Junkfood Science: British parents are calling for an end to “crazy” school curriculums

November 15, 2007

British parents are calling for an end to “crazy” school curriculums

The top private schools in Britain, driven by parents’ concerns, are fighting back and boycotting the government’s national curriculum of health and social causes, including childhood obesity, that’s taking up a quarter of school time. Instead, they’re returning to educating children the core disciplines like language, math, science and history. The Times reports:

Private schools set to abandon ‘too trendy’ national curriculum

Britain’s leading independent schools are preparing to abandon the national curriculum because recent Government reforms place too much emphasis on “fashionable causes”. They intend to return to a traditional core of knowledge popular in the 1950s – spending more time on spelling, multiplication tables and key historical dates. This could be at the expense of lessons on softer subjects such as parenting skills, obesity, citizenship and homophobia.

Michael Spinney, chairman of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), said: “The national curriculum is in a number of respects being overwhelmed by a social agenda that has accompanied it. That social agenda is not something that we want to get sucked into.”...

Mr Spinney said: “Increasingly, we are living in an era where teaching and learning are sacrificed in favour of fashionable causes, often with disastrous effects upon standards of learning. The time has come to set up an independent schools committee to analyse the national curriculum....Mr Spinney said that parents wanted a return to “old standards of education” and for their children to become employable....

[Read the full article and debate here.]

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