they want to express; write letters and simple descriptive reports
ii. be at ease with diagrams, symbols and graphs; have competence in arithmetic; understand money and the common units of measurement; use a pocket calculator
iii. possess the dexterity and physical control necessary to develop manipulative skills
iv. be able to draw on and apply the skills required to tackle a problem scientifically
v. have developed capacity for reasoning and judgement.
In all these aspects there is need to consider the levels of competence that are appropriate and attainable for individual pupils, and the implications for teaching methods (1).

Skills can be taught without the introduction of a narrow or specialised vocational training. Every subject to be found in the curriculum of a school can and should make some

(1) In discussions of terminal objectives, we have suggested that the subject appendix papers should show what schools consider that their pupils should be able to do and to know at 16. Language points out, however, that there could be a danger that this result in limiting the diet of pupils to 'basic skills' (pp20, 21).

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contribution, but if transfer of skills is to occur then the scope for transfer must be made explicit to the pupils (1). This requires close cooperation between subject departments within a school as well as attention to the application of specific skills in the outside world.


Criticisms are sometimes made about school leavers that they seem to lack knowledge of the world of business - which in many cases is small business - that they have little appreciation of the roles of trade unions and management, and that they often appear to be hostile to industry. It is not for schools to give exclusive support to anyone interest or point of view. They can, however, help to prepare young people for responsibilities, situations and modes of operating which are very different indeed from those of the classroom.

Two tasks merit particular attention. The more immediate is to give pupils some notion of what it is like to be at work - the range of jobs on which they might be engaged, the nature of the working day and of working conditions, and their relationships with fellow workers, trade union officials and management. Because employment is so varied the school can do no more than sample the possibilities, but it should be in such a way that pupils are not only aware of some of the employment opportunities available but also have realistic expectations. Here, first-hand knowledge and experience gained by visiting is helpful to teachers and pupils alike. First-hand experience can, and in all possible circumstances should, be augmented by those imaginative kinds of experience achieved through drama, games and simulation (2), films and literature. It is often the case that schools giving thoughtful attention to relations with industry and to work experience have not explored seriously enough and with sufficient skill the contribution that can be made through drama teaching, and through other elements within the curriculum. Similarly, a limited but interesting study by HM Inspectors of the content of GCE O- and A-level papers found that only between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent of the papers in History were concerned with science or technology or the arts, rather than with politics and diplomacy.

The second contribution that schools can make is to give pupils the beginnings of knowledge of the economic and political system so that they can place their own employment in a broader context. They need to appreciate some of the links between political processes and the working of the economy, and some of the implications of living in a technological society, for these are matters that will impinge upon their working life. It does not follow that schools should necessarily organise courses labelled 'economics' or 'politics' or 'technology', but that within the curriculum as a whole adequate attention should be given to these aspects and to the links between them (3). An honest scrutiny of what happens in many schools would show how little is really done to meet these needs.


The development of a sense of values and of responsible attitudes towards work itself and towards individuals with whom they deal are as important to young employees as the development of skills.

It is essential that pupils have experience at school of what it is to work individually and in groups, to work sometimes independently and sometimes under supervision. Many attitudes traditionally valued by schools, such as the appreciation of quality, a pride in work, a concern for accuracy, a willingness to cooperate, to take responsibility, and to sustain the effort needed to complete a task are equally relevant to the world of work. The links must be self-evident. Similarly schools can educate pupils to value punctuality and neatness, and to be sensitive to safety requirements.

Every department ought to be aware of the ways in which It can make a contribution to the formation of positive attitudes, for this does not happen automatically. So often attitudes are formed unconsciously. Pupils are influenced by the atmosphere of a place, by what is not done and what is left unsaid, by the interaction that they have with staff and the other adults they meet. Personalities play an important part in the transmission of values and pupils meet their teachers as people, not just as instructors.


There is no doubt that the transition to adult working life would be smoothed by closer cooperation between schools and industry. It is heartening to be able to say that examples of rewarding cooperation already exist where pupils and teachers are given opportunities for work experience and observation, and where employers visit schools, not only to talk to pupils and staff, but to watch them at work and to observe modern teaching methods. Such cooperation has to be organised and managed in detail, and sustained.

A greater knowledge of local conditions can provide teachers of most subjects with immediate and appropriate source material from which to illustrate general ideas, while, as already suggested, discussion with employers can help schools to appreciate more clearly the skills required from their leavers. Employers must be encouraged to do far more systematic thinking than many have done to match entry qualifications with the skills and aptitudes required for the job of work to be done, rather than rely so heavily upon the results of external examinations. Pupils with limited or no public examination expectations should be given alternative goals to aim at and forms of assessment and reporting that would describe their all-round achievement in a manner employers would find useful. This will be the easier if schools and employers have engaged in honest exchanges of thought and experience. Some examination boards are providing the opportunity in some subjects for the assessment of pupils' understanding of the world of work and of local employment. More schools and more boards might introduce this, for it encourages teachers to include such studies in their schemes of work.

(1) See Language, p 20, and Mathematics, p 24.

(2) See Economic Understanding p 53.

(3) See discussion in Technology p 30 para 2 and Political competence p 56 para 1.

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It must be recognised that there are no easy or simple answers to the question of how best to prepare pupils for the world of work. One challenge is presented by the variety of demands and changing conditions of employment; another by our acceptance of a responsibility to help all pupils to develop realistic notions about their future and to acquire the means of working towards it. Inherent in all this is the need to ensure that schools do not themselves restrict pupils' opportunities by narrowing their horizons or by making false assumptions about their potential.

The discussion so far, while being by implication sometimes critical of what many schools fail to do, nevertheless assumes that on the whole there is a 'world of work' for pupils to go into. There is another more melancholy possibility to consider. The position varies regionally but it is clear that many pupils are leaving school to become unemployed, or to be caught up in 'job creation' schemes that are not in the category of 'gainful employment', socially useful and vastly preferable to wasting idleness though they may be. An unquantifiable number of pupils at 16 faces, for the next few years at any rate, an uncertain future, of periods of work of various kinds interleaved with periods out-of-work. The implications of this, for the pupils themselves - their political and social attitudes and behaviour - and for all agencies that provide education do not seem to be receiving the systematic attention that is necessary. Those concerned with the secondary curriculum need to look more searchingly than ever before at its capacity to help pupils face the built-in uncertainties of the world they are entering at 16, or indeed at 19 or 22. Many will face job changes, training and retraining, mobility and its consequences; some will face unemployment, or acceptance of jobs which they know to be below their real capacities. Their social and political attitudes may easily become bitter and cynical; they may see very radical changes as the only remedy for their predicament. It is folly to assume that a school curriculum of itself can protect against or provide solutions to such problems. Nevertheless, schools need to look again at their curricular intentions and provisions against this possibility. They have a significant part to play in developing their pupils' confidence and personal resources, together with attitudes and standards of behaviour that may help them in face of anxiety and stress.

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Supplementary Paper 1

Statements by HMI Subject Committees

The following statements were contributed for the most part by subject committees of the Inspectorate who were invited to consider the contribution of 'their' subject in the context of the thesis of the main paper. There are also one or two individual HMI contributions, for example, on political education, on aspects of the curriculum not readily identified with a single committee.

The selection of subject interests is neither exhaustive nor exclusive, and certainly no conclusions should be drawn that subjects omitted here are in any way to be regarded as of lesser importance in the curriculum. We hope, however, that there is here represented a sufficient range and variety of interests to illustrate the main thesis.

The subject statements are essentially working papers already being used for discussion in a variety of contexts with teachers and others professionally interested. They present the thinking of the authors at the time this went to press, but are not immutable, and many indeed may have been modified by exposure to wider comment by the time this publication appears. Continued critical comment and discussion will be welcomed.

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The English subject specialists in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools, whose thinking is summarised here, were contributors to, and have been influenced by, the arguments and suggestions in the Report of the Bullock Committee of Inquiry, published in 1975. Many of the points presented briefly here are treated in that Report with the completeness they need.

The range of this paper will necessarily be broader than that of the language of pupils and teachers in the course of the 'English' lesson. It will be broader than many current ideas about 'language across the curriculum'. It will argue the case for a 'linguistic education', much of the responsibility for which lies in the school as a community. The argument implies that we shall need teachers of all subjects who have a sure understanding of the ways in which language is used in effective learning, and that English teaching demands a more specialist understanding of language and literature. It implies also that we should develop the skill of all teachers in organising their work so that appropriate individual opportunity for language use is consistently offered to pupils. Some radical changes in examinations in all subjects, not just in English, will have to be made if they are to play their part in permitting and even encouraging real learning through effective language use.

Every teacher - indeed, every person in a relationship with other people in which language plays a part - conveys attitudes to language by his use of it, and by the use of language that he asks or expects from others. Teachers contribute to a number of the ways in which language makes young people what they are, and what they are to become. It is an essential instrument in their understanding of themselves; it is an important factor in the views that other people have of them. It is one of the ways in which they relate to people and to experience. It is a means by which they organise their experience into conscious thought and it is therefore closely related to learning. They can be enabled to learn though language if they are allowed to use it for the purpose, and they can be prevented from learning if they are not.

A school sets out to make possible its pupils' effective language behaviour within it, and to equip them for their needs beyond it. The second of these objectives is the more difficult in two ways; the demands will often be unpredictable, and the people who make them may have particular views of language which will influence the ways in which the demands will have to be met. Their views may be about usage and custom in language, most obviously about spelling, punctuation and certain grammatical forms, but also about features of language standardised by use in occupational, social and regional groups. In common with other forms of behaviour, language behaviour depends on an appreciation of the constraints that are operating at the time, and of the ways in which an individual can move within them. Paradoxically the deeper his understanding of the way conventions work, the more free the individual is to achieve his own purpose, to use the language appropriately as an individual but also with reference to the whole context. The best scientific and historical writing illustrates both the confident use of the conventions and the ability to bend them to make new meanings.

In much of the controversy about literacy, and in discussions about the role of the English department, it has frequently been implied that it is for 'English' to ensure that young people can use linguistic conventions (described inadequately as 'the basic skills'), but that English teachers neglect them in the promotion of 'self-expression'. The two are not, of their nature, opposites; they are opposites only in the minds of those who put them in opposition and take one side or the other. Moreover, the practice of schools as described in reports of HMI visits and in the survey of the Bullock Report (1) 'gives no evidence of a large body of teachers committed to the rejection of the basic skills and not caring who knows it'. It is important that children can use and understand the need for conventions, broadly interpreted and clearly defined in relation to contexts and groups of people. But the language they use needs to have become their own, and it is also important that they encounter the complexity of language behaviour, so that they may be more knowledgeable, critical and realistic about it.

When the school begins to feel the increasing influence of the world outside it, whether in the form of external examinations, the demands of employment or social acceptability, it is likely to lay more emphasis on the language's constraints. In doing so, it may neglect the central argument of Chapter 12 of the Bullock Report that 'learning and the acquisition of language are interlocked'. Language - spoken as well as written - is directly involved in the activity of learning, whatever the subject, and it is also used for communicating what has been learned. In children's learning, the two forms of language will often be different, since they have different purposes. We need to understand, and to tell pupils more explicitly than we have usually done, what are the opportunities and the constraints in the language of our teaching and their learning. Teachers of every subject must balance, at different stages and dependent on the work in hand, the need for such flexibility in spoken and written language as

(1) A language for life: HMSO 1975, pp 434-439.

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can make the learning more effective, and for understanding and following the appropriate conventions. If all teachers are to play their part in educating all pupils in language, then we shall all need to know about language and to question our opinions and attitudes. The understanding we gain should lead us to the conviction that language matters, but people as language-users matter especially.

Anyone, by following a group of pupils through a day in a secondary school, can prove that their language experiences are largely a matter of chance. The dominant modes are exposition by teachers, questions and answers (1), the writing of notes and of answers to work sheets. On anyone day, anyone of these modes might be dominant. The pupils' own use of language may be subject to spasmodic correction of superficial features. All of us, to some extent, have a view of language as a mine-field when we have to use it in unfamiliar circumstances. For many pupils, this is especially true; the language of school subjects becomes more and more alien during the years of their secondary education, and they participate less and less in its processes. When they do not understand the characteristics of language in the context of learning, they may fail to develop the confidence and incentive to participate that are vital if learning is to take place.

We cannot be satisfied with the preparation we give to young people for the language needs of their lives. Nor can we be satisfied with the level of the debate that is taking place about that preparation and those needs, marked as it is by inadequate evidence, partial views and aggressive and defensive postures. We should take more account of the first three paragraphs of the Bullock Report, and especially of its point that our expectations 'need to be raised to fulfil the demands that are being made upon them [the pupils]'. In an increasingly complex society, language too becomes more complex, and for full and adequate participation in that society, people need to assimilate roles and uses of language that did not exist a few generations ago. Yet they still need to be able to express ideas and feelings very simply, and to feel that their ability to do so will be valued.

It is possible now to define more clearly that part of pupils' education in language which is the responsibility of English teachers. Their objectives need to be seen in language terms. 'English' is a service agent, but not in the limited sense that it alone is responsible for pupils' spelling, punctuation and sentence construction. These features of pupils' language are a shared concern, and part of the whole school's language policy. The English department must help pupils to investigate language explicitly in its various forms, and with support from other departments, to keep alive pupils' interests in and response to language. It is from such an interest and response that the ability to use language develops in range and becomes more effective. And one of the most important ways of understanding what language does is to focus on Significant contexts and situations in which it occurs. Pupils aged 11 - 16 need help in understanding the relevant features of many kinds of language that touch people's lives - their grammars, certainly, but also the reasons for their grammars which lie in the contexts of their use - in the nature and purpose of the task, the nature of the 'audience', the relationship of the speaker and writer with the audience, and the 'match' between language and context. The subject-matter of 'English' will be the study and production of language in variety, and the discovery of similarity, difference and pattern. The English teacher will so contrive matters that his pupils will extend their understanding and control of varieties of language while reading and writing about experiences and subjects which interest them (2).

The field from which this subject-matter can be drawn is a vast one. It can include anything in the form of language, and anything to which a response in language is possible. But language is inseparable from almost every human activity; there is a strong verbal element in the aesthetic, the ethical, the spiritual and the social aspects of school life, and mathematics and science are also dependent on language. For other areas of the curriculum, the English department may need to be a tactful consultant and support, though there will be times when it will be offering a linguistic view, in its own right, of experience in one of these other areas.

'Literature', although part of the aesthetic and the ethical experience, must remain largely within the responsibility of English departments. Whatever else it is and does, it is one of the most important uses of language, and there is a close relationship between the response to and the creation of 'literary' forms of language. Poetry, prose and drama, whether on the page or in any other of the expressive media, must play their part in developing an understanding of and a response to language. One of the purposes of looking at examples of language is that pupils should develop appropriate sensitivities to it. 'Literature' is valuable in that it is one of the most significant, memorable and deliberated kinds of language, and that it extends our experience of language and of people as 'language-makers'. Literature is patterned experience; it enables us to see the familiar in a different light, and to extend imaginatively beyond the familiar. It uses language in order to refine and make more intense our response to experience. Reading a work of literature can evoke a more complex range of responses than any other form of reading, among which is that relating the vision and intention of the writer to the language he uses. Through his encounters with literature, the pupil should appreciate the rich possibilities of choice in language, and some of the most important purposes which language choice can service.

Out of the literature and the other forms of language that surround us every day, we need to select examples that tell pupils, appropriately to their age and experience, what use man makes of words. He tells in different ways what he has seen and done, he gives orders, he formulates opinions and gives reasons, he enters the thoughts and feelings of

(1) See Towards an analysis of discourse: the English used by teachers and pupils, J McH Sinclair and RM Coulthard. Oxford University Press 1975.

(2) Throughout most of this paper, the references to 'English' are intended to include those parts of work in 'Drama' which share the aims of the teaching of English. Drama will supply, often vividly and memorably, some of the contexts and situations in which language does occur. It is capable of increasing an understanding of language and encouraging cooperative work with language; it is part of that literature which is claimed as important for English. But 'Drama' is not merely a part of 'English', and its role in the curriculum is more fully explored on pp 39-41.

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others, he hurts and assuages, he creates understanding and misunderstanding. These are some of the uses of language that pupils will encounter themselves. In asking pupils to use language, again in ways appropriate to their age and experience, a teacher has a particular function. He needs to specify the kind of use, for whom it is intended and its purpose. He may need to tolerate, and to expect tolerance of, degrees of hesitancy and uncertainty in language, and to encourage cooperative work with it. At the same time, he needs to prepare for linguistic intolerance, and for attitudes to language which may conflict with those which he is encouraging. One of the most important things underlying the English teacher's work is that it is he, more than anyone else, who is trying to help pupils to meet the unforeseen as well as the foreseen demands on their languages. It will therefore be important to give them a broad foundation of experience in language and of man as a language-user rather than to train them to perform in restricted language modes such as the essay, the summary or the comprehension exercise in isolation.

If this broader concern with language is accepted, there may be a case for including in the curriculum some enquiry into how human beings acquire and develop language. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in this complex activity, its importance to the individual and to society, and we may ask whether the subject could be explored sensitively enough to be justifiable. We have abundant examples of young children acquiring language all around us. The subject could be interesting in its own right; older pupils would be making their own investigations and formulating their conclusions, from their own and others' experience of developing language. They would also be equipping themselves for the role, which people need to take from adolescence onwards, of promoting the language development of children. They would be able to focus on the use and development of language in cases, where, for once, their own language resources would be superior. This should not be a matter of learning theories of language acquisition; it should enable pupils to understand how complex, subtle and elusive is the process in practice. There are few schools in which a study of children's language and literature is taken seriously, and fewer still in which it is the English department's responsibility. 'English' is concerned with man as a user of language and man is a language-user from his earliest years. More and more English teachers, it is hoped, will equip themselves with an understanding of language acquisition.

Subject 'English', we have argued, cannot be the scapegoat for all the real or imagined deficiencies in the language of school-leavers. It occupies no more than one-eighth of school time, and less than one-fortieth of the child's waking life. It is taught to groups, often of thirty or more. It needs to trim its objectives to these hard facts. It is likely that the main emphasis will continue to be on writing and reading, but practice in these modes will need to be informed by more enlightened attitudes to talking and listening.

That does not mean we cannot expect a usable understanding of and an achievement in language to result from all the hours devoted to it during the statutory years of schooling. The danger is that, if we frame our expectations in any mode too narrowly, we shall be back with exercises and tests, based upon limited and often erroneous attitudes to language from which we have been trying to escape. It does not follow that a 16-year-old who can manage certain routine functions of language can transfer his ability into non-routine uses, and so any attempts at precise measurement may produce misleading results.

This argument is well illustrated if we look at reading. It is more important that pupils are in fact reading than that they have obtained appropriate results on reading tests. Reading tests are important as a gauge of reading skills against national norms, but it is vital that the reader's own satisfaction should grow with his skill. It is the ability to read for a variety of purposes and an understanding of the importance and the uses of adult reading that are crucial. We should expect that pupils will have read books of some length and requiring some persistence during their last school year, that they find reading satisfying, and that they will have responded to their reading in a variety of ways. The response needs to be more flexible than we usually imply by 'comprehension' as a standard form of assessment. Experience of a writer's perception of his audience should enable pupils to recognise intentions other than the one of simply transmitting information in print, and they should be able to assent to or dissent from these intentions. We need individuals who are responsive to the printed works, but not gullible - who have 'reading minds of their own'. What is true of reading is also true of the other receptive mode of language - listening. Just as reading is the interrogation of print, so listening is the interrogation of spoken language. A similar range of qualities is therefore needed by the listener - the ability to hear not only the words but also their associations, their deeper implications and the purposes for which they are being used.

In addition to the two 'receptive' modes, there are two 'productive' modes, writing and talking. It is reasonable to expect that a 16-year-old should show understanding of the general principles of the English writing system, and should want to use language in accordance with that system. That is to say he should be able to follow conventions for appropriate purposes that are specified, and not merely to satisfy some criterion of performance in a test deprived of context, for example a test of spelling, punctuation or grammatical usage. He should be able to write in narrative, descriptive and explanatory forms, to respond personally to an aesthetic experience and to present a point of view or a line of thought on a topic about which he feels he has something of his own to say - all these for a known audience. His success in these kinds of writing needs to be judged from evidence that he has appreciated the nature of the written task and that he has genuinely become engaged in it. It may be misleading to ask for too precise a 'terminal' achievement in one's native language at 16; the most important feature of that 'terminal' achievement will lie in its possibilities for the future.

Subject to the same reservations, the target, in spoken language, might be that a l6-year-old should be able to meet social and linguistic demands in the ways suggested by the Bullock Report (p 152). He should be able to shape a narrative, to argue a subject with some reference to other

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points of view and to range over a topic with some understanding of how its parts are related to each other and to the whole discussion. Because spoken language is usually a face-to-face activity, he should be sensitive to the language of others, and be able to accommodate himself to it when some cooperative activity using language is required. These oral uses of language are the 'informal' ones and they are needed by everyone as a participant in a community's affairs. The more formal uses, speech-making and debate, have weaker claims, and it would be inappropriate to expect achievement in formal speaking from many 16-year-olds. Yet they will all encounter the formal uses as listeners, and they will need to understand what part such uses play in the whole language activity of men. From that understanding, and with more experience, there will come the confidence to meet a wider range of demands in their oral language resources, both the informal and the formal.

If young people are to be better equipped for the linguistic ways of the world, we must all understand that a richer language environment brings two interrelated benefits - better language resources for the learner, and better learning.

We need to examine our practices in order to discard those attitudes to language which limit pupils' achievement and confidence. We need to make children aware of the conventional aspects, but not to bind them tightly with the conventions. To understand how language works for individuals in society is not to neglect the grammatical and formal qualities; it is to put these qualities into a fuller understanding of the context, the 'audience' and the specific task. Children need to remain confident and adventurous in language, so that they do not become victims of the linguistic designs of others upon them. They need to add to the quality of linguistic tolerance in our society, but at the same time to be equipped to deal appropriately with the linguistic intolerance that they will encounter. A 16- year-old at the end of his education can be expected to talk, listen, read and write effectively in a range of situations, and not merely to pass some formal tests in a limited range of language skills. His linguistic education cannot end at 16, however, and the most important expectation is that he should be equipped to continue it thereafter, creating for himself, if need be, the opportunities for doing so.

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Mathematical education should not be seen as concentrating only on its own curricular area; on the contrary, it can have an influence on several, if not all, of the areas of experience (p 6). It contributes to the aesthetic area by developing a sense of order through an emphasis on patterns in number and shape, by fostering an appreciation of symmetry in shape and form, and by searching for the elegant solution to a problem. Pupils are encouraged to be creative when, for example, they are asked to make up their own problems and provide their own solutions and not simply imitate the work of others.

Mathematics cannot progress without the help of language, and in return, the subject helps linguistic development through the need to refine and make precise the language used. It has a similar reciprocal relationship with the scientific area, for scientific methods are used in the learning of the subject and mathematics is frequently applied in science. Social, political and ethical issues can be clarified by the use of statistical and other forms of mathematical argument.

Apart from the development of strictly mathematical skills, mathematics requires neatness and accuracy, clear logical thinking, and precise and concise expression and communication. These are valuable personal skills which help to prepare pupils for the world of work and to take up their place in society. Many children find mathematics difficult and think it is harder to learn than other school subjects, probably because they can recognise 'failure' in it more readily; at the same time the subject is important for them and their response to this challenge has implications for their own personal development.


The foundations of mathematical education are not mysterious and remote; the raw materials are seen and touched every day in the three-dimensional world of our experience. A child is performing mathematical operations whenever he sorts things according to some rule of classification, arranges them in order, or defines what he means. The little boy who says 'I'm taller than you' is making an elementary mathematical statement. A much more advanced one is made by the little girl who says 'She's my sister, so I'm her sister'. Mathematics progresses in this way from experiences with objects and simple statements about them, via statements about concepts, to statements about statements, always in the direction of greater abstraction and generalisation. It is therefore not surprising to find that as the levels get higher fewer people reach them.

We need to know much more about why each individual finds, or appears to find, a 'ceiling' at a particular level. That the answer does not depend wholly on innate qualities is proved by a well-known class of person, the 'mature student' who 'was always hopeless at mathematics', but who finds a new interest and raises his level substantially when he becomes responsible for his own mathematical learning.

Both popular opinion and the considered judgement of those with responsibilities in higher education and employment maintain that it is in the interests of the country that as many people as possible should reach their maximum levels. It is also in the interest of the individual to reach as high a level in mathematics as he can, not merely because mathematics may help him to get a better job and do it better, but chiefly because it will help him in understanding and interpreting very many aspects of the world in which he lives. Ideally mathematics will remain, at least until the age of 16, a core subject for all. We should encourage as many people as possible to learn as much mathematics as possible and proceed on the assumption that no pupil has reached a 'ceiling'.

Through the curriculum, pupils learn two things: attitudes to the subject and the content which the teacher selects for study. Attitudes largely depend on the approaches used by the teacher, while the pupils' retention of the content depends not only on what the teacher chooses to present but also on what he decides to emphasise and consolidate. These two aspects are treated separately in the two following sections.


Throughout his schooling, every child should learn mathematics from men and women who are enthusiasts both for mathematics and for education. They would be sufficiently skilled, both as teachers and in the subject, to be aware how children learn mathematics, how they can appear to learn without actually doing so, and how, at certain points, genuine difficulties are likely to arise. If asked to justify the place of their subject in the curriculum it is unlikely that they would place aesthetic or cultural reasons before strictly utilitarian considerations, though this is not to deny that beauty can be found in practical applications of mathematics.

At every level, the formation of concepts should have priority over the acquisition of technical skills. This is not to imply that such skills are to be neglected, but that emphasis on understanding will facilitate the acquisition of those skills which are needed. The mastery of concepts and the

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acquisition of skills are closely linked. Nevertheless, it is useful to realise that a variety of experiences, including appropriate practical application, appears to be necessary for the mastery of a concept, whereas repetition of the same kind of experience is usually needed for the acquisition of a skill.

Teachers will be aware that any higher-level concept can be reached only on a foundation of lower levels, and that for reinforcement it is necessary to take pupils back constantly to more familiar levels, ensuring that such revision leads to new insights or skills at these lower levels.

Pupils should be encouraged to make their own abstractions and generalisations from their own practical and mathematical experiences and should frequently be required to explain and apply any abstractions they have learned. The mere repetition of abstract statements made by other people is valueless unless pupils understand what they mean and how they are applied.

For all normal children, the use of language plays a dominant role in the learning of mathematics, and teachers should be constantly asking pupils to speak and write about what they are learning, mostly in ordinary language rather than in specialised words or symbols. The teacher needs to listen to the pupils carefully and frequently, not to find out whether they say what he would have said himself, but to determine what they are thinking and how they are reasoning, in order to draw the necessary pedagogical conclusions. He also needs to promote dialogue among groups of pupils and not rely entirely on pupils' exchanges with himself. He should ask them to give reasons for any statements they make and to write brief verbal explanations of processes they have previously carried out using mathematical symbols or practical equipment. It is also necessary to confront them with problems where progress towards a solution is not possible until definitions and 'rules of the game' have been discussed and agreed upon. As far as possible, the teacher should start with the pupils' rules and definitions before imposing his own.

Symbols should be introduced only when the need for them is perceived and pupils understand what the symbols denote. Teachers will appreciate the difference between the smooth manipulation carried out by pupils focussing on higher level concepts who could, if necessary, re-attach meanings to them, and the mechanical manipulation of symbols which can be performed by computers and children with no understanding or power to attach meaning.

If pupils are to be aware of the interrelationships between mathematics and other subjects of the curriculum and between mathematics and the world of experience, and are to be able to apply their mathematics in these areas, it is necessary to stress these interrelationships constantly. Examples of the applications in science, technical subjects, geography, economics and from industry and commerce will not only serve to help pupils make these connections but will also enliven the teaching of mathematics.


This is not the place for a syllabus, but these are some of the attitudes, concepts and skills pupils might reasonably be expected to acquire before leaving school. It is to be hoped that in the process of achieving these, pupils will also learn to think clearly, argue logically and communicate effectively. They should:

i. Feel familiar with and at ease among the whole numbers and their relationships one with another.
ii. Perform with understanding the four operations of arithmetic.
iii. Maintain rapid recall of the sums, differences and products of pairs of numbers from zero to ten; this will be achieved by continual application to questions which require it.
iv. Apply with understanding the knowledge, concepts and skills of ii. and iii. to larger numbers.
v. Perform with understanding straightforward operations on simple fractions and decimals.
vi. Understand percentages and use them in simple problems.
vii. Be able to estimate number and approximate.
viii. Appreciate that pocket calculators do not make arithmetic unnecessary; use calculators efficiently and apply checks to ensure accuracy.
ix. Know enough about computers to have no irrational fear of them, and have an appreciation of how logical processes are applied to the manipulation of data.
x. Be able to read tabulated information, as in price lists and timetables, and work out the probable interpretations of unfamiliar information presented in this form.
xi. Know enough about diagrams, charts and graphs to be able to interpret those commonly used for communication.
xii. Know enough about simple statistics to be able to interpret them correctly and not be deceived by them.
xiii. Be able to perform such calculations about money as are useful in everyday life.
xiv. Be able to estimate and use a variety of instruments to make measurements in mass, length, time, angle and measures derived from these - for example, velocity; appreciate what they are doing when they measure and, in particular, understand approximation; be able to perform with confidence and understanding calculations depending on the measures, particularly those encountered in science and technical studies.
xv. Be able to read and understand clocks and other combinations of dials.
xvi. Solve correctly many real problems in real situations (for example, cut a dress from three metres of cloth, order timber for shelving, use a pocket calculator to tell which size packet of detergent is the 'best buy').
xvii. Handle, create, discuss, write about three-dimensional objects, and solve some problems about them physically as well as by calculation and by scale drawing; interpret diagrams, plans and maps; appreciate the abstractions made in all two-dimensional representation.
xviii. Experience and understand pattern in shape and number.
xix. Have some understanding of proportion, both in shape and in number.

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xx. Do simple algebra; they should, for example, learn to generalise patterns in arithmetic, be able to understand and use symbols in the context of mathematical statements, and carry out straightforward manipulation of symbols in simple formulae and equations when the need for this is appreciated.

We are still a long way from universally attaining the ideals expressed above. But it is equally clear that both teachers and pupils have unfulfilled mathematical potential and that in-service training may help to bring teachers nearer to attaining such ideals. Certainly in many schools teachers are asking themselves the four vital questions; 'What mathematics are we teaching?' 'When?' 'How?' 'And why?' They are making progress in replacing fear and dislike of mathematics by that interest and insight which are the basis for accepting the subject and appreciating how it can offer us a better understanding of the world we live in.

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Science education is for all - not just only for those who have the potential to become scientists, technologists or technicians. All have a right to understand and to become involved in problem-solving processes which they will face in day-to-day living and which require the knowledge and disciplines of science. Science teaching should make its contribution in helping all pupils to become caring members of society who understand things as they are and appreciate when changes are needed and can be achieved. A science course, therefore, is an essential component of the curriculum of every boy and girl up to the end of compulsory schooling.

Over the last twenty years, there have been many curriculum development projects in science. Present discussion centres on the balance between 'process' (skills and attitudes) and 'content'. Each has a part to play. Courses which are overburdened with content do not allow the pupils sufficient time to think, and knowledge is only as good as the use which is made of it. On the other hand, some content is essential to provide the vehicle through which scientific thinking can be developed, and there are important scientific ideas which every educated citizen should have met.

The work should be presented in such a way that positive answers may be obtained to the following questions:

i. Is the pupil observant? That is to say, does he see all that there is to see, or does he rely on being told what to see?
ii. Does he select from his observations those which have a bearing on the problems before him?
iii. Does he look for patterns in what he observes and is he able to tie in to his current observations others he has made earlier? That is to say, can he recall other observations which contribute to the pattern?
iv. Does he seek to explain the patterns? If he can offer more than one possible explanation, does he attempt to rank them in order of plausibility?
v. Does he have an acceptable level of practical skills in the efficient and safe handling of apparatus and equipment?
vi. Can he devise, or contribute to the devising of, experiments which will put to test the explanations he suggests for the patterns of observations?
vii. Does he possess the verbal and mathematical skills adequate to allow him to interact with his classmates, his teacher and the written and other material to which his attention is directed?
viii. Does he respond to a novel situation by recalling and applying facts and generalisations previously acquired? Does he do this when the situation is outside the immediate content of the school science courses?
That is to say, does he see the relevance of what he has learnt in the science lessons to situations outside the laboratory?
A pupil who has been educated in this way in science should have four fundamental attitudes; curiosity, honesty in observation that, willingness to make predictions, and the readiness to record observations promptly, honestly and accurately, whether or not they support his predictions.


There has now been a great increase in the number of science subjects which can be taken for General Certificate of Education and Certificate of Secondary Education examinations. One board offers physics, engineering science, chemistry, biology, human and social biology, general science, computer science, rural studies, geology, engineering, control technology, basic technology and environmental science. This great variety is a recent development, but, even so, the subjects of physics, chemistry, biology and general science remain far and away the dominant ones. What do all these subjects have in common that qualifies them as science? In principle, although not by any means necessarily so in practice, there is a widespread agreement on this; they are about matter in its various forms and they are essentially observational and experimental studies. Any scientific subject can have three components, namely, science for the inquiring mind, science for action and science for citizenship.

Science for the inquiring mind is concerned with the laws and theories - the disciplines of the subject. A great range of phenomena can be accounted for in terms of the nature of the particles of which all material things are made and of the forces between them which result in their being arranged in certain numerical and spatial configurations, and in terms of the laws of energy to be followed in all their transactions. It is more or less exact statements about all of these which form the disciplines of any natural science subject and which allow it to be asserted with an increasingly high probability of accuracy how matter will behave in given circumstances. At school level we can sample only relatively simple instances, we frequently have to account for the behaviour of matter at a less fundamental level. This is especially true when we are dealing with the com-

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plexities of behaviour associated with living things. In biology, some explanations will be in terms of the adaptive usefulness of structures and processes to the whole organism and to the species of which it is part, and still further, in terms of ecological function, to the communities in which the species occurs. To these can be added historical explanations in terms of evolutionary development.

Science for action is concerned with the use of these disciplines in technology, in mastery of the environment, in the creative handling of materials and living things. Disciplines other than science contribute to the understanding of that technology, which is a central ingredient in modern societies. But technology must be grounded in sound science, and science teachers through their teaching should be making an important contribution to increasing the knowledge and awareness of our technological base. Information, discussion and activities such as the making of models, engineering projects, and plant and animal husbandry need to be included. Science for action should be able to set limits within which there is a probability of success, and will naturally lead on to controversial areas concerning the use of science in our society.

Science for citizenship is concerned with the role of science in the social, economic and political decision-making processes. Scientific general knowledge is increasingly an essential ingredient in the making of such decisions. Man's growing mastery of his environment also poses many ethical questions, and so an understanding is needed of the consequences of these decisions.

Subjects in the curriculum cannot be isolated into separate compartments. Just as the use of oral and written language is refined and extended by the demands and expectations in subjects outside English, so it is important that the science of the timetable is reinforced through experiences in other subject areas which have processes common to many of those in science. This clearly applies in the crafts, home economics, mathematics, geography, history, economics and physical education. Technology, design and environmental science courses provide a means through which science may be even more directly integrated with other subjects.

Science can thus contribute to many aspects of the personal development of pupils. Linguistic and mathematical aspects have a clear place; aesthetic, creative and social aspects are present and can readily be incorporated; science can also aid the understanding of physical development.


The choice of content, both overall and year by year, in a school science course will be influenced by several factors: the abilities and ambitions of the pupils; the judgement and expertise of the teachers; the availability of resources inside and outside school; and at the later stages, for many of the pupils, the syllabuses of the chosen examining board. It should, in addition, be influenced by, and in its turn exert an influence on, the content of other subjects in the school curriculum, al though this aspect is generally ignored.

What we are looking for here is a compendium of science knowledge, science know-how, science generalisations and science theory that will on the one hand provide a firm foundation for those pupils, perhaps as many as half, who will, become physicists, engineers, doctors or technicians and so on, and on the other hand help all pupils, including the embryo physicists, to come to terms with the impact of science and its technological implications throughout the whole of their lives. Their lives do not, of course, begin after they have left school, and one guiding principle in the choice of material must surely be that it should be applicable to their lives now, as both thinking and acting individuals. Indeed for young children, up to the age of 10 or 11 and for some beyond that, this principle should dominate curriculum planning. Why do the things we see, or hear, or feel around us do what they do? What is it in their nature and in the nature of their surroundings that results in their doing what they do?

What science should 16-year-old pupils reasonably expect to take with them into their adult life?

It is essential to understanding in science that a pupil's ability to use the language and processes of mathematics should be developed, and some work, even for the least able, should be done with the specific aim of making these needs apparent. The pupil should be given every encouragement to find some way of being able to say not only that A is harder than, or more dense than B, but how much harder, on some scale. He should also be taught how to set out his observations in words, sketches, tables, graphs. Less able pupils will be more concerned with effects than with causes but they should be given some opportunity to appreciate the great care that has to be taken before they can be certain what is the cause of an observed effect.

No pupil should leave school without a usable understanding, based on observation and experiment but not bounded by the limits of his own capacity for any of the following

1. His own body and its functioning, with a reasonably clear notion of some of the many contributory causes of malfunctioning.
2. The nutritional needs of plants and of animals, the variety of ways in which they are obtained, and how they are turned to effect, both by the plants and' animals themselves and by man. Matter and energy cycles.
3. The cell, and cell specialisation, each contributing to the harmonious functioning of the whole. The individual and the group.
4. Multiplication, replication, checks and balances in individuals and in communities.
5. Patterns of inheritance. Evolution as an observable phenomenon. Introduction to the lines along which the study of the causes of evolution is being pursued.
6. The concept of a pure substance and of how, by successive approaches to purity, it is possible to assert with some assurance the properties of the pure substance. Properties used in analysis. What is it we are handling, and in what quantity?
7. Extension of the usage of the words 'Metal' and 'nonmetal'.
8. New substances from old. Synthesis.

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9. The significance of analysis and synthesis to the quality of life.
10. Chemical change and energy. The control of chemical change.
11. Atoms, molecules and indications of the lines along which study of what binds atoms together is being pursued. Introduction to the use of formulae and equations.
12. The widely dispersed substances and the localised ones. Some reasons why. Man the disperser. Re-cycling.
13. The various ways in which energy can be used. It cannot be used up, but the ways in which it can be used are reduced each time it is used, hence the need to use it economically.
14. What energy can do to matter.
15. How energy is transmitted.
16. Particles more fundamental than atoms.

The secondary schools in this country have developed many different types of curricula based on a variety of patterns of organisation. There is a growing and widespread acceptance that the first two, or possibly three, secondary years should offer to all pupils what is essentially a common experience in science incorporating elements of physics, chemistry and biology either as separate subjects or, increasingly, in a general science course.

In the fourth and fifth years, most schools offer a common core of English, mathematics, religious education and physical education, with the sciences appearing in the options. Most pupils take at least one science option, but where a variety of science subjects, traditional or new, is offered, the pupils still have to make a choice, and this usually means an omission at this level of a considerable area of scientific knowledge. The few schools that believe in a common curriculum to 16 have developed courses which attempt to cover the essentials of the three traditional subjects and other areas of science. These may lead to a double certification or to a traditional single subject general science course. At present, there is the difficulty that qualifications in general or integrated science are not as widely accepted as those in the traditional sciences for entry to employment and to higher and further education.

The result of having so many different patterns or organisation is that there is too great a diversity in the amount spent on science in the fourth and fifth years. A minority of pupils spend one-third of their time on science while the majority do far less, and some none at all.


Science should be an essential component of the education of all pupils.

If a subject is to qualify as a science it must be presented as an observational and experimental study incorporating the skill of prediction.

To meet the proper demands made by the individual and by society a course must have the components mentioned on page 28. By doing so, it can best play its part in meeting the needs of people as individuals and as workers in a democratic society. It is difficult to see how these needs can be met unless, for each pupil, science has on average about one-sixth of the curriculum time over the five-year period from ages 11-16.

The subject content can vary in response to a number of demands and this should include some pupil preference. However, it would seem essential to maintain studies in the major science disciplines and to delay choice between the physical and biological sciences. Hence the way ahead seems to be towards unified science courses throughout the age range 11-16 with in addition some optional modules which allow for individual choice.


The following list of words should be understood by pupils as a result of their school science course. It is not a complete list and pupils will vary greatly in both the breadth and the depth of meaning they attach to the words.

Change of state
Food chain
Kinetic energy
Potential energy

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If we are to fashion a curriculum so that it may serve the needs both of individual citizens and of the whole of our society, then it is important to be clear about the present and likely future nature of that society. It is reasonable to state that we live in a society based on industry and technology, and that this has been the case for over a century. Any school curriculum seeking to educate 11- to 16-year-olds must prepare them to operate within this technology-based industrial society. By the age of 16 a pupil ought to know what we mean by technology; what are its origins, nature and purposes, and - just as important - what are the main issues and problems that it has generated. There are two ways in which this consideration is appropriate to curriculum-planners and at the same time crucial to society. First, we need, and will continue to need, people who can operate competently within such a society: our standard of life, our quality of life - and in the last resort our existence - depend very clearly on this factor. Secondly, however, we do not require docile acceptance of this or any other set of arrangements; therefore school leavers should be equipped to look at technology critically and to be part of a society that seeks to master technology, not to be enslaved by it. It is essential to be well-informed in these matters; in this way education in technology will also strengthen the foundations of democracy.


It is unusual to find a subject called 'technology' on a school timetable, rarer still to find a statement about education in technology in any school curriculum. When it does appear, it is not necessarily employing the term as it is used here, although it may well be a valuable contribution to the kind of ends outlined in this paper. Technology has been defined as 'the rational application of science to the human condition'. Each of these words needs to be weighed carefully. It is not simply a concern with 'science', but with people, society, reason, decision-making, processes in politics and in industry. Every syllabus within the curriculum can make some kind of contribution to our comprehension of technology, if, that is, the syllabuses are appropriate to the needs of present-day society. Obviously some disciplines, like science, will tend to play a much larger part in this enterprise than others.

To have a single subject called 'technology' would have one advantage in that it would give more precise responsibility to one department, but this is almost certainly outweighed by strong disadvantages: it would tend to absolve other departments from relating to technology. There is probably an insufficient number of teachers with the requisite training to handle so large and complex a task, and in any case it is not proven that technology is a separate discipline. It is rather more a dimension within standard disciplines, therefore a common element among them which should enable them to relate to each other usefully and methodically. Responsibility for bringing technology into the curriculum ought to be shared by any department which can make a useful contribution in the matter. This calls very strongly for a formal and planned curriculum in every school, a systematic identification of objectives clearly understood by and agreed upon by all participants in the process.

The arguments so far advanced here do not necessarily lead to reliance on integrated studies. These may possibly be of help in describing technology, although current practice does not give any grounds for optimism in that direction, but it is almost certainly more useful and workable to make existing subjects relate more to technology, and therefore to each other. Nor do the arguments lead inevitably to the substantial re-training of teachers, and their adoption of unfamiliar elements into their work. That is not the case; it is simply a question of a measured re-orientation taken at a reasonable and realistic pace, a change of emphasis here, some new material there, and at all times careful evaluation of the developments.


In any sensibly organised attempt to explain the nature of technology to pupils, and to help them to live and to work in a technology-based environment there ought to be an effective contribution to the eight suggested areas of the curriculum, which if they are properly applied will help to develop useful and competent members of the larger society by the age of 16. It is obvious, for example, that technology not only aids our creative faculty, but often represents it in its most impressive and ingenious forms. While technology has been criticised, often rightly, for producing much ugliness and pollution it is reasonable to note that agricultural or pre-industrial urban societies also generated these problems. As with many areas of enterprise, technology is capable of modification and improvement, but only by an appropriately educated society.

Technology hardly needs to search for credentials concerning its aesthetic possibilities both in and out of school. Some of its 'pure' artefacts, such as in bridge design or aeronautical engineering have beauty in themselves, but

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'applied' technology has widened and liberated the arts throughout history by offering new materials and processes to the artist, whether we refer to stained-glass windows and cathedral building outside the school, or silk-screen printing and ceramics within it. Technology is clearly the ally of art, and 11-16 education should make this obvious, as also we should make clear that technology has allowed art to reach ever-wider audiences in modern times.

Our everyday language, both formal and colloquial, contains a growing number of technological terms and assumptions, but probably more important is the need for 16 year olds who are going to operate within a technology-based society and economy to communicate clearly and appropriately in such matters as writing or speaking. Precise specifications, conveying technical problems and questions, or retrieving relevant information quickly - can it honestly be said that these things are 'formally intended' by every English department?

It is platitudinous but necessary to point out that technological competence requires mathematical skills, and at the same time makes their acquisition more interesting and more relevant to the known needs of society and the economy. Do all mathematics departments take advantage of this? Do they seek to know exactly what kind of mathematical skills are needed in a technology-based age? Section 3, pp 15-18, and Mathematics, pp 24-26, spell this matter out more fully.

Technology, being an application of science, is clearly and indissolubly related to that discipline, which is not to say that all science syllabuses show evidence of this relationship. Whenever and wherever it can be done appropriately, the science teacher ought to relate work in school to the 'world of work' (whether industry, medicine, telecommunications or commerce is not important, although examples ought to be reasonably familiar, especially for young pupils).

Since technology applies science to the 'human condition' it is absolutely bound up with society and with politics in its broadest sense of 'peacefully resolving conflict'.

Technology has obviously produced or heightened conflict, and therefore it must also relate to spiritual and ethical considerations. This has been the case since technology-based industrial economies first appeared. We often hear arguments as to whether technology is 'good' or 'bad' as such, or whether its manifestations (television, space, travel, high-speed transport, drugs or weapons and so on) are essentially good or bad. It is as much the duty of the science teacher to dwell upon these considerations as it is of the RE, English or history teacher - they will all have important roles to play in telling young people about the issues arising from technology, and in imparting to them some of the skills, ideas and data necessary to people who will have to live with technology and its problems.

For these reasons it is necessary that all 16-year-olds should have acquired an understanding of the essential themes and issues arising from the fact of technology, if a main criterion when we are considering a curriculum is that it should try to produce citizens and workers able to take care of themselves and their fellow-citizens.


Technology as such requires no special collection of skills since it is an area where so many separate disciplines (with their own particular skills) are found to contribute. It follows that the skills required to understand and to operate technology will be an aggregate of the contributing disciplines. For example, in order to understand technology and to be proficient in some of its processes the kind of skills noted in the papers on science, history, geography or English should all be helpful. The skills developed by studying science (observation, hypothesis-formation) are not only essential for science itself, but also for its application, whether we have in mind the work of Edison, Henry Ford, James Watt, Pasteur, Barnes Wallis, or indeed anybody who has to perform tasks competently and effectively where technology is involved, at work or in the home. Similarly, the skills noted in the history paper are equally important in a technological context, for not only are some closely related to the scientific skills, but other more special ones (such as the critical evaluation of evidence) are essential in our attempts to control and appraise technology and its effects.


As with skills, there is no very special or discrete range of conceptual knowledge that technology alone can impart. Again, the companion papers will suggest relevant areas which might be of use in understanding technology and preparing to live and work with it. Concepts such as ratio (mathematics); cost (economics); sequence and causation (history) are all self-evidently of value in studying this subject. The very concept of 'technology' requires explanation, and some department ought to be given this responsibility; it is by no means clear that this is generally done at present. Technology is not a given body of facts, nor a unique set of ideas - it is a process with definite applications and origins in time; it involves the principles of natural science and considerable moral and ethical problems - all these considerations contribute to the conceptual framework within which we perceive technology. There is, however, very little evidence that 11-16 curricula rise to the particular and crucial task of imparting the idea of technology and the ideas arising from it.


Technology, as suggested above, is an area where many disciplines can contribute; therefore certain portions of the factual content of those disciplines can be invaluable aids to our understanding of technology. Some important areas of content can be listed as a working suggestion: the basic principles of mechanics, optics, electricity and magnetism, electronics, energy and its conversion; the main chemical processes of modern industrial society, the structure of materials; medicine and physiology; the historical origins of modern science, technology and industrialism; the principal ethical, environmental and economic problems arising from technology; a familiarity with a range of processes and materials employed in craftwork and the arts,

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such as the handling of metals, wood, textiles, ceramics, plastics, paints and dyes.


To understand technology, and to enjoy competence in working within a technology-based industrial society is most definitely not to subscribe to a crude materialism nor to accept uncritically the 'march of progress'. School leavers should have a balanced and informed view of technology. A number of points arise from this consideration. The first is that this approach to technology has to be in tended formally and planned systematically as part of the curriculum - it will not come of itself, somehow emerging out of the typical curriculum on offer at present, nor will it automatically impart itself by some kind of intellectual osmosis merely because a given curriculum tries to relate more appropriately to the needs of industry. Secondly, we can offer only a balance of advantages and disadvantages of technology - intellectual honesty and public acceptability permit no other course. There are many examples of the moral dilemmas posed by technology, such as the classic contrast between the peaceful and military employment of nuclear energy. New examples are already becoming more common in school work, for example studies in transport which note that technology has mitigated the adverse effects of distance, but at a cost in accidents and pollution that is high and measurable. Finally, pupils may be able to experience and partake of the considerable intellectual and physical adventure inherent in technology, perhaps by engaging in practical work, or going on link courses and work experience schemes bringing them into contact with industry. In such enterprises, pupils may learn to share expertise and professionalism and to relate it to some of the processes that they have studied. If these activities are properly corrected and explained, they may well have beneficial effects on a school's attempts to foster sensible and useful attitudes: pupils may learn that neither technology nor work exists for itself; they have distinct purposes and are part of a collective attempt to improve the quality of our lives.


It is significant that the word 'technology' was first employed in the dawn of the modern industrial era (1777), although the process of applying science to the human condition is very much older, and clearly we owe as much to 'the nameless boor who first hammered out an iron spade' as we do to any contemporary virtuoso of computer technology. On the other hand, Johann Beckmann, who coined the word, was equally significantly, a theologian turned mathematician and scientist, thus establishing at once the strong association between technology and the idea of interdisciplinarity. These two qualities remain the main features of technology from the point of view of education and curriculum designing; on the one hand its absolute relevance to contemporary industrial society, and on the other hand that it is the result of cooperation between various activities and disciplines. Therefore, any curriculum which seeks to be appropriate to the needs of contemporary society, and which endeavours to give school leavers the kind of information, competence, ideas and attitudes which they need in order to look after themselves and to take up their share of the common task, must not fail to ensure that technology is fully and effectively catered for. There are many pressing arguments for having carefully planned curricula in every English school, but the needs of modern industrial society, heavily dependent on technology, are surely among the strongest reasons. It is essential that 16- year-olds can understand technology, and that they are able to operate various manifestations of it. Only with conscious and systematic planning will education for technology be embodied in the kind of useful and appropriate 11-16 curriculum that society expects of its secondary schools.

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Craft, Design and Technology


This subject area has developed considerably over the last decade and the title, Craft, Design and Technology, describes more adequately than Handicraft the wide spectrum of activities undertaken in school workshops and drawing offices. The principal aim of Handicraft was the physical and emotional development of boys, mainly through the gradual acquisition of skills. Craft, Design and Technology extends this to provide a fuller experience in which cognitive development features more strongly. Its central aim is to give girls and boys confidence in identifying, examining and finally solving problems with the use of materials. Craft, Design and Technology has an important contribution to make to the education of pupils as part of their preparation for living and working in a modern industrial society.

The aim necessitates the formation of courses which make general and specific demands on all pupils and which encourage individual responses to unfamiliar situations. These responses may be made in both two- or three-dimensional forms. Aesthetic and technological principles underlie the quality of a pupil's statement and, regardless of the nature of the initial problem, all decisions made on the way to a final solution call for an understanding of the fine balance necessary between these important elements. Similarly each pupil's recognition of the restraints surrounding a problem call for an understanding of the physical properties of materials and of the time and resources available.

Problems arise either from the limitations of the designer's own environment, or of that of others, and an expressed need to overcome these, or conversely, from a personal urge to enrich the environment. In either case, it is the creative response which is of paramount importance. It is this which makes complex and interrelated demands on pupils in terms of technological and aesthetic sensibility and requires an understanding of human needs and human values.

As design problems may be selected to promote a real involvement with mathematical, scientific, social, political, ethical and even spiritual issues, the interdisciplinary opportunities offered through the wide range of work associated with Craft, Design and Technology are considerable. However, the quality of experience should be of a high order and may be recognised by the ability of the pupils to perceive, comprehend, analyse and evaluate. Thinking of this kind may not necessarily require a verbal description but may nevertheless be both complex and immediate. Generally, the quality of thinking is related to the excellence of craftsmanship but in some cases it is shown in the level of ingenuity and inventiveness reflected in the work.


It follows that the general areas of skill development are identifiable even though these may seldom be achieved in isolation. The aim must be to develop skills as they are required during the progress of designing and making. They include:

Technological - to help pupils to use scientific methods of problem identification, examination, hypothesis formation; methods of testing and evaluation; methods of enquiry, research and empirical exploration:

Aesthetic - to develop pupils' abilities to relate visual and aesthetic principles to both two- and three-dimensional forms with due regard for the materials concerned and the ergonomic factors involved in product design:

Discriminatory - to establish the criteria for judging the products made within and outside the school and to develop confidence in the evaluation of these:

Communicative - to assist pupils to initiate and develop thoughts and to communicate these to others; to evolve hypotheses for consideration as possible solutions to problems; to issue instructions and directions to others; to depict the probable final form of a piece of work; to plan a procedure or system of working; to explain a concealed mechanism and so on. Drawing is the usual mode of communication, as words alone are inadequate to portray the infinite subtleties of shape and form. The ability to communicate fully in graphic terms and to read a drawing is essential. Without the ability to draw and develop ideas or interpret the thoughts of others when expressed graphically, the capacity for communication in the modern world is seriously curtailed. Other forms of communication are important and pupils need to be able to judge the appropriateness of such aids as photographs, models or completed three dimensional forms. Language and linguistic skills are necessary in all design-based activities and areas of technological investigation as problems are identified and as ideas are exchanged between pupil and teacher:

Manipulative - to establish sufficient control, by hand methods or by the use of machinery and other equipment, over the more general materials through which design solutions may be expressed. These will include natural and man-made materials. An understanding is necessary of the relationships that exist between the physical properties of

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materials, the shaping and forming techniques possible and the way in which they may be employed. Few schools may be expected to offer the full range of experience with materials, but all should offer a depth of representative experiences such that pupils may achieve manipulative proficiency. If pupils are to express themselves clearly through materials, a level of manipulative skill must be established so that communication of intent is complete and unambiguous. Similarly, the realisation of proposals in three-dimensional materials calls for developing control of movements involving strength and dexterity, as complex skills of manipulation are acquired:

Constructional - to establish an understanding of traditional methods of joining materials and valid ways of testing them, and to explore new materials so that they may be exploited with confidence:

Mathematical - to establish those parts of mathematics which are relevant to three-dimensional form, to size and quality control and to the collecting, organising and using of statistical data.


If pupils are to think, plan and express themselves in three dimensions they require a fundamental grasp of essential concepts relevant to general practice. As more advanced work leads into specialist areas, conceptual knowledge particular to separate activities such as electronics and jewellery becomes important for individual projects. This work may range outside the experience or the facilities of the school and the use of specialist help is to be encouraged. Before specialisation begins, however, conceptual knowledge for general use should include:

Aesthetics - an understanding of basic principles such as line, form, space, colour, proportion, mass and so on: and their relevance to three dimensional expression.

Science - an understanding of basic principles of scientific method and of such areas as mechanics, control, electricity, electronics and the physical properties of materials:

Technology - an understanding of principles relevant to the application of scientific phenomena to materials in a design situation. An understanding of the social and economic implications for life in a technological society is also necessary, so that an awareness of both the problems and the possibilities of technological progress may be realistically considered:

Discrimination - an understanding of the relevant factors inherent in a design problem and an ability to balance technological and aesthetic priorities in a given situation:

Graphics - an understanding of graphic significance in the development and exploitation of an initial idea, and methods of presenting a solution graphically for universal com prehension:

Craft Practice - an understanding of the three basic processes of shaping - wastage, addition and rearrangement, of how these apply to basic materials; a realisation of the values implied by the term craftsmanship:

Safety - an understanding of the safe handling of tools and materials in all circumstances so that potential hazards are instantly recognised and avoided:

Development - an exploration of the historical and cultural context in which craft and technology have developed.

Materials - an understanding of the sources of raw materials, how they are extracted, converted or fabricated, and of the conservation of the materials used by man:


The ever-increasing range of new materials makes it difficult to identify specific content which is essential to Craft, Design and Technology. Rather, the structure of the course which centres on materials should reflect the specific skill areas outlined earlier. However, within the structure, due regard must be paid to the need for carefully controlled progression, both within each skill area and particularly in the demands made when these are interrelated.

The intensity of the experience offered should be enlivened by an active involvement with technological principles which goes beyond the study of materials. Such experience should illustrate the opportunities that exist for the application of scientific theory to the problems of everyday life. The study of technology should also highlight the possibilities it offers in future for the relief of human suffering, the removal of tedium and the ultimate enrichment of life styles generally. At the same time, the teacher should alert pupils to the ethical responsibilities of the technologist in the preservation of the environment and the conservation of finite resources.


At any level, craftwork provides a sense of inner satisfaction, both in the making and the completion stages, and because of this it plays a major part in the personal development of the individual. Its demands in terms of application, patience, tolerance, compelling interest, sensitivity to both material and form and a commitment to a search for perfection have always helped in the development of valuable attributes.

Craft, Design and Technology is concerned more with the development of desirable attitudes than with an end result or with the acquisition and retention of a specific body of knowledge. Its added commitment to design based activities and to the exploration and exploitation of technology offers further opportunities for the development of altruistic attitudes.

The work should also promote an active and informed attitude towards environmental development. Consumer education, developed from general design awareness, aims to generate attitudes of concern for the quality of consumer goods in a world market.

Consideration of manufactured goods, and of the opportunities these afford for 'work simulation programmes', aims to develop objective attitudes to possible life styles in industry and commerce. In addition, craft design and

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technology aims to develop positive attitudes towards a productive use of leisure time.

Exposure to the potential of technology as an instrument for change and to the responsibilities this brings to all should develop attitudes of concern for the future welfare and development of mankind and for the preservation of the environment.


Whatever the selected content, there are 'base lines' of achievement expressible in general terms which it is reasonable to assume will be reached by most pupils by the age of 16 years. These are:

i. the ability to read a drawing and to model or make up an article, using both hand and machine processes;
ii. the ability to communicate in graphic terms;
iii. the ability to work and plan logically towards a desired end whether at a conceptual, developmental or production level;
iv. the ability to recognise personal strengths and weaknesses in terms of Craft, be sign and Technology and to plan and work within these;
v. the ability to evaluate products objectively;
vi. the ability to anticipate the needs of others and to work cooperatively in practical situations even though engaged on individual tasks;
vii. the ability to work as an individual, or as a member of a small team, while working on a communal project;
viii. the ability to realise that personal skills can help the disadvantaged through design work generally or community service specifically.
ix. Some but not all pupils, by the age of 16 years, will be able to identify and analyse a real problem and to produce a well-made solution which satisfies the need.

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The value of education through the arts has been urged for centuries but it was only in the 'twenties and 'thirties that practical work in art became generally and firmly established in English schools. Even now, the impact of the subject and the resources allocated to it are varied. It is an essential component of primary education from the earliest age onwards, although its effective use at junior school level is difficult for some teachers without specialist training and a cause for concern in respect of the achievement of pupils at that age. Most secondary schools have at least one studio and an art teacher; many have extensive art and craft accommodation and small teams of specialists. Almost all secondary pupils have some art lessons for the first three years of secondary schooling and in the options systems which commonly operate in fourth and fifth years, about 35 to 40 per cent elect to take art. Formal art education ceases, therefore, for something like two-thirds of pupils at the end of their third year.

One of the more inexplicable absurdities of curricular planning is the kind of option arrangement which allows art to be forced out in favour of further 'academic' subjects. The implications are that the objectives of visual education are so simple and limited, that they can be achieved by 13 and that they are irrelevant to the needs of adolescents (or adults); that art is only for the specially talented; that art education has nothing to do with earning a living.

No one who cares for the full development of human potentialities or understands the essential contribution artists and designers make to industry and the quality of our environment can share such beliefs.

Of those who do continue their studies in this field, about 23,000 go on to take A-levels each year and some go on to take degree courses. Many graduates move into industry as highly-trained specialist designers and craftsmen.


Most subject names are shorthand titles for a variety of activities; art is no exception - it subsumes a wide range of human enterprise. It may mean working in one or more of many materials or techniques - painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, textiles, constructions or photography for example; it may be an activity inwardly motivated or externally stimulated by the need to solve problems (the work of a designer for example); it may be practical, making something new and original, or it may be contemplative, enjoying what already exists; it may be an individual or a group activity, on the minute scale of a silversmith or on the large scale required for stage scenery.

All of these activities can be found in secondary schools and they share the requirement they place on pupils to make visual, tactile and intellectual judgements, as well as sensory and emotional responses. To do so, the pupil has to come to a heightened awareness of shape, colour, texture and all those elements which form a visual vocabulary; and he does so for the most part not theoretically but by the manipulation of materials. Thus sensibility - a mental notion - is brought into direct contact with matter, a harmonising and (some would claim) liberating activity. In this sense the technique or process is only an enabling device.


Given this enormous range of possible activities, the contribution which art makes varies with the background and circumstances of the teacher.

Clearly art is central to the aesthetic area but to confine it there, in the 'pursuit of the beautiful', is a serious limitation, with overtones of dilettantism. To think of art as a worthwhile leisure pursuit is to confine it to the status of a hobby (even though for some this can be both meaningful and recreative). To teach it only as an instrument for the 'transmission of a cultural heritage' is to risk the-alienation of the young, many of whom want to form and enjoy their own culture. Only slowly can they take on the weight of the centuries.

The essence of the contribution which art makes here lies in judgement and decision; one proceeds, as Henry Moore says, by likes and dislikes. The forming or informing of these judgements by practice and enrichment is a principal aim of art in schools.

The 'making' and 'inventing' activity does represent, nevertheless, a uniquely valuable aspect of art education - the opportunity to forge images or artefacts which enable pupils to 'speak with their own voices'. These artefacts are an externalising of what the pupil feels, knows and is able to do - an extension of himself. They can be therefore both a source of self-assessment and a contribution towards his sense of identity.

With self-awareness, and some ability to judge, pupils might be expected to have critical awareness of their environment, its quality and style (or lack of it), of design in the home, of dress and adornment, and how things might be improved.

Art makes a contribution to ethics directly insofar as it looks towards the development of sensitivity and aware-

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ness, and indirectly in the illustrative support it can provide. Those who adopt the profession of artist or designer do, of course, take on a much more profound ethical responsibility towards society.

Art has a strong contribution to make to pupils' language development. Art rooms and workshops are settings for much of the more sustained and meaningful dialogue which pupils experience. Good visual images could contribute more than they do to basic language teaching and to the quality of audio-visual aids.

Mathematical and scientific areas

Both art and science stress the importance of close observation and recording and for both mathematics and science the identification of significant patterns is an activity paralleled in art. Mathematics and art have long-standing connections; the preoccupations with proportion, ratios, geometry and the mathematics of architecture and engineering. Even today, artists are exploring the potentialities of computer art.

Social Political Areas

The traditional crafts offer illuminating examples (and ones which pupils can experience for themselves) of how man is dependent on the earth and its resources and of the ingenuity he has displayed in turning it to his advantage. The art of the past is a prime resource for the study of history.

Physical Areas

Apart from the physical skill required in many artistic processes, there is the fact that all our notions of, for example, the vertical, space and direction, spring from our physical reactions to the environment.


Although art is an intensely practical subject, involving skill in the choice, management and shaping of materials, the principal skills developed by the practice of art lie in the ability to communicate visually and the power of discrimination - the recognition that, as the Newsom Report put it, 'pupils are people who have the capacity to form a right judgement'. Tradition and precedent is less useful now, as a guide, in a situation of accelerating change, than it was formerly, and therefore there is a more urgent need for an enhanced and constructive sense of judgement. Whether we respond, for example, to new consumer products, to fresh artistic manifestations or to changes in the environment, with concern, self-confidence and good judgement, or on the contrary, with a vulnerable lack of awareness, depends in part on the quality of the educational process. The practice of art poses, by its nature, endless questions of choice and continuous opportunities for exercising discrimination.

Yet the study of art at this age is essentially, if not wholly, a practical activity, and the ability to understand and shape materials is an important skill, useful in vocational as well as personal activities. Also at this age, the experience of a wide range of materials can converge into a craftsman's specialised approach to one or more materials and techniques.

A well-rooted feeling for the expressive possibilities of inanimate materials is possible only through competence. Pupils need skills if they are to use materials creatively - but what skills depends on the activity. One skill that ought to be at the heart of an art department's purpose is the ability to observe and record well and with a sharp awareness of subtle difference. The focussing of attention which such an activity demands also encourages a different rhythm of work, bringing at once the opportunity to contemplate, and an inclination to savour quality.

With skills, and time and opportunity to practise them, pupils can embody in materials at least some of their feelings and emotions. Without them, the release of adolescent feeling is likely to be, in Witkin's (1) words, 'reactive' - and perhaps destructive. With them, the drives to release or transform tensions can be embedded in artefacts - they become 'reflexive'. In general it might be claimed that alienation springs from inhibition of experience and poverty of expression.


In the development of concepts, the ability to work in a different symbol field is vital. There has been a very necessary intensification of effort to develop the twin tools of literacy and numeracy. There is however in addition a wide range of human experience which lies too deep for words or number, concerned with feelings, aspirations, imagination, and the visual images which record, deepen, refine and revivify them. The ability to do so is well within the compass of secondary pupils and is a natural and legitimate form of expression for them. In any case, to have access to a wider range of symbolic modes of discourse is surely to mean being more of a person.

Art shares some concepts with other subjects - the notions of harmony, discord, symmetry and rhythm for example. Other concepts, while possessed in thought by many, are only demonstrable through the arts - the notions of beauty, fantasy for example. Some concepts are the special concern of the visual and tactile world - space, form, line, colour for example.


The itemised syllabus is not at all difficult for an individual school or teacher, but is, by the nature of the subject, impossible to generalise. The activities of the art room are not in themselves the content of the curriculum but only the enabling agents. Thus a deepening understanding of colour may be achieved by working with textiles, dyestuffs and glazes just as well as by working with painting or printmaking. The quality of experience is far more important than the quantity of time, though less than about two hours a week will make the achievement of reasonable standards very difficult at any age level.

(1) The Intelligence of Feeling, an outcome of the Schools Council 'Arts and the Adolescent' project.

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One might expect most pupils, if well-taught, to have a pleasure in creation, enough skill to make it possible in their chosen media, and confidence in their ability to communicate visually without. inhibition. This is not an optimistic claim, since one characteristic of work in visual media is the very wide range of challenges which art allows.

Pupils ought to be able to observe well and record with feeling and understanding. There will be some who apparently place less emphasis on visual observation but may intuitively produce expressive work based on an individual response.

Another outcome might be a sharpened sense of inventiveness arising from knowing what can be done with a medium or material and the tools used on it. This is perhaps what is meant by craftsmanship. Drawing, therefore, and practical operative experience in one or more arts or craft disciplines ought to be well-established activities by 16. In addition pupils should be capable of speaking with confidence about their own art, if not that of others.

Pupils ought, as well, by the end of their school career, to have at least some awareness of visual commercial influences, the effects on society of the environment and an acquaintance with some aspects of the world of art, architecture and design, especially when and if they can be shown to have some relevance to the lives of adolescents.


A pupil who has had a satisfying experience of art education ought at least to have the notion that working with materials in a personal and inventive way requires effort and concentration and that this involvement is enjoyable. Involvement tends to encourage application and concentration even from those pupils who seemingly do not demonstrate those attitudes elsewhere in a school. Out of such involvement is born a kind of self-sufficiency, especially where some mastery of skills is present. The notion of giving value to an inert material by taking thought and applying skill might be thought, incidentally, to be an aid to economic understanding.

Art can be seen as worth studying and practising because it is part of those activities by which we seek to widen our horizons and enrich our lives. Our surroundings reflect our culture, and if pupils see the contribution of art education as valuable, one might expect them to appreciate the quality of this environment (the concern for conservation) and by contrast, to care about those who have to endure surroundings which attack and degrade the human spirit (the concern for reform).

Insofar as the forming of attitudes is part of the schools' task in preparing the pupil for society, perhaps the most valuable attitude which art can foster is that of creative, or inventive, thinking and making. A professor of mechanical engineering has claimed that there is a correlation between 'visual literacy' and creativeness. Certainly the powerful function of the arts in providing for the emotional development of pupils through personal expression does not, and should not, preclude another and more instrumental, functional and utilitarian role. Pupils may gain, through experience, an understanding of the processes of design which have always shaped our environment .and given form to our history.


It is clear then, that the practice of art is largely experimental - learning is by doing. There are aspects, the appreciation and enjoyment of art, architecture and design for example which are not, although many teachers prefer to discuss the historical background to their activities as they go along.


Some craft skills may be amenable to short intensive courses, suitably timed in relation to the interests and capacities of the pupils, but the development of the qualities of maturity, judgement and skills which contribute to the successful practice and understanding of art requires continuing experience.

There is clearly - or ought to be - progression, both for the practising pupil and for the schemes within which he works. In the appreciation of art progression is evident in the interests and receptiveness of individuals and in the widening framework of reference they enjoy and use.

Progression can be looked for in a growth of individuality of expression, of skills, of judgement, of articulate awareness; of motivation and involvement, and of creative attitudes.

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Recent developments in drama as a subject in its own right have helped to bring the activity into a close and fruitful relationship not only with the study of dramatic literature and theatre arts and skills, but also with language development and with the teaching of English and other curricular subjects. It is possible to find drama in the timetable throughout a secondary school: for all pupils in the first three years and as a well supported option in CSE and O-level examinations, and provided as an unexamined activity in VI form programmes. As part of its growing complexity, it has acquired a range of teaching expertise which goes far towards establishing a place for it in the subject provision for all pupils, as well as in an arts faculty or department, and in the methodology of other subjects. The teaching of drama to disadvantaged, maladjusted and handicapped pupils is widely accepted as of special value.

The potentialities of drama in the development of the child through LANGUAGE are of special concern at the present time. Objectives in oral training have undergone radical changes and what used to be taught as elocution or speech training has given way to more flexible notions of appropriateness, versatility and personality - all of them creatively important in educational drama. In providing a framework and methodology for spoken language, moreover, drama affords immense scope for language in context - contexts of social, domestic, historical and moral ideas and attitudes, archetypes and themes. By identifying himself with a character role in a situation a pupil is likely to bring to the language he uses a personalised set of responses and skills, at least in pre-adolescence. It is not only in drama that language divorced from context can itself become meaningless; but in drama context is all-important. And it is perhaps one of the most potentially effective means of providing linguistic contexts in other subject teaching.

Yet this cannot stand as an accurate account of drama in the secondary school. Even where it has gained acceptance - as a subject, as one of the arts, as a method - it nevertheless seems often to be precariously established or poorly provided for. In many schools it is part of an English department programme, with a place in the syllabus for occasional use by teachers without specialist qualifications to teach it. In other schools it is not to be found at all in any form, and this applies, regrettably, to many primary schools. Thus it frequently happens that a teacher of drama in the first year at a secondary school will have in his class many children who are starting it for the first time.

One aspect of the many-sidedness of drama is a tendency to see its different forms and interests as unrelated. Where drama is a thriving activity it seems true to say that it gains by inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness; that educational drama can relate to theatre arts, to examination syllabuses, to role-play and simulation in the humanities, to the reading of plays in English and other languages. Indeed, a significant development in recent years has been theatre-in-education, available to a great many schools through visiting teams and often used to promote an interest in the theatre as well as to contribute to the teaching in subjects other than drama.


A working definition of educational drama is today of great importance. It may be seen initially as a field of activity and learning uniquely capable of developing certain bodily skills, together with the faculty of speech. These are social skills, not graces, fundamental to the capacity of the pupil in school to adjust, communicate and learn. But the definition must go further, for not only has drama an increasingly recognised identity as one of the arts in the curriculum - its designation as theatre studies or theatre arts in examination courses is to some extent an attempt to include in the subject a body of knowledge and field of interest attracting pupils of all abilities - it is predominantly a means to explore social attitudes, personal relationships, inner conflict.

In the last year or two significant attempts have been made to provide drama with a conceptual framework, an underpinning of theory which has gone deeply into the symbolising process, common to all the arts, and the exploring of emotions, relationships and attitudes through the acting out process, which is specific to drama. It can be asserted, in the light of these contributions, that drama alone can offer appropriate scope for the pupil in a group to work out, in profoundly creative ways, solutions to problems in the personal and social fields of human experience. It is a mode of learning in which the teacher need prescribe very little or nothing: topic or theme, roles and situations, form and speech can all be decided and evolved by the pupils themselves. What takes place, it has been proposed, is an exploration of meaning - a negotiation. The absence or presence of any kind of audience will depend on the teacher's discretion; but in the process itself the absence of an audience is likely to be crucial.

Thus, essentials of the activity are acting out a character role, or a situation in role, and interacting with others. The situational context is sometimes enriched and filled out by music and visual art, by lighting, by rostra and other scenic properties. The drama experience is not however dependent on these things, for the primary resource is the self and other

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selves. Given space to move freely in, drama can call on images, events, stories and social and domestic issues. Play (indispensable in the earlier years of schooling); becomes work when, with the skilled guidance of the teacher, the media and inner resources available to each child present him with some more or less definable challenge. By means of these resources a statement can be made that relates the pupil's efforts to others in his own group, or to an audience.

The forms the activity takes are broadly kinetic and linguistic. Role delineation will emerge and develop as concentration links with observation and imagination, and becomes more authentic as the individual relates with others in the group to test out his own speech and actions. The whole process tends towards a discipline when the child grows aware of the validity of his efforts, is able perhaps to stand outside himself while at the same time engaging with the task. It is therefore a critical as well as an exploratory and creative process.


As noted above, many secondary schools start drama for pupils who may not have experienced it significantly or at all in their primary schools. But it requires time to develop its own processes and concepts. Simple confidence to act out roles may not come easily to the first year pupil for whom drama is a new activity.

A sense of identification, of realism, appropriateness or correspondence to observed behaviour takes time to grow - time in the lesson itself and time in the progress of the pupil through school. Even more, the pupil needs time to explore, discover and communicate his inner resources in a 'holding form'.

Younger pupils will feel themselves actually 'translated' into another role, and this is especially observable in the play of very young children. Older pupils find this empathy and an intuitive grasp of role rather harder: the inclination will be to imitate. It is for the teacher to help the pupil to achieve depth and conviction in his work. At later stages the study of dramatic literature and of drama as an art may tend to diverge even more from the creative and personal response; but there need be no such divorce or break away from educational drama as defined above.

These changes of approach and emphasis in drama require careful planning and much thought on the part of the teacher. For the pupil it is obviously desirable that the subject should present itself as an undivided area of experience, learning and interest.

For all pupils, but especially older ones, an intellectual mode of learning, along with an emotional mode, is not only possible but necessary in drama. The stage of development presenting the teacher with most problems is often thought to occur in the third year and in some schools drama is left out of the curriculum until it becomes an option for CSE or an O-level choice. When drama is strongly supported with resources however, it may involve pupils just as fully then as at a later stage. Continuity is particularly important where the study of drama and theatre arts has been introduced for examinations. The scale of work in these courses is now considerable but it is not always realised that the lack of drama in the curriculum in earlier years - or a break in the continuity - may put pupils at just as great a disadvantage when it comes to examination work as would be the case in any other subject. The notion of progression from early to later stages in drama is not easy to define or measure. It is particularly difficult in the development of language, since speech tends to be spontaneous in vocabulary and grammar, and the written conventions of spelling and punctuation do not apply. While it may be generally agreed that there should be boundaries for what takes place in a drama lesson which must not be overstepped, the limits of acceptable speech forms and registers must necessarily be pushed outwards, in the interests of realism and of naturalness, and especially of the pupil's sense of verbal continuity. The pupil needs to feel that there is no rigid dividing line between the speech he daily hears and uses outside the school and what is permitted in school. What might be expected linguistically of a drama course within English, or as part of a separate drama programme, must therefore in the main be assessed relatively and in terms of language behaviour rather than language acquisition.

Questions the teacher of drama will be asking are:

- Can the pupils begin to enter into a situation, familiar or otherwise, and speak with growing confidence and a measure of appropriateness to the situation?
- Does the pupil begin to show in improvisation a sense of relatedness to others in the group?
- In acting out a character or role, is the pupil gaining confidence in the use of speech, gesture, bodily movement?
At all stages it must be appreciated that the spoken word cannot be realistically taught unless there is scope for the bodily and paralinguistic features on which all effective communication heavily relies.

While simple confidence building may no longer be appropriate with age groups apt to raise communication barriers drama in the later stages of language development still has a linguistic function no other subject can perform. It is one activity that can offer welcome opportunities for testing out adult attitudes in situations the adolescent is just learning to question or master. The language itself is perhaps less adventurous or wide-ranging now, but if it is sometimes brutal or unclear, it is also often sensitive, critical and relevant in ways that few young children could be expected to achieve. Given time and good teaching, drama will aim to help pupils to realise what other forms of language training - writing, reading and listening, supervised discussion - find it hard to include: the almost infinite resourcefulness of human communication.


While due regard must be paid to the thought and expertise put into recent drama syllabuses at examination level, there is nevertheless a persisting and inevitable doubt as to the validity of assessment of any kind. Most experienced teachers are confident that they know what progress means in the activity, that they are in no doubt themselves how and what changes are effected in the pupil by continuous drama experi-

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ence. The need to measure achievement is not one they readily respond to. But the problem has been and will continue to be given determined thought. At least it is possible to suggest what are the attitudes and skills amenable to measurement or evaluation. These include:

i. Confidence in moving and speaking in a role and simulated situation;
ii. Control and selection of ideas from observation, imagination and reading;
iii. Inventiveness within the limits of given roles and situations;
iv. Some experience of participation in a larger theatrical event or a combined arts exercise;
v. Enjoyment and appreciation of plays and good theatre, of period and author and some critical sense;
vi. A maturing sensitivity to, and sympathy with, people in other.walks of life and predicaments, in other periods of history and in other lands;
vii. A growing awareness of moral and social issues and confidence in discussing these with adults or other pupils.
Some of these points are the exclusive domain of drama, others are not. Certainly, one of its most absorbing aspects is that of problem solving in the sphere of inter-personal relationships and in social issues; and here it may take the form of making decisions and choices affecting others, whereby it can help to prepare young people, as they begin to recognise a logic in human behaviour and communication, to consider the consequences of their own actions and behaviour. In this way, drama, with theatre studies, offers too an experimental methodology to other subjects in the curriculum. But wherever groups or pairs of teachers find it possible to plan and work together, with common aims in mind, drama as an art or as a subject or method may be the structuring and energising means for co-ordinating varying fields of study and differing skills. Above all, perhaps, it can and should be an enjoyable as well as a disciplined activity, available to all pupils, whatever their age or ability.


Clegg D. The Dilemma of Drama in Education. Theatre Quarterly, 3 1973.

Department of Education and Science. A Language for Life (Bullock Report) HMSO 1975.

Department of Education and Science. Education Survey 2. Drama HMSO 1968.

ILEA. Drama guidelines

McGregor L, Tate M and Robinson K. Learning through drama. Schools Council Drama Teaching Project 10-16.

Seely J. In context - language and drama in the secondary school. OUP 1976.

Witkin RW. The intelligence of feeling. Heinemann 1974.

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Religious education


The 1944 Education Act requires that religious education shall be part of the curriculum in all county and voluntary schools. It provides for each local education authority to draw up an agreed syllabus for the subject in county schools and certain voluntary schools. The syllabus, prepared by a conference representing teachers, local religious denominations and the education authority, provides a framework of guidance for individual schools in developing their own schemes of work and makes it possible for the teaching given to reflect the needs of the area. This principle of local determination of the content and emphases of religious education is taken for granted in this paper which is concerned with some more general considerations about the subject in secondary education.


Religious education shares with other subjects the task of helping children to acquire the skills, knowledge and social competence necessary for their personal development and life in society. Consequently it shares with other subjects a concern for basic skills such as attention to evidence, careful reasoning, the communication of ideas through the written and spoken word, as well as providing opportunities for pupils to work independently and display initiative.

However, religious education also makes a distinctive contribution to the curriculum in directing attention to the religious understanding of human life and to the central values (many of them derived from religion) which society seeks to uphold and to transmit. In this consideration of religion and values, the intention is to help pupils to understand the nature of religious questions and religious affirmations, and to develop a personal and intellectual integrity in dealing with the profoundest aspects of their own experience now and in adult life.

Because there are many points at which the goals of religious education and some of the topics with which it deals are equally relevant to other subjects, it commonly forms part of an integrated or interdisciplinary course of study at some stage of secondary education. There are also times when religious education may directly contribute to other fields such as health education or education in personal relationships.

There may be advantages in such cooperation but there are considerable areas of the subject which need separate and explicit treatment by a teacher well-qualified to give it. If schemes of integrated study are employed, it is essential that the religious education component is identifiable, clearly defined and related to the total scheme of work for the subject within the school.


The 1944 Act clearly assumed that Christianity would provide the content of religious education. Since-for most children in county schools it is the most familiar form in which they encounter expressions of religion and since it h had a formative influence upon this country's culture it is generally accepted that Christianity should retain a central place in the subject. However, there is a widespread recognition that children who are growing up in, a multi-racial society need to know something of those major world faiths now found in the community which represent the deeply held convictions of fellow citizens. Religious education in county schools is most appropriately seen as an introduction to man's religious quest and some of its contemporary expressions in belief and practice, rather than a process of induction into a particular religious tradition.


Among the elements in a religious education course at the secondary stage in the county school one would expect to find attention paid to the following:

Reflecting on human existence

In some people a feel for certain qualities of the human condition, such as its transience and mystery, may be arrived at intuitively and exist from an early age. More commonly: such insight is the result of later reflection upon experience such as birth, growth, love, friendship and death. This reflection will be assisted by the acquisition of certain skills which enable the individual to generalise from particular experiences and to handle abstract concepts. Religious education seeks to encourage this reflective activity, to foster the formation of personal convictions and the capacity both to maintain and where necessary to modify them in the light of experience.

The language of religion

Much of the curriculum stresses the need for careful observation of the physical world and the importance of empiric; evidence for the construction of hypotheses. However, the empirical is not the only mode of thought we employ in our everyday transactions, particularly where people and ideas of purpose in life are concerned. It is important that pupils

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should be introduced to evocative and imaginative forms of language as well as the literal and scientific. Religion uses symbolism, the language of myth and parable, metaphor and analogy, to point to those areas of personal and community experience which are at the limits of understanding. Religious education must help pupils to appreciate this allusive use of language if they are to develop those concepts such as God, faith, forgiveness, worship, which are central to religion and which for the believer are filled out by the evocative power of language and symbol in the worshipping community. The county school cannot reproduce that worshipping community but the pupil can be helped in his understanding through the simple forms of religious service which feature in school assemblies, if those are well presented and provide an opportunity for the celebration of shared values and reflection upon shared concerns.

Knowledge of religious traditions

Religion exists in the form of particular religions and can only be understood through the study of them. As stated earlier, there are good grounds for giving Christianity a central place in religious education. Obviously this will include knowledge of the life and teaching of Jesus, the major Christian festivals and patterns of Christian worship. However, the cultural context of Christianity, its influence upon the lives of individuals and the contemporary life of the church are also important to an understanding of its claims, so that an introduction to some leading themes of the Old Testament, the study of individual Christians, past and present, and a knowledge of the Christian church in the neighbourhood and beyond are equally necessary for a rounded picture of Christianity as a major world religion.

The elements listed above cover material common to most Agreed Syllabuses, though it is not suggested that all parts can or should be studied in depth or that they should comprise the total programme of religious education. As the more recently revised Agreed Syllabuses recognise, if pupils need an outline understanding of the indigenous religious tradition, no less do they need to understand something of other faiths, particularly those represented in the locality, and to see that they may also be self-consistent, are widely shared and worthy of respect. To this end attention therefore needs to be paid to the fundamental beliefs and practices of major world faiths, to leading figures in their development, and to representative examples of their literature and art.

Belief and behaviour

Moral education and religious education are not synonymous terms and the consideration of moral values in schools frequently occurs in other than explicitly religious settings. Nevertheless, religious belief can be a powerful influence upon conduct and any adequate religious education must provide not merely discussion of the ethical implications which arise from religion but also an opportunity for the practical expression of ethical concerns. If the school itself is a caring community and expresses that care internally in the quality of relationships and externally through service to the local community, then pupils will be given a deeper understanding of concepts like love and service and of what these may demand in personal terms of humane concern.

Progression and flexibility in the teaching

Much of the work in religious education will consist of laying foundations for an understanding of religion in the realisation that for many pupils, insight may only come in later or post-school years. The scheme of work should provide for progression and appropriate sequence in the selection of topics, while remaining flexible enough to take account of the differing capacities and interests of the pupils. As well as its intellectual demands, the subject deals with issues which touch upon the deepest human emotions. The pupil's perceptions of these matters (perhaps because of his own experience of life) may be far from trivial even where his ability to reason about them is limited. The teacher therefore must be responsive to this range of awareness within the groups he teaches and help pupils to value emotional and spiritual capacities no less than intellectual ability or physical skill, and to find appropriate ways of expressing their own deepest convictions.


The agreed syllabus procedure, unique to this subject, is a recognition that in religious education, the school is operating on the boundary between itself and the local community in that it is dealing with the religious traditions, beliefs and values of the society in which it is set. The importance of the social context in religious education is also reflected in the fact that the influence of the home and the neighbourhood play a major part in forming the pupil's view of religion, as they also do with regard to central moral attitudes. In both realms, the school is but one factor in the pupil's education, and religious education teachers are well aware of this.

Another factor important for religious education is the context established by the school itself. If the subject is inadequately staffed or starved of time and resources, a clear message is conveyed to the pupils about the seriousness with which this aspect of life is regarded. Further, if attitudes and relationships in the school as a whole implicitly deny the concern for individual convictions and needs which the subject seeks to promote, then even the most enlightened and sensitive teaching of religious education may have little effect. Conversely, schools which encourage pupils in a considerate style of life within and beyond the school community, and where there is manifest respect for individuals, are making a significant contribution to their pupils' religious and moral education.


Religious education, like any other academic subject, has aspects which lend themselves to the assessment of the pupil's progress and performance. Not only are there things to be known but it is entirely appropriate to assess (as is done in public examinations in this subject) the pupil's ability to recall significant facts, to reason from them, and to display a sympathetic understanding of the significance which believers attach to the particular events or moral imperatives associated with their faith.

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Accordingly, it would be reasonable to expect a 16-year-old pupil to have shown evidence that he can operate at a modest level of competence in this subject, for example:

i. giving a coherent account of the main events in the life of Jesus;
ii. recalling the major Christian festivals with the events they commemorate, and examples of major festivals in, say, two other world religions;
iii. describing the main features of worship in a Christian church and of at least one centre of another faith, for example synagogue, mosque, gurdwara;
iv. discussing or writing about
(a) some of the ways in which language is used to convey religious belief;
(b) some ways in which religious beliefs may influence behaviour, referring to an individual in whose life that influence is to be seen;
(c) some of the reasoning and evidence which may lead people to adopt religious or non-religious interpretations of life.
v. writing about or illustrating in other ways a self-chosen theme in the realm of belief or behaviour which is of serious concern to him.
Indispensable though the cognitive elements in religious education are, they are not the whole of the subject. There are aspects which are concerned with the place of insight. and personal evaluation of religion where formal assessment or notions of 'reasonable expectations' are inappropriate. This is not to subscribe to a view of religion as simply subjective preference but to recognise the proper limitations of the subject in the county school and the influence of external factors upon the personal commitment of the individual pupil. Religious education may provide a basis for understanding the search for meaning in life and an invitation to share in that, but it is the pupil's own life which will provide the experiences that shape his response and test its consistency and quality.

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The study of classics can include the study both of the Greek and Latin Languages and of the Graeco-Roman world - its culture, its social and political development, its philosophical and aesthetic achievements. It is concerned pre-eminently with periods of history, limited in respect of time and space, in which there was considerable interaction between social, political, intellectual, literary and artistic developments: fifth century Athens, and Rome in the first century BC and AD for example. Another period and area would obviously be Roman Britain which never fails to excite interest. The cultures of these key periods are on a scale small enough to be viewed as a whole, sufficiently distant in time from our own to be studied objectively but with enough points of resemblance to illuminate the present. They were marked by the creation of seminal masterpieces, acknowledged as such in their own right, in art, architecture, literature, drama, history, political theory and philosophy, which have had powerful formative influences on later developments in all these fields not only in Britain but in the Western World.

To study such cultures with their similarities to and differences from our own can make pupils more clearly aware of the nature of their own society, increase their capacity for the appreciation of their cultural environment and develop an awareness of what it means today to be a European. The Classical world also presents a rich supply of material which can be highly effective in the development of the pupils' understanding and use of language, their handling of ideas - moral, political and historical for example - their evaluation and use of evidence, and their response to works of art of all kinds.

Over recent years a number of classical studies courses has been developed, involving the study of the Graeco-Roman World without necessitating the learning of the ancient languages, and classical civilisation and ancient history can now be taken not only in CSE and to the Ordinary and Advanced Levels of GCE but to degree level. In schools the advantages gained by a knowledge of the ancient world are available to children of the entire ability range and need not be confined within the limits of specialised language study. Classical studies in this sense can, with or without public examination, be closely related to other subjects which make up the curriculum and can supply an important contribution to a school's humanities programme.

The study of the languages gives an additional and significant dimension to knowledge about the ancient world. Those who are able to study Latin and/or Greek with profit do so not only in order to appreciate classical literature and so more fully to understand the Greeks and Romans, but also because study of these languages aids the student's general linguistic development. Every generation needs to produce its linguists whose contact with the original literature can continually inform and reinterpret a picture of the ancient world based solely on translation. Greek and especially Latin have a historical importance. Their appeal lies not only in their value and interest as languages but in the range and distinction of their reading matter. Latin and Greek should not be regarded simply as elements in a school's languages provision: the part they play in the Humanities may be equally significant.


Linguistic. The study of Greek and/or Latin helps to develop sensitivity to language, and appreciation of language structure, an understanding of vocabulary and spelling, accuracy in the use of language, orally or in writing, in English as well as in Greek and Latin. These are the languages of pre-industrial and essentially pre-Christian civilisations, of people with habits of thought which are in many respects different from our own; understanding or translating them, therefore, whether the latter is from or into English, also provides a stimulating, intellectual challenge different from that offered by the study of modern languages and at the same time affords a critique of our own habits of thought. Classics courses, with or without the study of the languages, focus attention on reading and on oral discussion and debate about the content and significance of the classical world. In the process of understanding this, in appreciating and attempting to describe its likeness and dissimilarity to our own, a pupil can increase his mastery of his own language and his precision in the use of it.

Aesthetic/creative. Fifth century Athens has perhaps more works of quality to offer to pupils than can be supplied by any other period equally limited in time and geographical area. Roman as well as Greek art, architecture and literature can give aesthetic enjoyment and develop appreciation. Pupils can understand something of both the artistic and technological skill which underlies the creation, for example, of a red figure vase, a sculpture of Pheidias, a tragedy of Sophocles, a book of Virgil, a Latin epigram, a Roman coin portrait, a feat of Roman engineering or a Romano-British mosaic. They can also see them as primary historical sources, an illuminating point of entry into the minds of their creators and a spur to further and deeper study. By placing considerable emphasis on the reading of Classical authors either in the original or in translation, most Classics courses aim to evoke some feeling for literature. The major

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historical sources are also works of literature: Herodotus, Thucydides, Livy and Tacitus for example. The myths and legends of the Greeks, especially the stories of Homer, have shown themselves to be a stimulus to pupils in the fields of creative, imaginative writing - as they have been to authors and artists of every subsequent age, including our own. Especially in the early years of secondary school pupils are encouraged to respond to classical material in a variety of ways, for example in the writing of stories and poems, in painting and model-making, and in dance and drama. Writing on historical as well as literary topics can also be a creative process, an attempt, disciplined by evidence, to recreate the life of the past and explain the successes and failures encountered within it.

Ethical/moral. In the study of myth and legend are to be found many of the springs of human experience. But all Greek and Roman literature and art, and the largely moral interpretation of human life adopted by their historians, dramatists and orators, can make a valuable contribution to a pupil's ethical and moral development. At all stages moral issues - slavery, the idea of empire, the position of women, the conflict between the claims of the state and the rights of the individual - are to be found in the material. Pupils are challenged to. discuss them not only against the historical background, as supported by the evidence, but in relation to their own experiences. and present day problems.

Social/political. The history and literature of Greece and Rome cannot be studied without attention to their social context and their intense concern with political issues, structures and philosophy. In seeking to understand these features (the working of democracy at Athens and the causes of the collapse of the Roman Republic, for example) pupils not only relate them to their contemporary setting but naturally compare them with parallel though different features in the events and practices of our own times. In this way pupils can acquire knowledge and basic political concepts, the causes of social conflict, the merits and dangers associated with different forms of political organisations and the shifting connotations of propagandist vocabulary. At the same time they can also develop a sharpened political and social awareness of the twentieth century world.

Spiritual. A deep sense of the religious dimension of human experience pervaded the whole of the Classical world, and any student of Greek and Roman society is bound to acknowledge its influence on action and debate. To read works like Plato's Republic or Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, for example, can introduce a pupil to some of the basic religious issues and elements of mystery in human life. The history of the Roman Empire includes the rise of Christianity and the conflict between rival religions and superstitious beliefs. Once again comparison and contrast with ideas and beliefs within our own society are inevitable. In this case they can contribute to a developing appreciation of the meaning and significance of a fundamental aspect of human thought and behaviour.

Scientific. The study of Classics in general and of Ancient History in particular requires systematic investigation and disciplined thinking, both of which are features of science. In this broad sense Classics courses make use of, evidence and seek to understand its nature and limitations; to assess, interpret, relate and use it both to form and to test hypotheses. Where Classics includes elements of archaeology and of the history of art it also demands that pupils observe accurately and record their observations, for example of a Greek vase or Roman site, with objectivity. These are essentially scientific processes, owing much to the methods of both the physical and social sciences.

Mathematical. The contribution that Classics courses can make to this area of the curriculum lies largely in their emphasis on a rational approach and logical thinking.

Physical. Classical Studies courses can provide the opportunity for pupils to practise movement, dance and drama and improve their physical dexterity through painting, drawing, modelling and photography.


To read Latin and/or Greek requires an understanding of the structure of words, phrases and sentence patterns. The depth of this understanding and the extent to which it is made explicit can vary according to particular stages within a course or to the particular objectives set for the course. At the present time Latin courses approach it in different ways; but whether grammar and syntax are studied from the reading or from the teachers' analysis prior to the reading - and both methods may be used - grammatical and syntactical concepts are an essential, and intrinsically valuable, feature of them all.

Since courses in Latin and Greek aim nowadays to include an understanding not only of the language but also of the content of what is read, the concepts involved in the latter - social, literary, historical, or artistic - may often be the same concepts as in Classical Studies courses which do not involve the reading of the original languages. Some of these concepts are common to the study of other cultures also but many naturally derive from the idiosyncratic nature of the ancient world. For example apparently simple words, like 'slave', 'house', 'temple' and 'empire', when associated with the ancient world, take on distinctive connotations. It would be entirely misleading for pupils to think that only a few peculiarities like the chorus prevent a Greek tragedy from being drama as the twentieth century understands it or to talk about the fifth century Athenian popular assembly as if it closely resembled our representative parliament and its citizens conformed to a version of Christian morality. There are also, in Greek literature, recurring antitheses (for example 'natural law' and 'human custom', 'theory' and 'practice') the understanding of which increases pupils' alertness to contrasts still relevant in modern society.


At the end of a course in Latin, Creek or Classical Studies, that is one leading to a public examination at 16, pupils may reasonably be expected to have achieved a number of the following:

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(a) some insight into the ancient world and, through this, the ability:
i. to describe and explain selected aspects of the ancient world;
ii. to observe and record, to abstract and analyse information;
iii. to make use of observation to ask questions, to solve problems and to identify what is relevant to an enquiry;
iv. to recognise the influence of the ancient world on European culture;
v. to be aware of and to discuss moral issues which arise in the course of their study and to relate them to their own experience and present day problems;
vi. to show some appreciation of things of aesthetic value;
vii. to respond to the stimulus of the ancient world by using such practical skills as, for example, drawing, painting, modelling and acting;
viii. to use English creatively;
ix. throughout all these activities to reason clearly and pay due regard to evidence;
(b) the capacity to read some Roman (or Greek) literature, either in the original or in translation, and to give evidence of some understanding and appreciation in discussion, paraphrase, or (where appropriate) translation;
(c) the ability to read aloud with reasonable fluency, accuracy and understanding an appropriate piece of Latin or Greek and to reveal this understanding by translating it into sensitive, idiomatic English, showing some of the historical imagination which helps them to gain some idea of the context and some appreciation of its style;
(d) some understanding of the differences between Latin (or Greek) and English;
(e) some appreciation of the contribution which classical languages have made to English and other European languages by discussion, for example, of derivations, idiom and allusions;
(f) pleasure and enjoyment, arising from their acquisition of skills and understanding.

It is difficult to specify how much of this can be realistically expected from any given group of pupils. Those whose course contains a strong linguistic element may not be called upon to acquire some of the skills listed under (a), (vii) for example, whereas those whose course does not include Latin or Greek may acquire most of what is listed except for (c) (d) and perhaps (e).

The expectations for pupils who do not follow a public examination course must not be minimised. Many aspects of (a), (c), (d) and (f) may be realised, at an appropriate level, by pupils who complete, for example, only the first two years of a linguistic course and by those for whom the further study of the language proves too difficult but who are sufficiently motivated to pursue a non-linguistic classical studies course.

Very few pupils will go on to use their knowledge of the classical world in their work, though substantial numbers return to it, often incidentally and intermittently, in their leisure. But the skills acquired though that knowledge will be of general value. The skills they have learned, for example, during their detailed study of language will be found relevant to the needs of those who have to interpret accurately what is written and express themselves with precision and sensitivity. The skills formed through the evaluation of written 'evidence' of many kinds may also be exercised widely throughout adult life.


Language courses require a structure and have progression built into them. Growth in pupils' understanding of an increasing complexity of linguistic patterns and meaning can be tested and seen to develop stage by stage. The degree of conceptual as well as linguistic difficulty affects the order in which a pupil reads examples of Classical literature. Concentration on reading literature as the prime objective of some language courses has enabled pupils, with skilful and graded preparation, to go on to tackle some authors at an earlier stage and others at greater length (Tacitus and Virgil for example) than had been thought possible ten years ago.

Progression in classical studies courses, however, is less easy to define. They vary greatly in length and timing as well as in objectives and in their place in the curriculum. Throughout the secondary school such courses aim to develop pupils' command of language as well as some of the other abilities mentioned in (e) above. In the early years the emphasis tends to be on creative and imaginative response to myth and legend but the 'story-centred' approach shades (often imperceptibly and with varying speed) into the challenge of historical enquiry. It is difficult to generalise. Different pupils achieve varying degrees of balance between these two approaches at different ages, but pupils would appear less eager to accept the story for story's sake or write freely and imaginatively at 13 than at 11 years of age. Myth may lead to history and back to myth. Myth and history can figure simultaneously. Pupils' progression can be from emotive response based on understanding of a story's social/ historical context. Except in one or two schools courses of three or more years duration are still relatively new and experimental. Where courses occur both in the early years and for public examination, there can be some overlap of content but the approach need not be repetitive. Certainly as pupils progress through the two year examination courses in Classical Studies, the skills mentioned above may be consciously given greater emphasis and progressively developed.


Accordingly classics courses may be expected by the age of 16 to have helped some of the following to develop:

(a) sensitivity to language, respect for its complexity and awareness of subtlety of expression and shades of meaning;
(b) empathy, readiness to enter into the thought forms, motives and attitudes of widely different cultures;

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(c) respect for reason, the desire to make a well-informed and open-minded approach to problems;
(d) curiosity, for example about meaning, cause, effect and change;
(e) humility and openness to experience;
(f) tolerance of ambiguity where ambiguity is appropriate, for example in art and literature;
(g) awareness of bias, assumptions and degrees of accuracy; (h) a sense of historical perspective.
All these attitudes are of value beyond the Classics courses themselves both during and after school life. But the curiosity and enjoyment mentioned above can become, specifically in relation to Classics, an absorbing interest and continue into adult life. This is evident from the extensive sales of Classical literature in translation, from interest in well-illustrated works on Greek Art and Architecture (for example) and in the museums and monuments of Italy and Greece, and from the response to those interests by the media and in courses of adult education.

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The historian is concerned above all with the study of identifiable human beings who have actually lived or, indeed, who may still be alive. He does not confine himself to the famous dead - emperors, prime ministers, generals, bishops and revolutionary leaders; he is also concerned with engineers and craftsmen, factory and farm workers, private soldiers, school teachers and their pupils and with our own parents and grandparents. Then he is concerned with events in sequence, and the relationship between them, and so with origins, with effects, and with change. Finally he is interested in human intent, and so in some evaluation of human success and failure. Ultimately the historians' discipline is concerned less with the communication of accepted fact than with the making of informed judgements.


Most children have a shared curiosity about the past: their comics, television programmes and, for centuries, many of their games are evidence of this. The interest of adults is equally apparent: paperback sales, borrowings from public libraries, enrolment in adult education classes, popularity of television programmes dealing with the past, and visits to country houses and museums all bear effective witness to it. This interest is related to a search for our own identity which depends in part on knowledge and understanding both of our own individual origins, and of the origins and development of those groups - ethnic, national, cultural, religious, political - to which we all belong. We become even more sharply aware of our own identity, when we can compare it with that of other people who share our humanity, but who have experienced their identity in different cultural and chronological circumstances. These interests, and this search, are often unschooled, even unconscious. Historical thinking cannot proceed without specific attitudes being identified, nurtured and encouraged. They are:

1. An awareness of the nature of evidence. A recognition that all statements about people depend on evidence which often reveals contrasted, even conflicting, points of view and is always incomplete. Thus historical statements are always provisional and tentative.

2. A sense of change and continuity. An awareness that the past is different from the present, but that we nevertheless share certain characteristics with our forebears, and that change has neither a constant rate nor consistent direction.

3. An interest in cause. This includes an appreciation that historical explanation is problematical, always previsional, and sometimes controversial.

4. A degree of empathy. The ability to enter into some informed appreciation of the predicaments and points of view of other people - the development, in fact, of a historical imagination.

Questions such as 'How do I know this is true?', 'What was it like to be ... ?' 'What would I have done if ... ?' are all crucial historical questions, relating to evidence but depending on imagination. They are all questions which encourage an informed and responsible scepticism. They are also questions of considerable social importance.

Concepts are both some of the tools with which we categorise and analyse historical material and some of the criteria for the selection of periods and themes for study. For example, the study of the industrial revolution might help pupils to reexamine nineteenth century assumptions about the concept of 'progress and improvement'. Study of the Reformation could help them to identify the important distinction between 'power' and 'authority'. Studies of European expansion in Africa and Asia can deepen our understanding of 'imperialism', 'colonialism', 'civilisation', and 'culture'. But historical concepts are more than mere glossaries of technical terms; they are also tools of analysis. Can the term 'revolution' be applied equally to events in England in 1688, France in 1789, Russia in1917, and to industrial developments in 'England between 1770 and 1820? Can British policy in nineteenth century Africa, the United States policy of 'manifest destiny' and Soviet policy in Eastern Europe after 1945 all be described as 'imperialism'? How does the concept 'democracy' alter in phrases like 'social democracy', 'parliamentary democracy', 'people's democracies', 'one party democracies'? These are all questions of analysis.

Unlike science and mathematics, there is no list of historical concepts on which the understanding of the past depends, although any scheme of work for 11- to 16-year-olds must list the concepts to be understood by the end of the course, and the order in which they might emerge. There are however two concepts fundamental to all historical study and to which all others relate: 'cause' and 'change'. They must be present in the work of the whole age range.

Skills are the tools which help the study and understanding of historical material. The lists which follow are not sequential nor are they progressive; all are applicable in some form to the whole age range 11-16:

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1. The skills of abstraction: The ability to locate information from sources of all kinds - books, maps, pictures (still and moving), statistics and diagrams, objects, places, buildings, memories of people. At all stages some of this material should be primary.

2. The skills of analysis: The ability to categorise observations; to recognise emotional content and bias, cause and effect, omissions and irrelevancies; to distinguish verifiable from unverifiable; above all the ability to relate statements about people to evidence.

3. The skills of evaluation: The ability to assess the authority of evidence and relate it to its historical context; to understand its meaning for and impact on the audience intended, recognise its bias and emotional content; the ability to evaluate human conduct in its historical context; the ability to test hypotheses.

4. Skills of communication: The ability to communicate in a variety of written forms; to present a case verbally, to pose questions, to discuss, and to listen; the ability to make valid historical statements, based on evidence, through art, craft and drama.

5. Skills of synthesis: The ability to analyse facts in sequence; select evidence from a variety of similar sources, for example several books; from contrasted sources, for example a book, a newspaper, a personal memory; from conflicting sources. The ability to use historical data to make imaginative reconstructions, spoken, dramatic, written; the ability to construct hypotheses. Most important is the ability to organise material of the past into a coherent narrative. A good story is probably what first gripped the attention of young children about the past. It must continue to be a part of the teaching of pupils of all ages. Their ability to construct a good narrative should remain one of their own central responses to it.


Progression in a subject implies the existence of a base-line, a goal, and techniques of measurement. These factors are present in much mathematical and scientific learning, and are inherent in much of their subject matter. If historians limit their objectives to the acquisition and memorising of fact, then these factors apply also to them. However, historians' aims should be wider and more subtle.

The objectives of learning are not inherently present in the subject matter of history. Neither the skills, nor, for the most part, the concepts are sequential. They can all be present, in some form - often implicit - in the learning of the whole age-group. Similarly the attitudes we have identified in the second paragraph exist, in their essence, in many primary classes, contained in the questions 'Did that really happen?', 'Why did she do that?', 'What was it like then', 'Let's pretend ... '.

Objectives in history must embrace the experiences which a teacher hopes a class will go through during five years. Teachers should therefore relate the aims of the syllabus to precisely defined objectives, as guides not only to the tasks of the pupils, but also to their means.of assessment. However, the enthusiasms and interests of the pupils and, on occasions, their inventiveness, are unpredictable; the nature of the subject can often reveal unexpected perspectives and themes. Those prior objectives too rigidly adhered to can threaten the pupils' inventiveness, expression of their own opinions or reference to their own experience (1). This, of course, is no argument for abandoning clear objectives but a reminder that history is a subject in which they may be redefined by the very process of learning.

What a history teacher must do is to ensure that skills, basic to all learning - reading, writing, simple numeracy, reasoning - are present, and developed by history. The claims of history do not depend on a structured sequence of skills linked to its subject matter.


So far this paper emphasised the distinctive contribution of history. It now turns to those areas which overlap the contributions of other disciplines and reinforce them, either through common subject matter or through common methods of study.

Aesthetic/creative. History contributes in two distinct ways. First, many historical statements are an imaginative recreation, stimulated by evidence, of the past experience of other people. They make take the form of narrative, verse, drama, music, painting or craft work. Second, works of art and the achievements of science and technology - buildings and bridges, literature, music and the discoveries of medicine and astronomy - often provide exciting and accessible primary source material, and are irreplaceable keys to the understanding of the lives of their creators, and of the period in which they lived. They are also examples of man at the peak of his achievement.

Ethical/moral. Moral awareness depends, in part, on the ability to make some informed and compassionate identification with the predicaments and points of view of other people. Enough has been said in this paper to establish this as central to historical understanding. Self-knowledge is also part of moral education and here also history plays its part. R. G. Collingwood wrote 'Knowing yourself means knowing what you can do; since nobody knows what he can do until he tries, the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is' (2). Moral judgements also lurk in the very vocabulary of history; 'execution', 'Reformation', 'reform', 'conqueror', 'Crusade'. All historical events have a moral interpretation, and our reactions to them are inescapably subjective. We unavoidably, if covertly, praise or deplore when we come across a death, a victory, or a reform. So our relationship to the past is inescapably subjective. It is not the task of history to eliminate this but to increase the knowledge on which we base these subjective reactions. It also reminds us that our moral estimate of human behaviour must be based,

(1) Gabriel Chanan: 'Objectives in the Humanities', Educational Research, Vol. 16, No. 3, June 1974. This paragraph owes much to this article.

(2) R. G. Collingwood: 'The Idea of History'.

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as are all historical statements, inescapably on evidence. Morality also has its own history. This is not to deny the existence of moral absolutes, be they Christian or Marxist, Hindu or Humanist, nor do we suggest that history is the story of increasing enlightenment and tolerance. Nonetheless attitudes to, for example, minorities, dissent, punishment, children, or black people, have varied and relate to economic and cultural pressures. If we are to understand our own moral attitudes and obligations, they too must be placed in their historical context.

Spiritual. It is the task of history neither to inculcate nor to evangelise. However, it must make children more aware that some people lived by principles not related exclusively to economic, social and political pressures, whether they were Albigensians, Hindus, St Francis, or Confucius. Historical evidence cannot explain the mystery within the spiritual experiences of men and women in the past. It can at least remind us of the existence and force of spiritual experience, and reduce some of the misunderstandings and ignorance that surrounds it.

Language. The Bullock Report, A language for life, is a document of fundamental importance for the teaching of history. Historical skills use language in a variety of circumstances: in discussion, interviewing, narrative, the marshalling and evaluation of evidence, role-playing, the imaginative reconstruction of past situations and in argument by analogy, comparison and extrapolation. Conceptual thinking depends on, and develops, the skilled use of language. It involves not only the acquisition and understanding of a special vocabulary, but its application to a variety of economic, social and political circumstances. The understanding of the statements and the appreciation of the arguments of others depends not only on their intellectual content, but on an appreciation of their use of vocabulary and figurative language. Narrative and argument also relate to the structure of language and depend on an understanding of tenses and the use of conjunctions. Language too has its own history; meaning sometimes lies in origins, and the thoughts of men in other ages can be understood only if the change in the meaning of words and use of language is appreciated. The past speaks to us in language; we react to it in our turn with words.

Mathematical/scientific. Historical methods are depending more and more on mathematical techniques. An increasing amount of information on human behaviour is expressed diagrammatically and statistically. It must be understood and evaluated as much as written sources. Computers store evidence. and have already been used by schools in analysing parish records and census returns. Historians, like scientists, observe and categorise, formulate and verify hypotheses. As historical method is extended and refined by its complementary relationships with the social sciences, these methods will increase in importance. But the subject matter of history is also a means of understanding the development of our scientific and technological society. This is not merely through the biographies of scientists and mathematicians but by understanding the men in their economic, political and moral context. Nor is history just a list of inventions or new processes; it is the process of relating them to the motives of the men who developed them and assessing their effect on social, political and moral attitudes and on the development of twentieth century urban and industrial life.

Political/social. History's first contribution to political and social understanding is to inform us, not only about the variety of political beliefs and their economic, social and cultural contexts, but about their evolution, their effects on human life, and the diversity of political means used to resolve the differences between them. Knowledge of political behaviour is given some pattern by conceptual thinking; all political concepts are also used by historians. They may describe beliefs such as 'communism', 'democracy', 'liberalism', but they are also concerned with political processes such as 'elections', 'revolution', 'debate', 'pressure groups', 'party'. However historians can no longer limit their political thinking to constitutional and diplomatic problems. Their concepts must include terms such as 'slump', 'inflation', 'labour', 'profit', and 'loss'. They must also be aware of the impact of technology and industrialisation on political power, and on the ability to challenge it, on personal freedom, on international relations and on the great cities of the world. But political behaviour is more than knowledge or understanding - it is concerned with the making of choices. The historical mind, employing as it does a critical assessment of evidence on human behaviour, and with a degree of empathy, is central to effective political choice. It has already been suggested that history cannot be value-free. As it has been described in this paper it is committed to a particular form of political society. 'How do I know this is true?' is a fundamental historical question; it is also an assertion of intellectual independence. It is not one likely to be welcomed in a closed or authoritarian society; nor is the historians' attempt to appreciate the predicaments and points of view of other people. History must identify and understand despotism and the irrational. However history is a rational discipline which accepts, indeed welcomes, the existence of social and political diversity. Those who seek other ways of organising society must look elsewhere for their support.


If history is to give many people insight into their individual and family roots, and to give the past an opportunity to speak through its documents, buildings, field and street patterns, and the memories of people still alive, then the curriculum cannot ignore the history of the locality. Secondly, if history is going to increase an awareness of our own regional and national roots and that of the society in which we live, it must contain some national history. Thirdly, as we all live in a world of increasingly interdependent countries and in a multi-cultural society, so local and national history must be related to a wider context, not only in Europe but in America, Africa and Asia. So within five years of compulsory secondary education, some balance must be established between local, national and world history.

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Historians must also accept a responsibility for placing contemporary problems in their historical context. It would be arrogant to assume that this can produce a complete understanding and appreciation of the significance of important contemporary issues but they will certainly be better understood than if no attempt at all is made. To achieve some measure of understanding, it is not sufficient merely to look at topics in the twentieth century, so problems of current importance must be studied; this cannot be done with syllabuses ending in 1939 or even in 1960. If the historical is also concerned with change, however, some considerable chronological stretch of time must be included. The period should be sufficiently long to illustrate important social and qualitative differences between our own experiences and those of people who lived before us. Ideally within the common curriculum at least one period of the remote past should be studied. There is plenty of evidence of children's interest in the distant past, generated by the opportunities afforded to make significant comparisons, to see the historian working as a detective and to reconstruct the past in exciting and imaginative ways.

Any syllabus within the framework we have described cannot follow a simple sequence but the disadvantages of this (and they do exist) are preferable to those more tidy and coherent syllabuses which nevertheless exclude important aspects of the past. Final decisions on content will inevitably, and rightly, vary with the locality of the school, the availability of books and other resources, the accessibility of local archives, public libraries, museums and historic sites, and with the interests, enthusiasms and experience of the teachers and their pupils.

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Economic understanding

The main curriculum paper (pp 3-8) refers to the vital tasks of preparing secondary school pupils to enter the 'world of work' and society. On the one hand, they must be able to make their full contribution to both of these areas and on the other hand they should be able to benefit from membership of them. Given the nature of the industrial society in which we now live, no one questions the crucial importance of 'economic competence' for all citizens. This competence should be enjoyed, as far as is realistically possible, by every 16-year-old whether he or she is to stay on at school, or (as is the case with just over seventy per cent of our fifth form pupils) to enter the world of industry, business and commerce straight away.

This paper is concerned with the basic economic understanding which should be a part of the intellectual equipment of every 16-year-old. Traditionally, the subject named 'economics' has been provided for a portion of our secondary school pupils only. Economic understanding has often been encouraged and developed by other subjects or by certain aspects of them, notably business studies and the structure of commerce. These subjects have also tended to be optional, starting in the fourth form. None of these subjects, except in rare cases, has been part of an obligatory common core up to the age of 16. This paper does not intend to argue that these subjects should be obligatory in this way. On the other hand it does argue most strongly that some of the knowledge, skills and concepts found in economics and business studies should be a part of the formally intended curriculum for every pupil. These educational gifts can, quite possibly, come through the named subjects. On the other hand, they can also be imparted through other subjects with appropriate organisation. So long as a school has a clear and stated curriculum, embodying the aims and objectives which we outline, then it is a matter of apportioning the responsibility for teaching economic competence to various parts of the school's organisation.

First, a school ought to consider why anyone needs to enjoy economic competence these days. The term means, broadly speaking, the possession of certain factual knowledge about the national economy, certain specific skills which enable a citizen and worker to operate within it, and certain concepts which enable us to form balanced and informed judgements about economic matters. These economic matters might be, for example, making simple purchases by cash or credit, or participating in a national discussion about weighty economic and political matters. If it is intended seriously that England should be a democracy, then it follows that all citizens should be aware of the main economic and political issues so that they may consider them in an informed and intelligent way. The recent past indicates that this dimension of civic responsibility is likely to increase; for example the debates on the EEC, on devolution, on the school curriculum - all of these have an economic element. We also hear more talk about 'participation' either by workers or citizens in many of the processes that affect them: clearly the schools have to do their part in preparing their pupils as well as they are able for these responsibilities.

Indeed, some pupils at school are already citizens, in the strictly legal sense of being voters, or parties to contracts. Virtually all pupils in secondary schools are consumers and probably most of them enjoy an income, even if modest or erratic at times. In these ways, schools are already dealing with members of an economy and a policy. If some people think that schools are not appropriate places for instructing young people in economic competence, then the two questions arise: Where else can this task be undertaken methodically for all citizens? In an industrial democracy, can we leave this task to mere chance, probably depriving vast numbers of people of an understanding of the very processes and issues which affect their lives as citizens and workers?


Economics and business studies do not impinge upon all areas of the curriculum with equal force. Of those listed on page 6, probably the linguistic, the mathematical and the social/political are the areas most obviously bound up with economics; the ethical is also indissolubly a part of economic understanding (certainly in the minds of many young people) - the claims of some economists notwithstanding.

Economics also helps to develop language in certain specific ways. First, it has terms of its own which are increasingly a part of our everyday vocabulary, and it is desirable that we all use these terms in the same way. Each day the media talk about the balance of payments, imports, inflation, productivity, labour, investment and so on. There is evidence that very few people are certain of the meaning of many basic economic words and terms. Secondly, economics has to employ precise language if it is to be of any value. Vague generalisations, illogical arguments and impressionistic statements have no place in serious economics. The mischief they can cause when they infiltrate an economic debate is immeasurable. The secondary school phase of education supplies an admirable place in which to promote the careful use of the language of economics. This paper does not advocate an unrealistic usage of difficult terms like 'marginal utility' or 'equilibrium analysis' - such phrases are for the specialist. Here we are concerned with

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the goals that all 16-year-olds ought to be able to attain. In the same way the study of business studies, of commerce and of consumer education will all help to develop the special language of economic understanding as well as strengthening and widening the employment of everyday language.

The need for greater precision in analysis and thought has brought mathematics increasingly into all the social sciences in modern times. When we remember the needs of the average rather than specialist pupil, the skills required for economic understanding are not too specialised nor refined. For the most part, simple computation is quite sufficient as a basis for understanding the main issues. To this we would add the ability to draw and to interpret simple graphs, to handle elementary statistics and to make realistic estimates of certain specific types, for example those touching on the basic data, required by the subject - broadly, rates of inflation, balance of payments relationships, the relative sizes of money sums likely to be encountered (thousands, millions, billions).

Among the many definitions of economics, and perhaps one of the more kindly ones, is 'the science of shortage'. This phrase highlights the fact that economics is very intimately bound up with social, political and ethical questions. Why is wealth distributed as it is? Should the public sector be this size, or that? Who controls production, distribution and exchange? Questions such as these have been the very stuff of political argument throughout industrial times, indeed in some ways throughout recorded history. It is absurd to recognise this on the one hand and yet to deny young people any knowledge of it, or of its related issues, on the other. If it is a purpose of the curriculum to add to young people's social and political competence, then economic knowledge is a necessary condition of educational value. This is not to argue that schools have to press any one set of arrangements on pupils - it would be undesirable and probably politically unacceptable for them to try; but at least pupils can be introduced to the main issues which are already affecting them, and which will continue to do so ever more compellingly as they become workers, fathers, mothers, taxpayers, entrepreneurs and decision-makers.

Whether economics is taught as such, or through other subjects, it should add to the other areas of competence suggested. A case could be made for its contribution to these other areas, but these aspects of its offer are neither so clear nor so immediate. While it is true that considerations of the possibly corrupting influence of material conditions upon us is often a central theme of world religions, it is perhaps a rather contrived argument to claim that economics is either a necessary or a sufficient condition for our spiritual development. It may very well prove to be a great help in certain skilled hands, but the case is no stronger than that. The same might be said of its connections with the aesthetic and the physical. On the other hand, its in-built opportunity for observation, its respect for evidence, its steady and careful logic and its repeated attempts to erect workable hypotheses are all very clear manifestations of its scientific nature, and it may well help in developing scientific competence.

There has been for some time a tedious and rather artificial debate about whether 'pure' or 'applied' economics ought to be the kind offered in schools. When we refer to our central criterion of relevance, what should a 16-year-old know and be able to do?, the solution to this problem becomes easier. There are certain economic facts that the curriculum ought to impart to pupils. For example, the nature of the 'world of work' implies that pupils should know what we mean by industry or commerce. Actual examples of these things need to be given. The position of Great Britain as a trading and manufacturing nation with a growing service sector requires a description of industrial morphology, regional patterns of industry and work and communications. Pupils ought to have an accurate grasp of the extent and nature of the workforce, the changing nature of British industry, the size of imports and exports, and of rates of exchange between the main international currencies and the pound sterling.

Many of these economic 'facts' are of an almost abstract kind, for example 'the public sector', but they will benefit from being grounded in clear empirical illustrations such as 'British Rail' or 'Post Office Corporation'. In this way the concepts are made comprehensible to the pupil and useful to the young citizen.

Some economic concepts are less amenable to immediate homely examples. Nevertheless, they remain essential basic concepts of all economics, and useful examples can generally be given to illustrate them - at present teachers of economics and business studies are well practised in this art. The 'major concepts' are: scarcity; choice; opportunity cost (the cost of alternatives foregone); price as the measure of relationship between supply and demand; equilibrium; savings and investment; efficiency and resources (the classic 'factors of production', land, labour and capital) and management. Without a grasp of these concepts economic understanding will be imperfect.

In noting the contributions of economics to the curricular areas we have already suggested most of the skills that economics (or the economic aspects of business studies and the structure of commerce) require and develop. These are: the development of logical thought, the accurate use of spoken and written language, computation and estimation, interpretation of simple statistical and graphic models, attention to evidence; ability to create simple and testable hypotheses; and, it is hoped, a certain 'empathetic' realisation that an 'economy' is a complicated and dynamic set of relationships in which we all depend very heavily upon each other and in which people are, very emphatically, not islands. It is this latter point which is probably the most valuable of all the attitudes that this discipline can impart: the realisation by young people that there is a dependence of all upon all in a virtually infinite web of relationships; that crude and simplistic answers are almost certainly misleading; and that only patience, accuracy and respect for verifiable facts can be of the slightest help in solving our many economic problems.

Economics and the structure of commerce lend themselves perhaps rather too well to traditional modes of instruction. These approaches are certainly useful and effective, but a fuller appreciation of the main issues and their complexity suggests that some simulation and role-playing can be very beneficial; so also can carefully structured fieldwork such

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as visiting industrial plants and commercial premises rather than merely talking about them. These considerations suggest, in turn, the very obvious connection between economic competence on the one hand and careers work, work experience and link courses on the other. There are many curricular contexts in which economic competence can be taught and learned; by no means all of them are confined to lessons specifically named economics and commerce. Another important area of useful and practical education is in the sphere of documentation techniques and information storage and retrieval. A few pupils have had the advantage of learning about these skills in business studies or office practice, but really specialised work of this kind will probably be confined to specialists who opt for those subjects. When we consider the desirable objectives that we ought to have for all 16-year-olds, we should remember that we now live in a bureaucratic society (the term is used advisedly as an historical fact) in which there are certain unavoidable means of communicating, recording and retrieving data. At one time or another, in our private lives, or at work, we find that we are required to understand and to fill in forms that, for example, concern our taxation, our insurance, our admission to a trade union, our application for benefits or our desire to gain employment. Once more the question suggests itself: if this essential skill is not taught at school, when will it be learned? It seems too important to leave to chance.

Pupils in school are already consumers, and at 16 many of them also become producers of wealth. In just over two centuries, England has become a complex industrial society, always relying upon trade for its wealth and standard of living, increasingly relying upon technology also. First, it is important that all young citizens and workers know these things - we no longer live in a slow-moving and traditional society where everyone absorbs the simple folklore and skills of the economy. Secondly, this industrial society aspires to be more democratic, in which case it is the right, and arguably the duty, of every citizen to have an effective grasp of the main issues at stake. Most of these will be major issues requiring discussion and decision. Finally, each citizen and worker has a right to know how to proceed as 'autonomously' as possible and to avoid exploitation - especially of the kind that comes to ignorant and ill-protected people. Economics and business studies contribute powerfully to all these essential tasks of secondary education, and each school curriculum should ensure that these tasks are systematically undertaken.

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Political competence

Although the idea of political education is suspect to many people, there are nevertheless compelling reasons for asserting its importance in the 11-16 curriculum. It is of course already present in many subjects of the curriculum: in history, geography, economics, even English and religious education classes; work done under such headings as 'social' and 'environmental' studies is often concerned with issues that are political. So political education does not necessarily mean the addition of a new subject to the curriculum. But its importance to society requires a clearer definition of its objectives, and of the knowledge and skills and attitudes which are necessary to support it. We are not always confident that classes called 'politics' or 'government' are sufficient to meet the requirements. Frequently they emphasise political machinery, usually limited to that of central and local government, or political philosophy, at the expense of real issues. Some schools would argue that class teaching is less important than the development of school councils in helping pupils to develop political competence. We would not deny this, but would be doubtful whether this experience alone transfers directly to make participation in society beyond the school more effective. However it is true that political understanding for 11- to 16-year-old pupils is affected by more than classroom learning. Everything that is formally intended in the school is part of its curriculum. Schools are themselves political institutions in that they involve power and authority, participation, and the resolution of different opinions. Childrens' perceptions of these are arguably a strong influence in the development of their political attitudes.

There has always, of course, been a case, which has been accepted by many teachers, that one of the functions of the curriculum is to give young people an appreciation of the nature of government. Pressure to give this more reality in terms of understanding political behaviour has obviously been given great emphasis by the lowering of the voting age to 18. More than that, however, there is an increasingly democratic temper in our society. This recognises that inevitably in human society there will be diversity of objectives, and considerable disagreement as to how best to achieve them. One of the tasks of government is how best to resolve these differences. A democratic society seeks to involve in this process of resolution all points of view in such a way that they will all survive. However since the enfranchisement of the majority, and in recent years, the rapidly increasing complexity of political decisions, often involving technical, scientific and economic considerations, the ability of individual citizens to understand, much less actively to influence the decisions of central government appears to be diminishing. Thus there has been a rapidly increasing pressure for participation in smaller, often local, units of decision-making; trades unions, factories, schools and pressure groups. People are seeking, and claiming, their right to discuss and to choose. The school curriculum would be wise to recognise this and to increase the likelihood of responsible participation by supporting it with knowledge and an informed understanding of the potential, and the limitations, of the contribution of individuals to their own government.


Content involves three areas. First there must be an understanding of the machinery, not only of central and local government, but also industrial relations, the education system and the contribution made by pressure groups. Second it must include an understanding of issues over which the people disagree. Disagreement may be over goals (where are we going? what purposes would a given action serve?); over values (in what way should we act or not act?); over methods (how should we do it?) or over results (was it the right outcome? the fairest? the best?) (1). For young people aged 11-16 issues must be related to concrete examples, such as the welfare state, motorways, comprehensive schools, capital punishment, abortion, strikes. Third there must be knowledge of the groups who are involved in political decision-making, e.g. political parties, the trades unions, the CBI, the press and interest groups. It must examine the effect on political aspirations and their effectiveness of, for example, regional, economic, and ethnic differences. In order to have some insight into these areas it is also necessary to see them in some historical perspective which will demonstrate not only the potential, but the limitations of political action. It will assist us, if not to predict, at least more intelligently to anticipate political developments. But political understanding in the end must evolve from an awareness of the close interaction of political machinery with issues, and of the likely groupings of those who support or oppose them.


Political knowledge is often categorised conceptually. Political concepts are as much tools of analysis as glossaries Of technical terms, and are a necessary bridge between mere

(1) We are indebted to Robert Stradling and Alex Porter for these categories which they identify in their paper 'Issues and Political Problems'. (Discussion document No.5 - a programme for political education April 1976.)

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political knowledge and political understanding. They help categorise our knowledge and experience through such general concepts as power, authority, welfare, freedom, liberty, through those associated with democratic machinery, e.g. elections, bills, pressure groups, to those describing particular beliefs and ideologies, e.g. socialism, conservatism, communism, capitalism, anarchism, and to those associated with specific issues, e.g, nationalisation, comprehensive reorganisation, pacifism, devolution, women's rights, racism. This list is meant neither to be prescriptive nor exclusive. Which concepts are present in a syllabus will depend upon the particular objectives of the teacher and on the issues that are of current importance. Nor will it always be possible, or necessary, for the pupils explicitly to understand them. Political concepts should however assist teachers to select their material and define their objectives. If the concepts remain implicit for many pupils, they should at least be introduced to concrete examples of them.


The very richness and complexity of these concepts implies disagreement. The fundamental political question is 'what happens when people disagree?' If this is related exclusively to the machinery of central government, or even local government, such decisions will still seem distant from the lives of citizens. However the resolution of differences is part of the world of work, the school, clubs and societies, and indeed the family. If we recognise that political competence may affect attitudes at these familiar levels, the encouragement of political education will often produce suspicion, even antipathy. The attitudes which seem to us to be necessary accompaniments to responsible political competence may go some way at least to reassuring those who are worried at the prospects of an increasingly politically literate population. The attitude of political competence in a democracy is based above all on toleration. By this we mean not only the acceptance, but the welcoming, of diversity in society. This means neither indulgence nor indifference. It can mean neutrality, if we recognise it as inactive commitment, but commitment nonetheless. Another political attitude is an acceptance of compromise. There are of course other ways of resolving political differences: by war, imprisonment, censorship, and other forms of force. We are not suggesting that there may not be justifications for these other means on occasions, but they are not political in the sense that we have defined it in this paper. Political education must include an awareness of these alternatives, but political decisions within our own society inevitably involve compromise, and even acceptance of the second best. This does not mean that convictions should be constantly changed to meet circumstances, but it does mean that they should be held with open-mindedness - another essential political attitude in a democracy. As Bertrand Russell put it: 'When you come to a point of view, maintain it with doubt. This doubt is precious because it suggests an open mind. I do not mean to argue that we should confuse an open mind, with an empty mind.'

It is not only those who are politically dogmatic who may assist those forces which threaten democracy, it is also those who are politically indifferent. 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing' (Edmund Burke). Young people and parents too quickly spot the weaknesses in the theme of 'universal toleration'. 'Are all views to be tolerated?' is a challenge that open political education must face. Here again, the institutions in a free society which determine the curriculum have to decide for themselves where the line must be drawn. Some views and attitudes are arguably unacceptable in our democracy: racism, suppression of opinion, exploitation of the defenceless. These are anathema to most people in our society. Education which identifies the evils we must resist, and suggests how we may resist them, is quite proper and likely to command wide support.

What we have been saying in this section on attitudes is that it is not enough for political education to talk in terms of the virtues of democratic society; in addition we must provide intellectual weapons to resist those who oppose it.


In order to develop these attitudes, certain skills and abilities are necessary. They have much in common with those described in the appendix on history: the ability to find evidence and to evaluate it, to identify slanted interpretation and bias, the ability to understand and appreciate the predicaments and points of view of other people. These skills must be applied not only to texts, documents, and political literature, but more particularly to the media - press, radio, television and the cinema. Another important skill for people who will be drawn into decision-making is the ability to make a sound argument based on evidence and to express a given case clearly. Reason and logical thinking must be at the heart of much political behaviour. These skills must not only be practised and refined in writing, but verbally - in argument and dispute, in presenting a case, in defending a point of view.


Although some schools offer 'politics' or 'civics' as a subject for a timetable this is not a common arrangement. As with technology (see pp 30 to 32) politics can, in fact, be offered as a curricular item without requiring its own subject area or departmental organisation. Therefore the curriculum needs to be clear about the kind of knowledge and skills and attitudes that it thinks 16-year-olds ought to possess and through what subjects, activities and organisation these ends may be achieved. We have already alluded to the need for clear language in order to understand and express political matters. In particular, informed reading of the newspapers, watching the television, listening to the radio and talking about current events and problems offer diverse and accessible contexts for the development of language skills. But it must never be forgotten that political competence depends more on oral than on written communication. The understanding of statistics is more and more a part of political competence. Statistics offer a main source of data in political discussions because economic matters are a chief concern of political debate. There is also the more refined study of

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'psephology' - the quantification of political behaviour, notably of elections, but this is a more specialised interest.

While the emphasis and careful observation and interpretation of given data is as important a political skill as it is a scientific one, there are ways in which politics and science connect. The paper on technology deals with these at some length when it refers to the technological basis of our lives, the options this has presented, the conflict it has generated - all these are potentially political, or have already become so.

Politics is also deeply concerned with ethical questions and moral problems. Although some people would argue that the morality grows out of material considerations, others would dispute this. However both schools of thought tend to express much of their politics in moral and ethical terms.


Those who claim that politics ought to be kept out of whatever it may be are being ingenuous (or, on occasions, disingenuous and politically skilful). Wherever there is disagreement, there lies a potential for politics; for aggregating issues, organising support, arguing, propagating, settling difficulties. There is 'politics' in this wide sense in every club, society or classroom if we did but see it. Possibly those who are coy about 'politics' mean 'party politics', but British democracy is parliamentary and rests on national parties, which are inevitably enmeshed with major issues, a fact more readily understood by the politically literate.

Political education does not come merely through certain lessons in history, geography, English, economics or politics as such. That part of school organisation which we call, broadly, 'pastoral' is also involved in that its organisation is a statement of the degree of seriousness and. care with which personal and group problems are taken. Similarly, the pedagogy employed throughout the school has political implication. For example, do we train young people to live in a democracy by talking to them excessively rather than inviting their views? Does repeated copying from textbooks on worksheets produce autonomous citizens? Do such arrangements as a few prefects but many non-prefects, or the employment of corporal punishment, prepare pupils for life in a democracy? Is the curriculum in general, and each syllabus in particular, actually explained or justified to . pupils at any stage? Are 'options' really informed choices?

It is not the task of political education to recommend particular political opinions, but on the other hand this paper does not claim to be value free. Its values are those of an open society, which accepts diversity of belief, participation, and the rights of individuals to assess evidence and to come to their own conclusions. The aim is to give pupils knowledge and tools for informed and responsible political participation. The late John Whiting in his play 'Marching Song' has one of his characters say: 'You will forgive my contempt for men who think they fulfil their obligations by expressing an opinion'. Political education might also do something to restore a respect for political activity and attitudes, and rescue them from the worrying trend of current cynicism about the place of politics in society.

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Supplementary Paper 2

The National Educational Pattern - Mobility and the Curriculum

It is fairly well known that England and Wales have a decentralised framework for much of the detailed management of education, including curriculum planning. Certain developments in the last twenty years have increased curricular diversity, although such changes are counteracted and contained by other common or national tendencies. Thus, while the number of LEAs has been reduced to 105, the various arrangements by which schools are organised have increased. Similarly, while we have examinations under nationally-known labels such as GCE or CSE, closer investigation reveals different boards managing these examinations, and many different syllabuses issuing from them. Finally, although we speak of 'common core' curriculum operating in many schools already and shared by them (leading some people to claim that there is already a national common curriculum of sorts) we find upon more detailed scrutiny that history or science or mathematics mean very different things in different schools even in schools within a mile or so of each other.

How has this come about? What are its effects? The reasons for this diversity are fairly easily explicable in terms of English and Welsh educational and constitutional history; in the main, education has traditionally been perceived as a local rather than a national responsibility. (In France it is seen as a national responsibility). The effects of this have been multiplied by the general absence of practical curriculum planning at the point where it should normally take place: the county, the borough and the school. There have not been many attempts to fashion a curriculum in the sense of a 'formally intended' scheme of work judged by the criteria of what a 16-year-old should do and know. Instead there are vaguely defined concepts inherited from the past as to what a balanced education is, and these concepts have become more fuzzy after a decade or so of curriculum development - which has often been detailed subject-syllabus development in practice.

The effects of this system, or lack of it, are many. We are concerned with one such result only in this paper - the effect on mobile children. If a boy or girl aged between 5 and 16 moves from one place to another and a change of school is involved, then this may have quite serious educational implications for the pupil. The difficulties of leaving one group of teachers and friends is well enough known; we refer here to the curricular implication, the difficulties of moving from one type of mathematics to another, for example. This problem could be as slight as different ways of subtracting (perplexing enough for some pupils) or a weightier matter such as a clash between two syllabuses and the philosophies behind them. At certain points between the ages of 5 and 16 the problem can be acute, notably where a move involves a different GCE or CSE syllabus, or a move from a middle to a secondary school or back again.

Having set the scene of the mobility problem it is necessary to note the basic facts involved. The organisational framework of education referred to is arranged thus:

A. 97 LEAs in England, and 8 in Wales
B. 7 GCE boards in England, 1 in Wales
C. 13 CSE boards in England, 1 in Wales
D. Some 5,000 secondary schools in the maintained sector alone; altogether there are 33,000 schools of all types in England and Wales. In the absence of any other requirement or guidance these schools are really the curriculum-determining institutions.
There is no central pool of information that gives the details of the curricula on offer in all of these schools, but we do know that there is a pattern of very broad similarity, with many important detailed differences - often crucial ones for mobile children.

An important variable to enter upon this kaleidoscopic scene in recent years has been 'secondary reorganisation'. Traditionally, the organisation of the secondary sector was fairly straightforward in the maintained sector (where some 93 per cent of pupils are to be found) - education ran from 5-15 (16 from 1973) but there was an important break at the age of 11 when selection occurred. Some pupils went to 11-18 grammar schools, others to 11-16 technical or secondary modern schools.

Important and fundamental changes to this pattern have arisen from a period of reorganisation dating from the mid-

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1960s. By 1974, 62 per cent of secondary school pupils were in non-selective comprehensive schools. However, 'reorganised' and 'comprehensive' by no mean-s imply bland uniformity. Far from it: by 1977 the maintained sector contained a dozen different ways of arranging comprehensive schools, and a few LEAs remained wholly or partly traditional, that is 'unreorganised'.

In addition to this secondary reorganisation, there has been a growth of 'middle schooling' covering the 8-13 age range in one form or another. This has also been varied and has resulted in a heterogenous pattern. Of the 97 English LEAs, 47 have middle-school systems now, that is 48 per cent of authorities.

All this organisational diversity has important curricular implications, particularly for mobile children. The kind of curriculum on offer to an 11- or 12-year-old in a middle school is likely to be different from the curriculum of an 11-16 or 11-18 school dealing with the same ages. The assumptions and the methods underlying educational thinking in these two types of schools are different, sometimes subtly so, sometimes very obviously so. Again, if an LEA breaks its secondary education at 14 (for example with the 11-14/14-18 system) the problems for curriculum and syllabus planners trying to determine the education of 13- and 14-year-olds are very different from the problems of their opposite numbers in 11-16 schools. For example, they will be plagued with the problem of curricular continuity and liaison between two or more schools. Any reorganisation which increases variables takes a heavy responsibility upon itself. If it does not perceive what kind of problems will arise and how they should be dealt with then it may well generate as many difficulties as it solves. If we bear all possible administrative variations in mind (for example, differentiation by sex, age-group, 'voluntary' as opposed to 'county' schools) then a very rich, or perhaps bewildering variety can be possible. One LEA in Northern England has 25 different types of school; another has 18 different types. The problems of mobility within, let alone between LEAs, can therefore be fairly formidable.

Although there is this historic diversity of organisational arrangements, there remain, nevertheless, some important common elements and tendencies. One is the 'inertia of assumption' about a balanced education. Probably this is inherited from the days of the multiple-subject examination system, the old 'School Certificate' which required certain combinations of subjects to be taken. It arises also from strongly-held, although insufficiently examined, ideas about 'arts' offsetting 'sciences' and the notion of the 'well-educated' man or women. A rough guide to this set of assumptions can be found in the annual examination returns issued by the DES. For some 25 years, secondary examinations have been single-subject, that is they do not require a candidate to offer given subject combinations as the School Certificate did. And yet we find the ghost of the School Certificate present still by listing the most popular GCE or CSE papers. The total taking the most popular subjects for GCE O-level is nearly three-quarters the total number of entries for all subjects - a good measure of the popularity of traditional subjects. In the certificate of secondary education, the popular subjects represented 68 per cent of the total entries for all subjects.

This tendency to a national standard is more apparent than real, however, since the subjects can be combined in any way and some pupils may also take only one or two papers. Also this very crude and ragged claim to a common curriculum suffers two distinct flaws: first, many pupils do not sit a 16-plus examination in any case; we have no such data for them; secondly, the whole claim is based upon mere subject names. The substance of what goes on under the banner of 'history' or 'science' can be very different between schools; for example, HM Inspectors discovered no fewer than forty-two different CSE papers (1973) in the area of commerce and economics. Also there is a big field of subjects beside the older and more traditional one. In 1973 there were forty-one main headings for CSE subjects, and fifty for GCE O-level, with thirty-nine for GCE A-level. Once again, the implications for mobile children (particularly those old enough to be on examination courses) are very clear.

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Having noted the educational framework within which mobile children work, it is necessary to measure mobility itself.

A. In 1966, 10.7 per cent of residents in the UK had moved in the previous year.
B. In 1966, 33 per cent of residents in the UK had moved in the previous five years.
C. Between 1961 and 1966, 4.2 per cent of the UK population had made a 'big move' ie from one region to another, or between England, Scotland and Wales.

In order to ascertain the actual mobility involved in given areas, a transect or cutting line was drawn running down the East coast of England from Northumberland to Kent, touching 11 LEAs. It was discovered:

A notional family, with two children aged 9 and 12, moving down this transect would find:

A. that a 9-year-old might move into a middle school in six of the LEAs (although there would be a chance of finding some junior schools in some parts of the authorities in question). In the remaining five LEAs, junior schools are the rule.

B. that the 12-year-old would possibly be in a secondary school in all of the LEAs, but might move into a middle school in six of them. In one area there is another refinement: junior high schools (11-14).

Where an LEA has a number of different schools organisation within its boundaries then where parents settle within that authority may have as much bearing on the problem as to which authority they actually move.

In one authority on the transect, chosen because it has fairly high inward migration, a very varied system would await the migrant family. Different arrangements operate in different districts of the LEA:

District A. 11-16 high schools with all-ability intake in the first two years and with transfer to 13-18 upper schools on the basis of 'guided parental choice' (suitability for 0- and A-level courses). In addition there are denominational 11-18 comprehensive schools in this district.
District B. Parents may opt for selective (tripartite) system, or for an 11-18 comprehensive.
District C. Here there are 5-9, 9-13 and 13-18 schools, with some restriction on middle-school places (the two mixed schools have severe limits on intake and many children have to attend Single-sex schools). A child may go to a junior modern (Roman Catholic) school and transfer to a secondary modern (Roman Catholic aided) school at some distance.
District D. Here there is a selective tripartite system with one 'wide-ability' denominational school.
The overall pattern of this LEA is thus very mixed, with five districts still remaining selective and another four soon to be partly reorganised. Finally, there are three districts in the LEA reorganised with an 'interim arrangement'.

Four LEAs chosen from the transect (one of which is the example just employed) will illustrate the kind of numbers involved both of migration into an area, and also of migration within an area:

Having so far noted the facts of educational diversity and child-population mobility it is possible to consider a few of the main implications.

Papers have suggested important areas of knowledge and of skills which are not systematically open and on offer to all children in England and Wales. It might be argued that some of the curricular objectives outlined are very precious;

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indeed one might say they are 'inalienable rights' of young citizens. Curricular and syllabus diversity plays its part in bringing about this discrepancy between what society needs its 16-year-olds to know and to do on the one hand, compared with what they are actually offered on the other. The inevitable mobility of some children puts them more seriously at risk in such a situation.

Given our curricular diversity, the task facing LEAs and schools to try to deal with the effects of mobility is a potentially formidable one. There are strong arguments for a proper system of documentation to accompany mobile children, for example. There ought to be extensive and thorough interviews and assessment, followed by careful matching (as far as it is possible) of previous with present schoolwork. This is often done, but it is very time-consuming when done properly, and the existence of curricular diversity makes it all an onerous responsibility for busy people.

The effects of mobility and curricular diversity do not lie with equal pressure on all age-groups. The children particularly at risk are those likely to move into and out of middle and secondary schools (11-13) and those on examination courses (14-16).

There are deeper and more sensitive questions also, but they cannot be ignored completely: which foreign language or languages? which science or meaning of 'science'? which mathematics? which period of history? For mobile children these are very serious questions.

Population mobility is an element of modern industrial economies. It is generally agreed that easy mobility is necessary for a healthy economy. Fears over moving children from one school to another for whatever reason must rank with housing shortages as factors that hinder what may be highly desirable population mobility. For those parents who do move there are definite curricular hazards that may interfere with their children's education. The broad and rather anonymous statistics given in connection with this transect can only generalise actual cases. In order to give a full and accurate picture, the details of each case or of a representative number of cases would be required. In fact there is no record of the detailed curricular and syllabus changes encountered by children who have to change school and although the necessary data could be gathered, there is no machinery for doing so at present and the exercise would be immense. Nevertheless, the educational transect does at least suggest a considerable problem. Is all this variation of any proven value? It certainly comes at a price.

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Supplementary Paper 3


To amend Gertrude Stein, 'a timetable is a timetable is a timetable'; that is, it is a mechanical device for executing decisions about teachers, teaching groupings of pupils and, to a lesser extent, the content of lessons. No particular timetable has to do with a common curriculum, though some time tabling techniques are more inimical than others to the effective operation of a chosen curricular pattern. It does not follow, however, that a timetable which is helpful to common curriculum working will be used in this way. The best which can be hoped for is that the timetable does not inhibit more than it must; and that, where it must, it is still as non-specific as possible: for example, it moves from the extreme specificity of a single period of a given subject with one named teacher to a departmental or faculty arrangement which does not pre-commit to the same extent.

A timetable, above all, is not to be seen as a problem but as a vehicle for extending opportunities to teachers to incorporate what they will into their teaching method and content. Any paper on time tabling, therefore, must not be seen as offering a single solution, applicable anywhere. The theoretical basis of timetabling advanced here is interpreted into fact in the models, but these models are merely two of the almost infinite number which might have been constructed from the same theory. Both models, however, may be seen as particularly suitable for allowing experiment with the introduction of a common curriculum.


Curricular change ~ in the sense of the substitution of one subject for another ~ has often resulted in timetable substitution, not change; and this substitution has not always been able to take into consideration the different needs of the new subject.

Curricular development ~ the extension of existing subjects in some way by integration, by new schemes, by fresh considerations of function ~ has not always been accompanied by time tabling change; and where such changes have taken place, they have often been to alleviate constraints other than those imposed by the curricular development.

This paper examines constraints on timetabling, assesses new requirements from curricular change or development and identifies certain features which will allow a timetable to become an enabling instrument to assist teachers rather than a straitjacket which inhibits them. In examining these constraints it will also show timetabling techniques which can readily be related to schools introducing a common curriculum.

Existing constraints arise from the accommodation available, the teaching staff, the time available and factors external to the school. Each of these in itself contains a variety of different kinds and degrees of constraint. It has always been - and even with computer assistance, will always be - the task of the timetabler to analyse the constraints and place them in priority order for solution. No one timetabler has ever produced a perfect timetable (that is, one entirely satisfactory to its creator and all the consumers). The basic rule of educational decision is always in force - when you have decided to do x, it is no longer possible to do y and z; and it is almost an invariable rule that x and y and z are all desirable.


An examination of each of these constraints and a set of questions about each follows. Two possible models, set against a typical set of constraints, are suggested for consideration.


Virtually every secondary school is short of some accommodation. The schools most adversely affected are often those where the provision of permanent accommodation overall is short. But the constraint of being short of, say, two laboratories or two workshops or one gymnasium can represent initially such a major constraint for the curriculum planner that much of the timetabler's room for manoeuvre is forfeited. On the other hand, certain features, endemic in secondary-school organisation, work against the best use of available space. In particular, the association of one teacher with one room will tend towards the underemployment of 'pupil stations'. To teach a group of up to a dozen in a room capable of taking up to 30 may well create a timetable difficulty somewhere, even if the timetabler overcomes it. Equally, internal redistribution of rooms for activities is frequently hampered by the forces of tradition. Recent thinking, too, in architectural planning is in some cases serving to restrict the use of rooms in some ways and hence to impose a certain teaching style. 'Boxes', continuous suites without separate entrances, or large open or semi-open spaces all have their limitations for the timetabler. Planning is affected, too, by any dual-use feature of the accommodation, particularly in spaces used for dining and teaching, and for day and evening activities (youth wings, sports centres, community activity rooms).

The timetabler must first examine the proposed curriculum to see whether it is practicable within the total accommodation. If we suppose that a draft curriculum for an 11-16

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school involves, at first sight, 1200 'meetings' in a school which can apparently produce only 1000 'meeting spaces' in a full week, it does not follow that this curriculum cannot be timetabled: what may have to change is the teaching arrangement for that curriculum. If, on the other hand, a draft curriculum throws up a requirement for 360 periods for average-size groups of 20 in craft, and the school has only five craft rooms then a curricular rearrangement is imperative. A demand for, say 180 periods of science in a 40-period week in three laboratories may however be met, given that not all this science will be taught in laboratories.

The decision as to which periods may be allocated in the laboratories must be the timetabler's: he must bear in mind factors about loadings elsewhere not known to the head of science, who would therefore be in no position to make a decision; but the decision as to which teachers should be deployed with which groups in the laboratories is one which belongs to the head of science - and if the timetabler, by his method of construction, has not enabled the head of science to reach this decision, he has pre-empted the flexibility to which the subject is entitled in a good timetable and (possibly not as a scientist himself) has pre-empted decisions about what the science department will be doing. Thus, enablement must be the first precept for the timetabler.


Questions which the timetabler may ask, some of which will be subject to answers from others, include

Is the school's administration housed for optimum functional discharge of responsibilities and, at the same time, most economically?

For example. Is the school office sited well? Is the head's room larger than needed? Would a change of use yield more teaching space? Has the foyer been allocated to a department (art, commerce, home economics)?
What use is made of central facilities?
For example. Is the library open outside lesson times? If so, is it more rather than less likely to be usable for class purposes? Is it designed to accommodate teaching groups? Is the assembly hall used except for assembly? Does the nature of the gymnasium mean double provision of space on the timetable for inclement weather? On a split (or scattered) site, has all unnecessary duplication of accommodation been avoided and is all necessary duplication present? Do dual-use arrangements for dining/teaching spaces allow one period for setting and another for clearing or has some study of the actual time involved been undertaken? What is the accommodation function of the resources centre?
What is the potential of the school's teaching spaces?
For example. Given 12 'boxes', are they all furnished identically, so that the nature of the work is controlled by the furniture? Is any space carpeted? Have any departments indicated that they wish to organise noisy and/or dirty and/or moving activities at some times so that their usual accommodation will be unsuitable? How much lime is spent in registration and how far docs this affect furnishing and disposition? Which sets of rooms between them provide enough outlet sockets, water supply and semi-permanent equipment to satisfy individual departments, even if these rooms are not contiguous?
What is the potential of the rest of the school's accommodation?
For example. Are corridors employed only for circulation and is there a chart of pupil movement through spaces? Is storage space allocated upon a basis of request or by tradition or rule-of-thumb? What is the actual loading-of pegs in cloakrooms on (a) a wet day (b) a fine day? If locker desks are provided, what do they contain? How often are contents of cupboards reviewed and what process is there for disposing of lumber? How far is the provision of separate offices for middle management the result of previous timetabling policy? How far could temporal and physical coincidence of many ancillary functions be eliminated? When was the last assessment of the accommodation needs of the ancillary staff undertaken? Is the teaching staff housed in its common provision most economically, effectively and comfortably?
What is the impact of the accommodation and its use on visitors and new pupils?
For example. Is there display? If there is, is time provided for pupils to study it? Is direction-finding made easy? What sorts of activities will the visitor first see? What sort should be available?
The teaching staff

The major constraints on the timetabler from teacher deployment are of two kinds - those arising from the existing staff (about whom he may believe that he knows too much) and those from the new staff (about whom information may be scanty). If, however, the principle of devolution - to heads of departments or faculties or their equivalent - is observed, again the timetabler will not be pre-empting decisions which are not properly his to make. More useful than endeavouring to deploy specific teachers with specific groups would be the detailed knowledge of the interests, talents and capacities of all teachers which may not be revealed in their subject specialisms. If the school has a pastoral system which requires year teachers, for example, to teach their own groups, the timetabler will need to bear this in mind, but even here (since heads of departments will also be aware of this requirement) as little as possible that is specific should be set down. Not many schools now believe that new entrants to the profession must be confined to younger pupils only; and if the school does not subscribe to this view the timetabler has less of a problem. If it does, then he can become an agent of change by deploying a group of teachers for subsequent specific deployment by senior subject teachers, but this 'last move' deployment will at least have to be across the year-groups which the timetabler has specified. As with accommodation, the practicability of the curriculum draft needs to be investigated; and, equally, an early rejection of a draft on the grounds that the statistics do not match must be avoided. In a structure in which senior subject staff are enabled to take decisions, 140 periods of, say, 'languages' on a staff of three linguists may well be possible; on a system of specific individual deployment in individual

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periods, such a draft is impossible to implement, unless decisions about pupil performance are to be taken in advance of that performance.

Part-time teachers usually represent a major constraint, and often adversely affect timetable quality, especially from the pupils' point of view. Whether constraining the whole timetable on these grounds is wise or in the school's best interest is doubtful, and to set up the timetable with other constraints in mind, and then to see what effect this has on part-time teachers, is the better course of action.

Of considerable importance to the timetabler is the value of the contact ratio, that is, the proportion of the time available which teachers spend teaching. The range of non-teaching periods may be total (some with all 'free' and some with none): this matters less to the timetabler than the total non-availability of teachers for teaching. When the school structure is itself devised as an enabler, the timetabler will be able so to dispose of the teaching power that the non-teaching time is found from faculty or departmental resources, as will be 'cover-periods'. It is easiest (and it is worth remarking that in timetable-making 'easiest' is often tantamount to 'most effective') for the timetabler to have to deploy a very few teachers with hardly any teaching, most teachers having an initially and nominally full load; relatively easy if there is a rather larger number with fairly substantial amounts of time; and most difficult when some principle of equity dictates equal rations of non-teaching time for all.

The timetabler will also have to pay special attention to the deployment and loading of new entrants, although the total number is less important than the proportion to be found in anyone department. The implication of this for the creation, wherever convenient, of larger departments or groups is clear, and this of itself will help a school in coming to those fundamental questions implied in its wishing to implement a common curriculum.

However detailed the knowledge, no timetabler is likely to know everything about each teacher, and the time tabling should reflect this. For example, it is unlikely that among a group of, say, eight English specialists, they will all be equally gifted in teaching poetry, drama, prose or 'skills'. A timetable which allocates each teacher separately and unalterably to one group for one year is making no allowance for these differences and may well be skewing the pupils' English diet. It follows that planned and purposeful fragmentation may not be evidence of bad timetabling. Where such fragmentation is haphazard, it is generally an indication of at least one constraint too many on the timetabler, but even in these cases, it is worth looking for the benefits which may accrue. Timetablers are peculiarly well placed to make virtues of necessities.

Since most teachers are most successful and confident when performing in what they regard as their own best field and circumstances, they are most likely to respond to a timetable which allows them as much freedom as possible and meets their criteria. Equally, dynamism, rethinking and a redefinition of objectives may not flourish if the timetable encourages the static to remain so and stultifies invention. The timetabler who wishes to make the timetable an instrument of policy cannot wait for consensus nor plunge simultaneously into a variety of shifts in emphasis which, taken together, may be destructive of the teachers' confidence. It is very important, therefore, that discussion, assessment and analysis of the timetable and its successor involve all teaching staff continuously. If the period of thinking about the timetable is confined to the time it takes to produce it mechanically - and this is regrettably true about a number of timetables - then the timetabler and the teachers are the poorer. In particular, an assessment of timetable quality needs to be made on different levels and from different bases - the curriculum, the teaching force, the pupils, the accommodation, the agencies external to the school: all these must be separately assessed.

The following questions might be asked:

Does the timetable satisfy and encourage, (a) curriculum policy and future developments, (b) the teachers, (c) the pupils?

How long did its mechanics take?

How many alterations have been made?

How many of these arose from factors outside the timetabler's control (for example, fire, sudden death or prolonged illness)? How many have been made to satisfy teacher predilections such as room changes, set changes? Who has assessed the effect of such changes on the pupils?
To what sort of loading are new entrants to teaching subject in pupil-loading terms? What is the pupil-loading range over the staff as a whole? What is the mode?

Has the pattern of (a) pupil absence, (b) staff absence been charted against the timetable? Does any explanation for absence emerge from such a chart?

Who coordinates the timetable and other centrally-required rotas?

For example. Who coordinates break/lunch supervision, bus duties, homework timetables, extra-curricular activities? Do they appear to be logically compatible with each other?
The time available

The time available to the timetabler is likely to be viewed in more traditional terms than almost any other feature of the school's structure and organisation. The heat and noise generated by a proposal to lengthen the school day by five minutes are frequently observed phenomena; and usually far exceeding the heat and noise generated by far more fundamental changes, such as 'going mixed-ability' or dropping or including a new subject in the curriculum. Some years ago, the debate on time centred on the simple advantage/disadvantage arguments about 35 forty-minute periods or 40 thirty-five minute periods. In either case, 1400 minutes was the total available to the timetabler, over a maximum of 38 weeks in the year, which such items as first and last days of terms, school functions and so on frequently effectively reduced to 36.

On this count, each single period in a 40-period week produces an annual contact of 21 hours - about half the standard working week for most adults. A 4-period option, introduced newly in the fourth year of a secondary school (eg commerce. economics. Spanish) thus aggregates to

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itself in the approximate 66 to 68 weeks available before the public examination a total of about 160 hours of study, or approximately 4 normal 'working adult' weeks.

The state of basic subjects is not markedly different. In a 40-period week, 5 is the most usual number allocated to mathematics and English, say 3 hours per week for five years. This amounts to some 520 hours of study or about 13 normal 'working adult' weeks. If religious education is allocated one period for five years, it accrues about two and a half normal 'working adult' weeks in those five years.

All these figures relate to available teacher/pupil contact time. They do not include any work done outside school hours - mainly by pupils. Equally, full attendance is assumed throughout. It is interesting to note that one two-week absence - the result of influenza, perhaps - from an option in years four and five represents a loss of time greater than 2.5 per cent of the total available for the whole course; a lengthening of the school day by five minutes is tantamount (if the extra time is used for teaching) to increasing the teaching time by just under 2 per cent: this is equivalent to extending each hour of teaching by just over a minute!

Other developments have, however, been introduced in some schools in recent years. These include the 4-period day, the 5-hour day, the continuous day and the division of the day into equal modules. Advantages claimed by their proponents are many. In fact, many of these systems were introduced to offset an accommodation problem and the advantages have been identified subsequently. In only a very few schools has prior consideration been given to the whole question of time and its disposition, before a structure or a curriculum (and particularly the content of that curriculum) has been settled. It is this fact which has caused the general dissatisfaction with the marginal adjustments in time which have taken place. It is, too, this fact which has inhibited much curriculum development other than at the margins. A move towards a common curriculum requires questions to be asked about time allocations, frequency, periodicity and objectives and these may require a new concept of the ways in which time may be used.


Most of the questions to be asked by the timetabler must be concerned with the justification of the use to which a school wishes to put the time at its disposal. They might include:

Have heads of departments/faculties been invited to produce a distillation of their proposed content - a sort of irreducible minimum - and then been asked to justify the time requested for its discharge? Have they considered this irreducible minimum as being the basic entitlement of all pupils?
Has a discussion taken place about allocation of non-teaching time? Has it included information about sizes of groups possible with certain contact ratios?
Does the school view the whole of its 'attendance day' (for example 9 am to 4 pm) as available?
Is the length of the mid-day break based upon the percentage dining at school?
If transport is a problem, have detailed studies, including costings, been made of quite different 'school-days'?
How far has consideration been given to the different kinds of time disposition needed by subject teachers to fulfil (i) above?
Is the school day so constructed that pupils are inevitably late on a number of occasions?

Factors external to the school

A number of external factors has already appeared above, because it is difficult to separate clearly internal and external factors, and increasingly so as schools become less touchy about what used to be called 'outside interference'. In general terms, the outside factors may be divided into professional and non-professional. The latter are often easier to identify and tend to be more intractable - ranging from the nature of the chairman of governors' employment (and his consequent availability) to the problems of the bus contractor. Intractable as they may be, there seems little justification for letting any portion of a small tail wag the whole dog, yet it is true that schools will frequently say that nothing can be done, when in fact the problem has never been considered from first principles.

The professional factors impinge upon often far more sensitive areas. LEA advisory services, the careers service, the rules governing caretakers and cleaners are all clearly external and yet tightly controlling any school's manoeuvrability. Other services - probation, fire and, particularly now, social services - are sometimes seen as extraneously supportive or intrusive, seldom as integral. Schools, in session for comparatively so little of the year, do not appear to have yet understood that their role may have to be subordinated to those of services which are available and functional for 365 days a year.

The irregular incidence of matters related to external agencies is confusing and annoying to the timetabler. Once again, if the timetable is invested by the principle of flexibility, fewer problems will occur and there will be greater readiness for a school to make positive use of external agencies and a consequent greater productivity from the time employed, which will no longer be seen as lost. For the common curriculum school, every contribution can be viewed only as a gain, since that curriculum sets out to use positively all experiences available in schools.


Questions about external factors are few, but fundamental:

Does the school know as much about its regular external visitors as it does about its own staff?
Does timetable provision enable casual visitors/speakers to be absorbed readily into the organisation without upsetting a variety of subjects or teachers?
How far does the school view external agencies as intrusive?
Who arranges times for governors'/parents'/staff meetings? And what is the consultation process in forming these decisions?
Is the offering to the school's resources which outside agencies with regular contacts can make restricted by the timetable?

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The assessment of new requirements from curricular developments will always be a matter of guesswork and interpretation of the motives underlying the change. It is important that the timetabler does not assess innovation on the grounds of the extent to which the timetabling problem is increased or lessened by the change. The main requirement is in the initial thinking about the structure; if this is conceived so as to accommodate ideas and methods, rather than so many subject places, the timetabler might be able to absorb major shifts in a school's curricular emphases.

Integrated studies

A particular case where an innovation may be trammelled by ossification in the timetable occurs in 'integrated studies' (whatever it is called from school to school). One of the underlying reasons for such an introduction is often a desire to promote more interdisciplinarity, of which a loose definition might be 'gaining professional recognition on a wide front of the fact that separate subjects tend not to take cognisance of the contribution of other subjects'.

Often welcomed by the timetabler because integrated or interdisciplinary arrangements are time-saving, subjects may still be seen by him as separate and needing separate provision. The task is a different one in fact: it is to provide a framework which, while taking nothing from the separate subjects, allows such developments and overlap as both teachers and taught are capable of implementing and comprehending. Since this is likely to vary from week to week, the scheme must provide developmental chances.

Another curricular peril of integrated studies is the creation of groups of subjects to the exclusion of others which might have been integrated in the past. For example, it is common to find history, geography and religious education put together under a humanities umbrella and so timetabled; and in many cases the former interdependence of religious education with music, art and drama is specifically excluded within the timetable. It must be stressed that the common curriculum is almost certainly interdependent in concept, though this is not a necessary condition for its timetabling. However this interdependence will spring from the 'minimum entitlement' idea, and has no connection with any, quite separate, organisational arrangements for timetabling certain subjects or subject staff together to produce integration. The common curriculum is concerned, in short, with integrated attitudes and a self-consistent conceptual framework: it is not concerned with subjects, whether integrated or not, except as labels of convenience and the timetabler must not make the mistake of confusing the substance and the shadow.

It is also worth noting that the timetable may be so constructed as to facilitate a teaching staffs early explorations into interdisciplinarity, without compelling this to happen every week for an entire year. Experiment is then allowed without the need to adopt a predetermined stance to show success or failure; an enabling timetable provides elements of privacy.

Other factors

Certain features in any timetable represent more than the allocation of teacher/class/space. Implicit will be an indication of the expected style and of knowledge about content domination, relationships of teacher and class and objectives. Factors not commonly built into timetables are those which do not appear to matter - for example, relationships between pupils in a group - or which have not taken place (although it is known that they will take place) by the date of the timetable's construction - for example, the development of pupils in a subject, their increased age (and maturity?), the nature of the summer term, particularly after public examinations. Other features often take no account of external factors - such as the incidence of half-term breaks, the regular late arrival of some public transport, the regular visit of careers advisory officers - which may diminish time for certain pupils or certain activities quite markedly.

The temporal order of a timetable's construction may also be apparent. When the requirements of the sixth form - however extravagant and unrealistic - are met first, the adverse effect is often visible in the lower school. The claims of option systems, particularly when these are, as is so common, over-elaborate, result in the absence of any internal balance for some pupils elsewhere; for example, when a second year class enjoys one day of eight consecutive sitting periods and spends the next day in frenetic movement through eight activity periods. It is unlikely that the timetabler is unaware of the importance of a balance of activities for each pupil during each day; and that this balance seems more important for younger rather than older students. When this balance is lacking, it must be assumed that other constraints have taken priority. Is concentration on the supposed needs of the older pupils, in curriculum or choice of teacher for a group, or preferential time tabling, not a self-defeating activity which may be a major cause of the annual missing army (those who, at 16-plus, turn their backs, ungratefully but with relief, on education in any form in any institution)?


Curriculum Model 1 is only one of a very large series, each exhibiting different predilections, which is available in a multiplicity of published works. The underlying premise of Model 1 is that it will enable curricular innovation to be introduced into the timetable, but allow such flexibility that the school may discard the innovation without having to change the timetable. It is also intended to make faculty arrangements available without creating faculties (a very nearly irreversible decision in pay and condition of service terms) and to be capable of extension, with minor modification, to any size of school and, in the modification of Model 2, to a curriculum with a quite different philosophy (1).

(1) For easy reading only, traditional subject names have been included, but it is hoped that these will be read as labels to denote a variety of activities seen to be the entitlement of all pupils over their five years of compulsory secondary education.

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Supplementary Paper 4

Staffing structure as an enabling device for curriculum development

All structures convey a message. Staffing structures in schools are 'no exception and the particular message which they convey is concerned with hierarchy. This message is a public one. It will reveal-a great deal about what a school views as important and in particular it will suggest an ordering of the importance of the subjects which the school offers. A school's hierarchical structure thus gives an indication of its curricular priorities.

This paper examines the structural patterns of secondary school staffs, comments on some features most commonly to be found, looks briefly at their history and offers some models of possible structures which might enable curriculum theory to be put into practice more easily.

Nearly every establishment catering for pupils between 11 and 16 (whether 11-16, 11-18, 12-18, 13-18, 12-16 etc) has a single head who is in charge of the establishment and responsible to the governors for it. On the surface, the head's autonomy is very nearly total in spite of the conferment by statute of the responsibility for the curriculum on the LEA and governors. In practice, it is heavily conditioned by the tradition of staff involvement, pupil participation and teacher supply or pupil/parent demand and by pressures from external agencies - not to mention the head's own attitude. Moreover only a very few heads have had the opportunity of starting a brand new school, and, as with the curriculum, much of a school's staffing structure is inherited.

All secondary schools will be found in Group 2 or higher and must therefore have a deputy head. Many secondary schools will have two deputies and some, in addition, a senior master or mistress. Once again the functions of these teachers have often been inherited, although only rarely now is the male deputy assigned to look after boys' discipline while the woman deputy is responsible for the girls' welfare.

A variety of patterns underlies this superstructure. Some schools have faculty heads, but most still have heads of departments. These departments vary in name, size, status and scale. In most cases, the subjects which the school regards as of the greatest importance carry the highest scales; sometimes the scale awarded reflects demand and supply; sometimes again the departmental names are inherited and no longer bear much relationship to the school's developing curriculum. The structure, therefore, may well tend to reflect approaches to the curriculum and its organisation which have been superseded.

There has also been a recent proliferation of structures for the discharging of a school's pastoral responsibilities. Whether as house-heads, school-heads, year-heads or section-heads, teachers have been set, as it were, athwart the academic structure. In some cases this had led to the growth of the idea that the pastoral and academic are separable and that it is, for example, possible to treat a pupil for a malaise in one area without reviewing his health in the other. Many pastoral problems may be traced back to occasions when unsuitable material not recognisable as part of any pattern by pupils is taught inefficiently and without enthusiasm. On the other hand, many academic problems may have their roots in some aspects of personal deprivation, insecurity or upset. There are few more powerful agencies for personal and academic health than a good curriculum well taught.

Below the middle management structure is that body of mainly younger and less experienced teachers, who, in secondary schools, tend to be subject teachers. They will probably see in the structure two possible promotion ladders - through the pastoral or through the academic - with the consequent danger that they will tend to think that when they make a contribution in one field they are not simultaneously and inevitably making one in the other.

Much of this staffing structure is of very recent growth. Graded posts appeared only just over a quarter of a century ago, and heads of department posts in 1954, to disappear in 1971. Faculty heads have never been recognised for remuneration purposes in secondary schools.

Moreover successive Burnham awards in the 1950s and 1960s were concerned with structures most readily applicable to secondary schools which were divided vertically - into grammar, technical and modern. The growth in the number of comprehensive schools revealed some flaws in the assumptions about the ways in which a school's hierarchy worked, and successive agreements endeavoured to accommodate changed circumstances.

The new factor of falling rolls now makes it imperative to find a dynamic rather that static method of structuring schools which will reflect the dynamism evident in, for example, curriculum development and allow for teacher quality as well as teacher promotion.

By and large, much curricular development which transcends the boundaries of traditional subjects has proved more difficult to achieve in schools than single-subject developments. This has been particularly true of developments which may be classified as interdisciplinary in the sense that they involve the harmonious working together of two or more subjects; others which have required a contribution from teachers of one 'subject' as an addition to work already done in another subject appear to have met with less resistance. An inhibiting factor, as important as teacher attitude

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and perception, has been the school's departmental structure and the consequent apprehension by the teachers concerned over status, finance for the subject, surrender of autonomy and so on.

There are some successful interdisciplinary ventures, and evidence of growth of interdisciplinary attitudes. Existing structures are often not conducive to this development. Some have had to be modified in fact if not in name.

The models which follow (pages 99-105) are not related to models from industry or other branches of the education service. One of the major difficulties in thinking about educational management is the development of a model which does not have roots in circumstances so different as to make it untenable.

The industrial model suffers most obviously from this defect on at least three counts. First, the raw material of education is human and the operatives are that self-same material; moreover an unsuccessful production batch can neither be scrapped nor reprocessed. Secondly, the client relationship is not capable of simple analysis; there is not even agreement as to who is the client - pupil or employer, present teacher or teacher in the next school, future husband or wife or present parent. Thirdly, teachers in schools are at the same time both managers and shop-floor workers.

The language used to describe roles in schools has been taken from other educational models and some of the difficulties in matching these roles spring from this. The head of department in a further education institution recruits directly to his department and may call on other departments to support his students (perhaps to provide elements of balance in what is essentially conceived as a course). The function of the dean of a faculty in a university is even more removed from secondary school practice. Further education institutions (and increasingly sixth-form colleges) have principals; schools have heads. All concerned with post-16 education are dealing with volunteers; all in schools cope with 'pressed men'. Therefore importing of models or concepts from other fields of education may well serve to hide the essential differences and so confuse issues by encouraging the adoption of a terminology which describes a situation inaccurately and misleadingly.

The models which follow consist of a staffing structure, an executive structure and notes. Indication of the presence or absence of a subject name or definition is not to be read as a recommendation in any direction. No model is offered for implementation but for discussion, as are the principles underlying this paper which are not more than the representations of a particular viewpoint.

No structure will preclude the positive influence of good teaching or protect pupils other than marginally from a lack of enthusiasm or expertise on the part of their teachers. Nor will any structure replace the essential interaction of pupils and teachers, and teachers and teachers, which makes for a good school (1).


Although the models are different, certain features are common to all.

(a) Roles of two or more deputy heads (DHM) have always been split into DHM pupils, DHM staff and SM (= DHM) resources and finance, or external or careers and educational guidance. In no case does one deputy apparently deal with curriculum, the other with pastoral matters. The designation 'staff or 'pupils' should compel interaction between the deputies and should cause the curriculum to be viewed as it impinges on the academic and pastoral lives of both pupils and staff. At the same time some specific duties are discernible - staff absence, staff welfare and domestic common room matters on the one hand, and truancy, absence notes, pupil movement on the other. Even this obviousness however may soon provide occasions for close working; is the provision of particular staff cover for absence in the best interests of that group of pupils?

(b) Because each of these structures is intended to facilitate curriculum thinking and innovation, subjects and departments have been replaced at the senior levels by posts which by definition require the holders to note what is happening in their special fields across the whole curriculum. Thus the head of mathematical and scientific activities should be interested in these wherever they occur (for example, scientific method may be used in looking at some poetry) and the head of creative and recreative activities may well find that the mathematician's elegant proof is something of concern to him.

(c) 'Resources and finance' figures prominently as an office, and often the holder is a chief executive. At present, heads of departments have (traditionally) both the curricular ideas and the money to implement them. This system seldom takes into account the balance of expenditure (on say different sections of the school or different groups within the same year) nor does it encourage interchange of ideas.

(d) Although year heads have been used throughout, systems of houses or blocks would be easy replacements for those schools which have reasons for preferring another arrangement, but the implicit or explicit additional role seen for year heads in many of these structures would have to be specifically allocated.

(e) No job descriptions have been included. Not only are these best written in the light of a single school's circumstances, but for modelling (and in some cases in practice) they lay down too closed a definition.

Structure Model 4 has more relationship than the others to a subject structure. It is also the only 13-18 school, and hence that in which the sixth form as a proportion of the whole school is greatest. Implications for the 16-19 curriculum are not thereby intended. The fact that the new pupil has not even three years before public examinations in such a school underlies the difference.

Wherever reductions have to be made in scales or staffing the principle of these models would require such reduction to trim the least specified and lowest provision.

(1) See Ten Good Schools, Matters for Discussion: No 1 1977. HMSO. Price 75p.

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