Children, Schools and Families Committee

4 February 2008

New Inquiry into the National Curriculum

The Children, Schools and Families Committee is to undertake an inquiry into the National Curriculum. Written submissions are invited for the inquiry.

The inquiry will consider:

  1. the principle of whether there should be a National Curriculum

  2. how the fitness-for-purpose of the National Curriculum might be improved

  3. the management of the National Curriculum and its articulation with other policies and strategies with which schools must work.

Specific issues for consideration are outlined below.

On the principle and content of the National Curriculum and its fitness-for-purpose:

  • arguments for and against having a National Curriculum

  • what the purpose of a National Curriculum should be (for example, whether it should set out broad principles or detailed aims and objectives)

  • how best to balance central prescription and flexibility at school/classroom level.

On the management of the National Curriculum:

  • the extent to which the National Strategies are effective in supporting the National Curriculum

  • the impact of the current testing and assessment regime on the delivery and scope of the National Curriculum

  • the likely impact of the single level tests currently being piloted

  • the likely impact of the current 'root and branch' review of the primary curriculum by Sir Jim Rose

  • the implications of personalised learning, including the flexibility introduced by the new secondary curriculum (from September 2008)

  • how well the National Curriculum supports transition to and delivery of the 14-19 Diplomas

  • the role of the new style Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in relation to the National Curriculum

  • the role of teachers in the future development of the National Curriculum.

Submissions should arrive no later than noon on Monday 17 March 2008.

Each submission should begin with a short summary in bullet point form. The paragraphs in the text of the submission should be numbered. A guide for written submissions to the Committee may be found on the parliamentary website at:

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to

and an additional paper copy should be sent to:

Children, Schools and Families Select Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet, by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. Please bear in mind that select committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.