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new 'core knowledge' National Curriculum to be introduced

6 February 2013

Yesterday the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, said that he would rid the “vapid happy talk” from the current curriculum and introduce a new curriculum which will emphasise the importance of core academic knowledge.

Examples of the expected changes are in maths, the memorisation of tables and in English a proper knowledge of pre-20th-Century literature and an emphasis on grammar and punctuation.

The traditional approach was part of the success of private schools, Mr Gove said and argued that the defects in the current curriculum were more disadvantageous to the poorer in society.

Critics of the plans argue that they are backward-looking and marginalise non-core subjects.

Mr Gove said that at successful private schools such as Eton, “the medieval cloisters connect seamlessly to the corridors of power”. It is difficult to imagine these changes resulting in a seamless connection from inner-city state schools to the corridors of power but narrowing the education achievement gap between rich and poor is still a debate worth having.

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