ASCL conference: Nicky Morgan says curriculum must stay in hands of politicans

Education secretary Nicky Morgan shot down calls for an independent commission to look after the school curriculum – insisting it’s safe in the hands of politicians.

An independent commission to review the core curriculum every five years was announced as a key feature of the Association of School and College Leaders at its conference this weekend.

But speaking today, Ms Morgan said the curriculum must remain in the hands of politicians.

She said: “There is one area where I depart from the Blueprint – in its suggestion of taking control of the curriculum away from Ministers. 

“Because it’s my belief that what our children learn in schools must be something that is decided by democratically elected representatives. 

“That isn’t because I think I understand algebra any better than you do, or that Nick Gibb understands phonics any better than the teachers that teach it, although don’t tell him that.

“But because I think that parents should be able to hold us to account for the decisions we make about what their children are learning and what they’re not and the surest way to make sure they can do that is at the ballot box.   

“That doesn’t mean that we fly blind. As I hope you’ve seen throughout the process of reviewing curriculum and qualifications we’ve involved experts at every step of the way – but those taking the final decision must remain accountable to the public at large.”

Ms Morgan also said she does not want to return to a situation where pupils are getting rows of A and A*s, adding she does not want to disincentivise students in terms of the use of comparable outcomes.