chapter  7
38 Pages

Colouring in the boxes: the struggles over a National Curriculum

This level of scrutiny of and involvement in curriculum matters by the politicians foreshadows the detailed interventions of Sir Keith's successor. But Keith Joseph's ideological position clearly differentiates him from several key aspects of his successor's Education Reform Act. In particular, he set himself against the idea of a common, standard, National Curriculum

Look, the most important word in my GCSE initiative is the word 'differentiated', which isn't widely understood. Namely that you test people according to their potential, not by a common standard. And for that reason there are meant to be differentiated papers and differentiated questions, as you know. Now I'm not convinced about the 'national' word in the phrase National Curriculum because I want more breathing space, as I say, more air, more variety, but you don't find me defending either myself or the Conservative Party, but I reckon that we've all together made a right old mess of it. And it's hurt most those who are most vulnerable.