Curriculum in the UK

The national curriculum has been criticized and continually revised
since its inception in 1988.Brought about by the governmental pressures
away from comprehensivism and toward the marketplace, the national
curriculum was met with immediate criticism.The national curriculum was
extensively modified in the years after 1988, moving curriculum decisions
away from teachers and toward the government, based on largely political,
rather than educational motives.Overall, while a national curriculum can
potentially provide a number of benefits, the national curriculum of 1988
Before delving too deeply into the issue of the national curriculum,
it is important to understand the purpose and content of curriculum.
Curriculum can be defined as: “A structured plan of intended learning
outcomes, underpinning knowledge, skills, behaviour and associated learning
experiences. The learning plan is generally organised as a sequenced
combination of modules so that a student can achieve specified educational
and training outcomes. The curriculum includes the syllabus, teaching
guides, an assessment guide and required learning resources” (TAFE NSW).
A number of events and trends led up to the advent of the national
curriculum in 1988.During the 1960s, there had been a move in the country
toward comprehensivism in schools that soundly defeated by the mid-1980s.
At the same time, conservative politicians called for a curriculum that
focused on core competencies like reading writing and arithmetic, and was
driven by the market place.Further, the governments prior to the mid-
1980s worked hard to dramatically reduce the powers of Local Education
Authorities (LEAs) (Gillard; Education in England).Together, these trends
paved the way for the planning and implementation of the national
It is important to consider that Margaret Thatcher had been education
secretary as 1970, when…