Drawing on a range of empirical research, including the findings of the Leeds survey published in 1991 and which played a key role in the revisions to the National Curriculum in primary schools, Robin Alexander puts forward in this piece a wide-ranging agenda for changing primary practice in the twenty-first century.*

Set against a historical analysis of the roots of primary philosophy in England, he calls for a redefinition of a rationale for primary education, and for the divisions between the sectors of education, a reconception of the funding arrangements for primary and secondary schools based on task rather than age, the redefinition of teacher roles in primary schools, the need to underpin primary practice with intellectual reflection on theoretical frameworks, rather than attachment to dogma, the continued development of pedagogy based on classroom research findings, continued redefinition of the scope of the primary curriculum, and emphasises the need to reconsider which are really going to be the basic skills for the twenty-first century.