Education in schools: a consultative document (1977)

This was the green paper which began the process of curriculum review called for by Prime Minister Jim Callaghan in his Ruskin College speech of 18 October 1976.

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

Foreword (page 1)
Background (2)
Curriculum (8)
Standards and assessment (16)
Transition between schools (21)
Special needs of minority groups (22)
Teachers (24)
School and working life (34)
Schools and the community (37)
Conclusion (39)
Proposals and recommendations (40)
Annexes (47)

The text of Education in Schools: A Consultative Document was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 21 June 2009.

Education in Schools: A Consultative Document

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Education and Science and the Secretary of State for Wales by Command of Her Majesty, July 1977

London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1977
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

[title page]

Education in Schools
A Consultative Document

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State
for Education and Science
and the Secretary of State for Wales
by Command of Her Majesty
July 1977

1.10 NET

Cmnd. 6869

[page ii]

ISBN 0 10 168690 0

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Table of Contents

    Recent history3
    Social change3
    Responsibilities within the education system5
    The aims of the schools6
    Primary schools8
    Middle schools9
    Secondary schools9
    Action on the curriculum12
    Welsh in the curriculum of the schools of Wales13
    Nursery education14
    The idea of a leaving certificate for all pupils18
    Public examinations19
    Record keeping20
    The needs of ethnic minority children22
    The needs of the handicapped and other disadvantaged22
    The needs of travelling children23
    Initial training25
    In-service training29
    Making the best use of our teachers31
    Careers guidance35
    Links with the community37
    Figure 1.1 Number of pupils48
    Figure 1.2 Number of Teachers49
    Table 1.1 Number of Pupils per Teacher50
    Table 2.1 Educational Expenditure52
    Figure 2.1 Distribution of Education Expenditure53

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by the Secretary of State for Education and Science
and the Secretary of State for Wales

Education in the last decade has undergone great changes. The pace and depth of these changes are remarkable. Twelve years ago, the Labour Government issued its first circular on comprehensive reorganisation, an objective which is largely but not yet wholly achieved, and which the Government is determined to complete. Already in three quarters of our schools the selective system is a thing of the past.

The content, as well as the structure, of education has changed. There has been a wide range of new demands on the curriculum, the introduction of new methods of teaching, and the gradual acceptance of a new examination, the Certificate of Secondary Education. These changes have brought with them a good deal of controversy; controversy over what has been achieved, over standards, and over the aims education ought to have.

The period of change coincided with a rapid expansion of the number of children in the schools, and of the number of young people in higher and further education. This in turn created a demand for many more teachers. Not surprisingly, the turnover of teachers and the proportion of teachers with only a year or so of teaching experience have been very high. These factors - the speed of change, high turnover, inexperienced teachers trying to cope with new demands and new methods - have put considerable strain on the schools. There are some areas of weakness in education and some unmet needs. This paper sets out proposals for dealing with them.

None of this should mask the remarkable work being undertaken in many of our schools. It is the vigour, imagination and talent of the teachers in them that impress the visitor: schools that open their facilities and their resources for learning to the entire local community; schools that emphasise creativity in design, in making things as well as learning things; schools that tackle with sustained enthusiasm the problems of children from other cultures or speaking other languages and make a microcosm of a happy and co-operative world.

We hope, therefore, that those who read this Green Paper and note its recommendations will do so against this background of much that is exciting and even outstanding. So far as possible the Green Paper focuses on the education normally provided for children during their years of compulsory attendance at school. References are made to some areas of special need, but it does not deal with education in special schools, or with further education; and there is only brief reference to nursery education. These important subjects are being dealt with in other ways.

The proposals may be built upon, altered in the course of discussion, or superseded by developments that will emerge. There can never be final answers nor an end to debate. But there are times for self-examination followed by the setting down of new objectives and new ways of reaching those objectives. We believe we have now reached such a time, and this Green Paper is a response to it.


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1.1 In his speech at Ruskin College, Oxford on 18 October 1976 the Prime Minister called for a public debate on education. The debate was not to be confined to those professionally concerned with education, but was to give full opportunity for employers and trades unions, and parents, as well as teachers and administrators, to make their views known.

1.2 The speech was made against a background of strongly critical comment in the Press and elsewhere on education and educational standards. Children's standards of performance in their school work were said to have declined. The curriculum, it was argued, paid too little attention to the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and was overloaded with fringe subjects. Teachers lacked adequate professional skills, and did not know how to discipline children or to instil in them concern for hard work or good manners. Underlying all this was the feeling that the educational system was out of touch with the fundamental need for Britain to survive economically in a highly competitive world through the efficiency of its industry and commerce.

1.3 Some of these criticisms are fair. There is a wide gap between the world of education and the world of work. Boys and girls are not sufficiently aware of the importance of industry to our society, and they are not taught much about it. In some schools the curriculum has been overloaded, so that the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, the building blocks of education, have been neglected. A small minority of schools has simply failed to provide an adequate education by modern standards. More frequently, schools have been overambitious, introducing modern languages without sufficient staff to meet the needs of a much wider range of pupils, or embarking on new methods of teaching mathematics without making sure the teachers understood what they were teaching, or whether it was appropriate to the pupils' capacities or the needs of their future employers.

1.4 Other criticisms are misplaced. It is simply untrue that there has been a general decline in educational standards. Critics who argue on these lines often make false comparisons, for instance with some non-existent educational Golden Age, or matching today's school leavers against those of a generation ago without allowing for the fact that a far larger proportion of boys and girls now stay on into the sixth form. Recent studies have shown clearly that today's schoolchildren read better than those of thirty years ago. Far more children, over a wider range of ability, study a modern language or science than did a generation ago. Many more take, and pass, public examinations. Many more go on to full-time higher education.

1.5 The picture, then, is far from clear. Much has been achieved: but there is legitimate ground for criticism and concern. Education, like any other public service, is answerable to the society which it serves and which pays for it, so these criticisms must be given a fair hearing. In response to the Prime Minister's initiative the Ministers concerned held a series of meetings with national organisations representing a wide range of people having a special interest in education. These meetings set the scene for a series of regional conferences held in the opening months of this year with invitations issued to local authorities in each

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region, to teachers, employers, trades unions, the churches, parents and students. In this setting many valuable ideas were put forward, both at the conferences themselves and in written documents. The conferences were followed by a further round of meetings with those consulted the previous autumn. This combination of meetings and conferences - in many ways a unique form of consultation for this country - identified a substantial measure of agreement on what needed to be done to improve our schools.

1.6 The discussions at the regional conferences were concentrated upon four main topics: the curriculum; the assessment of standards; the education and training of teachers; school and working life. At the conference in Wales a fifth topic was added - the place of the Welsh language in schools in Wales. This paper follows a similar pattern but the analysis has to be seen against the wider background of recent history and social change, responsibilities, resources, and aims.

Recent history

1.7 In retrospect 1977 may be seen as a turning point in education. The school population is now at its peak; it will decline for a decade or more (Figure 1.1). The reorganisation of the secondary schools in England and Wales to eliminate selection is largely accomplished. These two facts mark the end of a period in which the reorganisation of the school system and the demands of growing pupil numbers have overshadowed all educational debate and educational planning.

1.8 Secondary education for all was introduced in 1945. Since then the school leaving age has been raised twice, in 1947 and 1973. Opportunities to move on to further and higher education have greatly increased: the proportion of young people benefiting from post-school education has more than doubled since 1960. The development of the General Certificate of Education (GCE) and subsequently of the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) has provided a flexible system of examinations which four-fifths of all pupils now attempt. The growth of the relevant age group, the increase in the proportion of those starting school before five and of those remaining at school after 16, have together led to an increase in the maintained school population of over 80 per cent since 1945.

1.9 Large-scale expenditure would have been needed merely to match this increase in the number of pupils and to provide schools in new housing areas. But many other advances have taken place: old secondary schools have been rebuilt, the remaining all-age schools have been eliminated, and the quality of new school buildings greatly improved. Class sizes have been reduced; the minimum teacher-training course has been lengthened from two to three years and, with minor exceptions, professional training is now required for graduates entering the teaching profession; recruitment to the profession, already fully qualified, will soon become all-graduate.

Social change

1.10 The past twenty years in education have been years of quantitative change - the explosion of numbers at every stage. But education has also had to adapt to sweeping social changes as well. Britain has ceased to be the centre

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of an Empire, and has become instead a medium-sized European power, albeit one with wide international connections and responsibilities. The country's economic well-being depends on its own efforts, and its standard of living is directly related to its ability to sell goods and services overseas. At home, our society has changed substantially; because of the large-scale movement of people within Britain, for instance to New Towns and expanded towns; and also of people into Britain, many from the new Commonwealth. Ours is now a multiracial and multicultural country, and one in which traditional social patterns are breaking down. One central example of this is the disappearance of the old stereotypes of the sexes, based on a traditional division of labour between men and women. Most girls now expect to have jobs as well as to bring up a family.

1.11 Our educational system is adapting to these changes. The primary schools have adopted methods and approaches to learning which reflect better understanding of children's growth and development. Extra help has been given to children whose mother tongue is not English, or who have to make the bewildering transition from a developing rural society to a sophisticated industrial one. The comprehensive school reflects the need to educate our people for a different sort of society, in which the talents and abilities of our people in all spheres need to be developed and respected; the education appropriate to our Imperial past cannot meet the requirements of modern Britain.

1.12 The curriculum of the schools must also reflect the needs of this new Britain. There is more emphasis on science and on modern languages. Distinctions between what boys study and what girls study are disappearing, and in many schools both are now educated for shared domestic responsibilities, including the responsibilities of future parenthood. The comprehensive secondary schools have responded imaginatively to the challenge of dealing with a whole new spectrum of pupils - and teachers. On the other hand only a minority of schools convey adequately to their pupils the fact that ours is an industrial society - a mixed economy; that we depend upon industry to create the wealth without which our social services, our education and arts cannot flourish; and that industry offers scope for the imagination and even the idealism of young people. Nor are our young people sufficiently aware of the international interdependence of modern countries. Many of our most pressing problems can only be solved internationally, for instance environmental pollution; so our children need to be educated in international understanding as well.

1.13 Both the primary and the secondary comprehensive schools seek to offer equal educational opportunities to all children. What they make of these opportunities depends upon their motivation, their willingness to work and the interest taken in them by their parents and families. For some children, however, equality of opportunity is not enough. These are the children whose attitudes and performance are burdened by adversity - physical or mental handicap, squalid housing, severe poverty, language difficulty, broken homes, inadequate or even uncaring parents. Many of them suffer from a combination of such factors, adding up to a major handicap for a particular child. The Government believe in discriminating in favour of children who are underprivileged for whatever reason. It is right to direct extra resources to areas in which disadvantage is concentrated, for example the recently announced policy for the

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inner cities. It is important, too, to attract and keep good teachers in the schools in stress areas, and that is why the Government attaches great importance to training teachers familiar with the social problems many children face.

Responsibilities within the education system

1.14 Educational policy in England and Wales evolves from a partnership between the Education Departments, the local education authorities and the teachers, and responsibility for education is shared between them.

(i) The school: the governors, in conjunction with the head teacher and his staff, are responsible for what goes on in the individual school. The framework is set by the local education authority, which appoints all the governors in county schools, and a proportion of those in voluntary schools. In practice, much of the day-to-day running of the school is devolved upon the head teacher, in consultation with his staff. The crucial relationship in all learning is that between the individual pupil and his or her teacher.

(ii) The local education authority: each local education authority is responsible for providing education within its area, and must by law appoint an education committee. The authority's financial resources are mainly provided from rates and from Rate Support Grant which is paid as a block in respect of all services. Education is by far the largest and most expensive service.

(iii) The national level: the Secretaries of State are responsible in law for the promotion of the education of the people of England and Wales. They need to know what is being done by the local education authorities and, through them, what is happening in the schools. They must draw attention to national needs if they believe the education system is not adequately meeting them.

1.15 Parents are involved at each level of the system. The most frequent and direct kind of contact between the parent and the education system will be with the teacher, be it class teacher or head teacher. If parents have a problem which cannot be resolved at local level by teachers or governors, the way is open for an approach to the local education authority and its officers, and, if need be, directly to the Secretaries of State. Until recently many parents played only a minor part in the education system. The Government are of the view that parents should be given much more information about the schools, and should be consulted more widely. With this in mind, a committee of inquiry under Mr Thomas Taylor was set up ill January 1975 'to review the arrangements for the management and government of maintained primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, including the composition and functions of bodies of managers and governors, and their relationships with local education authorities, with head teachers and staffs of schools, with parents of pupils and with the local community at large; and to make recommendations'. It has just completed its work, and the Secretaries of State look forward to widespread discussion of its report which is to be published later this year.

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1.16 In looking at the prospects for education we must avoid two dangers. One is to ignore the need for, and the consequences of, economic restraint. The other is to assume that the difficulties associated with restraint make any improvement impossible. Although some improvements call for additional resources, others, including many of those proposed in this paper, do not. The total resources which will be available for education and the social services in the future will depend largely on the success of the Industrial Strategy. It is vital to Britain's economic recovery and standard of living that the performance of manufacturing industry is improved and that the whole range of Government policies, including education, contribute as much as possible to improving industrial performance and thereby increasing the national wealth.

1.17 In order to control a disturbingly high rate of inflation and to ensure adequate resources for regenerating industry, the Government's top two priorities, economic restraint has been necessary. It has been reflected most sharply in the reduction in public expenditure since 1975 (Annex 2). Education in company with other programmes such as housing and roads has had to take its share of these cuts amounting in the period 1975 to 1977 to 150 million (2.4 per cent). The cuts have undoubtedly delayed some badly needed school buildings and other capital developments. They have also imposed severe constraints on the maintenance and upkeep of buildings, on the provision of school equipment and materials, on the numbers of non-teaching staff, and on other long-desired educational developments: the achievement of further reductions in class size has had to be postponed. But these reductions must be judged against the major expansion in expenditure on education that took place in the period 1965 to 1975, an increase of 60 per cent in real terms; and against the coming substantial fall in pupil numbers. Public expenditure for 1977/78 has now been settled: the figures for future years remain provisional but by the end of the decade it should be possible to resume a modest rate of growth in public expenditure.

1.18 Everything that is said in the subsequent sections of this paper must be seen against the background of the resources available. Each local education authority and each school has to assess its own capacity, in terms of qualified teachers, educational equipment, and accommodation, to achieve its objectives. Resource constraints were not always taken into account during the period of rapid development in the curriculum and in teaching methods that occurred in the last decade; they must be borne in mind in any proposals for the future.

The aims of the schools

1.19 Schools must have aims against which to judge the effectiveness of their work and hence the kinds of improvements that they may need to make from time to time. The majority of people would probably agree with the following attempt to set out these aims, though they might differ in the emphasis to be placed on one or the other:

(i) to help children develop lively, enquiring minds; giving them the ability to question and to argue rationally, and to apply themselves to tasks;

(ii) to instil respect for moral values, for other people and for oneself, and tolerance of other races, religions, and ways of life;

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(iii) to help children understand the world in which we live, and the interdependence of nations;

(iv) to help children to use language effectively and imaginatively in reading, writing and speaking;

(v) to help children to appreciate how the nation earns and maintains its standard of living and properly to esteem the essential role of industry and commerce in this process;

(vi) to provide a basis of mathematical, scientific and technical knowledge, enabling boys and girls to learn the essential skills needed in a fast-changing world of work;

(vii) to teach children about human achievement and aspirations in the arts and sciences, in religion, and in the search for a more just social order;

(viii) to encourage and foster the development of the children whose social or environmental disadvantages cripple their capacity to learn, if necessary by making additional resources available to them.

1.20 The translation of these aims into classroom practice will depend upon the characteristics of individual schools and the localities they serve. Some aims vary in importance at different periods of a pupil's education; others are constant throughout. All of them apply to boys and to girls. Equal opportunity does not necessarily mean identical classroom provision for boys and girls but it is essential that, in translating their aims into day-to-day practice, schools should not by their assumptions, decisions, or choice of teaching materials, limit the educational opportunities offered to girls.

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Primary schools

2.1 Primary schools have been transformed in recent years by two things: a much wider curriculum than used to be considered sufficient for elementary education, and the rapid growth of the so-called 'child-centred' approach. The primary curriculum has been enriched by a feeling for colour, design and music, and by the introduction of simple scientific ideas. Children engage in work designed to increase their control over themselves physically and mentally, to capture their imagination and to widen their knowledge and understanding of the world about them. The child-centred approach takes advantage of the child's individual stage of development and of his or her interests: it complements the wider curriculum by harnessing the natural enthusiasm of young children for learning things by their own efforts instead of merely being fed with information. In the right hands, this approach has produced confident, happy and relaxed children, without any sacrifice of the 3Rs or other accomplishments - indeed, with steady improvement in standards. Visitors have come from all over the world to see, and to admire, the English and Welsh 'primary school revolution'.

2.2 Unfortunately, however, the work has not always been in the hands of experienced and able teachers. While only a tiny minority of schools adopted the child-centred approach to the exclusion of other teaching methods, its influence has been widespread. It has proved to be a trap for some less able or less experienced teachers who applied the freer methods uncritically or failed to recognise that they require careful planning of the opportunities offered to children and systematic monitoring of the progress of individuals. While the majority of primary teachers, whatever approach they use, recognise the importance of performance in basic skills such as reading, spelling and arithmetic, some have failed to achieve satisfactory results in them. In some classes, or even some schools, the use of the child-centred approach has deteriorated into lack of order and application.

2.3 The challenge now is to restore the rigour without damaging the real benefits of the child-centred developments. This does not imply any great change in the range of what is taught, but the following features, already recognised by the most effective schools, need to be accepted throughout the system:

(i) in all schools teachers need to be quite clear about the ways in which children make and show progress in the various aspects of their learning. They can then more easily choose the best approach for their pupils.

(ii) Teachers should be able to identify with some precision the levels of achievement represented by a pupil's work. In parts of the curriculum such as arithmetic, it is relatively easy to organise a series of targets for the pupils according to a logical sequence of difficulty. In other parts of the curriculum where teachers are planning to develop their pupils' imagination and social awareness, it may not be possible to be so precise. Teachers can nonetheless plan a progression in these parts of the curriculum and so ensure that they make their proper contribution to the child's education.

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(iii) Teachers in successive classes or schools need to agree about what is to be learned. They should as a matter of professional habit pass on clear information about work done and levels of achievement.

(iv) Even allowing for local and individual needs, children throughout England and Wales have many educational requirements in common. It is therefore reasonable to expect that children moving from a primary school in one part of the country to another elsewhere will find much that is familiar in kind if not in detail.

(v) There are some skills for which the primary schools have a central, and indeed over-riding, responsibility. Literacy and numeracy are the most important of these: no other curricular aims should deflect teachers from them. By definition they must form part of the core of learning, the protected area of the curriculum.

Middle schools

2.4 For the most part middle schools do not present unique curricular issues, though their size and organisation highlight certain problems, particularly those connected with continuity. Furthermore, resources, and especially teachers with particular training or expertise, are often, rightly, deployed rather differently in areas with middle schools as compared with others where pupils transfer at 11 years of age. A middle-school system with careful co-ordination between the phases of schooling can work well, with some aspects of school work being started earlier and others later. It can, however, cause some difficulty for pupils who transfer into or out of the area. Since middle schools are in a minority, transition is a matter to which the local education authorities and teachers in such areas need to give special consideration.

2.5 The resources available in a school, and particularly the training and expertise of the staff, have direct consequences for the range and depth of work that can be offered. The small sizes of middle school staffs as compared with those of traditional comprehensive schools have a particular effect, for example, on science, modern languages and handicrafts; many middle schools, including the smaller 9-13 schools, are unable to allocate more than one post to each of these specialisms, and some none.

Secondary schools

2.6 Four fifths of our boys and girls now attend comprehensive schools. The comprehensive school is at the centre of the Government's policy on secondary education. The objective of the comprehensive system is to offer to every boy or girl educational opportunities appropriate to his or her ability, aptitudes and personal motivation. It recognises the importance of educating together young people from different backgrounds, as an essential preparation for a more united and understanding society.

2.7 The rapid development of comprehensive schools has required great efforts by local education authorities, teachers, and the churches, and could not have been achieved without their co-operation. Ideas about the reorganisation of schools naturally continue to evolve. The end of selection for secondary education, to which the Government remain wholly committed, is in sight. With the benefit now of substantial experience, the time is ripe for a conference the

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Secretary of State for Education and Science will organise later this year. This conference will provide an opportunity for sharing experience of successful practice in comprehensive schools.

2.8 The curriculum is not the school's sole means of realising the purposes of comprehensive education. The creation of a lively and caring community, where the pupils have opportunities to exercise initiative and responsibility; the sensitive organisation of groups for learning and other activities; the establishment of an unobtrusive system of effective guidance and support for the adolescent are crucial to success. But all these serve the cause of the pupils' learning, which is the school's main business and which is embodied in the curriculum. The comprehensive school's curriculum must reflect the diversity of its pupils' individual needs. In educational terms, the comprehensive school aspires to educate all our children to the highest standards of which they are capable. Whatever the difficulties and problems on the way, and this paper does not seek to minimise them, that remains the Government's goal.

2.9 Secondary schools, like primary schools, have been transformed. The curriculum now generally offers a greater spectrum of learning and a broader range of choices than did the traditional selective system. A much higher proportion of pupils now take public examinations, the CSE, or the GCE Ordinary or Advanced levels. New content and new styles of learning in the sciences and mathematics have helped to make these subjects more interesting and more accessible to many pupils. The opportunity to learn a modern language has been given to a much wider range of pupils of different abilities than in the past. There has, in general, been a good deal of curriculum experiment and diversification and the early years of CSE stimulated fundamental and valuable study of the needs of those leaving school - and often formal education - at 16.

2.10 These advances have not been without attendant weaknesses. Further progress must build on the achievements of recent years and take account of current criticism. It is not surprising that achieving the intentions of the educational reformers has proved slower and more difficult than was envisaged. Comprehensive reorganisation has itself made considerable demands on the time and energy of teachers, especially those in senior positions.

2.11 The pace of change has outstripped the supply of appropriately qualified and experienced teachers. Some did not understand sufficiently clearly the nature of the changes on which they were embarking, nor did they all have the benefit of adequate support from in-service courses. This is particularly true of teachers changing from a grammar or secondary modern school to a comprehensive one, usually faced with teaching pupils of a wider or different range of ability.

2.12 In addition, the secondary curriculum has been under great pressure from the constantly growing demands upon it. These reflect the complexities of adult life which await the pupils when they leave school. But there has been considerable criticism on the grounds that the curriculum has become overloaded and that essential educational objectives may have been put at risk.

2.13 The balance and breadth of each child's course is crucial at all school levels, and this is especially so during the later years of compulsory education. In most secondary schools the curriculum of the main school course is broadly

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traditional for the first two or three years. Options begin to shape the curriculum significantly in the fourth and fifth years. English and religious education are in most schools a standard part of the curriculum for all pupils up to the age of 16, and it is not true that many pupils drop mathematics at an early stage. But the offer of options and the freedom to choose do lead some boys and girls to abandon certain areas of study at an early age. This is questionable in a society like ours where the rapidity of change puts a premium on the sound acquisition of certain basic skills developed in up-to-date terms to the limit of the pupil's ability and understanding. Few, inside or outside the schools, would contest that alongside English and mathematics, science should find a secure place for all pupils at least to the age of 16, and that a modern language should do so for as high a proportion as practicable.

2.14 These thoughts were reflected in much of the discussion on the curriculum at the regional conferences. Unease about the curriculum is expressed in many forms but the principal points of concern appear to be:

(i) the curriculum has become overcrowded; the timetable is overloaded and the essentials are at risk;

(ii) variations in the approach to the curriculum in different schools can penalise a child simply because he has moved from one area to another;

(iii) even if the child does not move, variations from school to school may give rise to inequality of opportunities;

(iv) the curriculum in many schools is not sufficiently matched to life in a modern industrial society.

2.15 Not all these comments may be equally valid but it is clear that the time has come to try to establish generally accepted principles for the composition of the secondary curriculum for all pupils. This does not presuppose uniform answers: schools, pupils, and their teachers are different, and the curriculum should be flexible enough to reflect these differences. But there is a need to investigate the part which might be played by a 'protected' or 'core' element of the curriculum common to all schools. There are various ways this may be defined. Properly worked out, it can offer reassurances to employers, parents and the teachers themselves, as well as a very real equality of opportunity for pupils.

2.16 The creation of a suitable core curriculum will not be easy. Pupils in their later years of secondary schooling have a wide range of interests and expectations. Many of them will need help to see the relevance of what school offers and to understand how their skills can be used for their adult and working life. This can contribute to overcoming the lack of motivation and unco-operative attitudes displayed by some pupils. It is not the task of schools to prepare pupils for specific jobs but experience has long shown that studies and activities that are practical and obviously relevant to working life can be valuable as a means of learning, including the learning of basic skills.

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2.17 Apart from the central question of curriculum planning up to the age of 16 there are other aspects of the problem that need more study.

(i) Some narrowing of the range of subjects studied after 16 is legitimate and perhaps inevitable, but traditional practice in England and Wales may have gone too far in this direction. Some of those who follow academic sixth form courses devote almost all their time to only two or three closely related subjects, without even the substantial broadening element of general studies provided in many schools. There has however been much discussion elsewhere of this feature of secondary education, and it will come under scrutiny again in relation to possible changes in the examination system.

(ii) Both before and after 16, care must be taken to see that girls do not by their choices limit the range of educational and career opportunities open to them. Positive steps may be necessary to encourage girls to broaden and modernise their aspirations and to feel confident of success in unfamiliar fields of science and technology. This is particularly important now that there are many fewer places available in colleges of education to which a large number of girls have traditionally gone for their higher education.

(iii) The curriculum for the less academic sixth former is not well defined. The same general principles apply as at earlier stages in the secondary school but particular care has to be taken to ensure that the education given to this very wide range of pupils furthers their career prospects as well as their personal development. It is important that they understand the range of opportunities open to them and what they stand to gain or lose by following one or other course.

Action on the curriculum

2.18 Action to improve the planning and development of the curriculum will be successful only if it takes into account fully the division of responsibilities for education in schools. The control of secular instruction in maintained schools - aided secondary schools apart - rests with the local education authority, subject to the provisions of each school's rules of management or articles of government. In practice, much of the responsibility for deciding the curriculum of each school is devolved by the local education authorities and the governors or managers upon the teachers or head teachers in the schools.

2.19 It would not be compatible with the duty of the Secretaries of State to 'promote the education of the people of England and Wales', or with their accountability to Parliament, to abdicate from leadership on educational issues which have become a matter of lively public concern. The Secretaries of State will therefore seek to establish a broad agreement with their partners in the education service on a framework for the curriculum, and, particularly, on whether, because there are aims common to all schools and to all pupils at certain stages, there should be a 'core' or 'protected part'.

2.20 In their turn, the local education authorities must co-ordinate the curriculum and its development in their own areas, taking account of local circumstances, consulting local interests and drawing on the work of the

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Schools Council and other curricular research and development agencies. In this way the proper professional freedom of individual schools and their teachers can be exercised to the best advantage.

2.21 As the next step the Secretaries of State propose to invite the local authority and teachers' associations to take part in early consultations about the conduct of a review of curricular arrangements in each local authority area. The Schools Council will be invited to play a part in these consultations. Appropriate provision will also be made for other interested organisations to express their views.

2.22 The intention of the Secretaries of State is that, following these consultations, they should issue a circular asking all local education authorities to carry out the review in their own areas in consultation with their teachers and to report the results within about twelve months. The Departments would then analyse the replies as a preliminary to consultations on the outcome of the review and on the nature of any advice which the Secretaries of State might then issue on curricular matters.

2.23 The circular initiating the review would call for information about the existing practice of local education authorities and schools in their areas, and any plans already in hand for developing it. The following broad headings indicate the ground that the review is intended to cover:

Local arrangements for the co-ordination of the curriculum and any plans for its development.

The transition of pupils between schools.

The keeping of school records of pupils' progress.

Balance and breadth in the curriculum.

Preparation for working life, including all aspects of schools/industry understanding and liaison and careers education.

The study of selected subject areas (eg English, mathematics, modern languages, science).

Welsh in the curriculum of the schools of Wales

2.24 English is the language of the majority of the people of Wales and the need for competence in English referred to earlier applies equally to schools in Wales. But Welsh is the first language of a significant proportion of the population and is a national language in Wales. It has played an important part in shaping contemporary Welsh society; and it is the focal point of a heritage of which children in Wales need to become aware if they are to understand their identity and their place within the United Kingdom. It is for these reasons that children in Wales should be given the opportunity to have Welsh in their curriculum in accordance with parental wishes and where practical considerations allow. The evidence does not suggest that either the inclusion of Welsh in the curriculum or its use as a medium of teaching has harmful effects on general educational progress.

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2.25 In areas where Welsh is used extensively it is a proper objective of the curricula of the schools to enable pupils to develop a command of the language which will allow them to enter fully into the life of their community. Where Welsh is spoken only by small minorities the objectives are necessarily different. Some children whose home language is not Welsh may aspire to fluency. Others may reach worthwhile levels of attainment in comprehension and appreciation of the history and society of Wales.

2.26 There is a widespread and justifiable feeling that levels of attainment in many schools are low. A number of reasons account for this. In some areas the pedagogical task is made difficult by the varied language backgrounds of pupils within the same class and by social mobility. But there is also evidence that the expectations of many teachers are unduly low. This is reflected in the meagre time allocations often given. Welsh tends to be taught in isolation from other learning experiences. And there are widespread weaknesses in teaching techniques. The schools which stand out as successful in the teaching of Welsh as a second language are the designated bilingual schools and those other schools which concentrate on promoting communication skills in the second language.

2.27 Both formal research and more general observation support the view that children learn a second language more effectively to the extent that native language learning conditions are simulated which allow the learner to use the language he is learning. Progression and continuity within schools and between stages are also basic to success in the learning of Welsh. These considerations point to the need for both clearer policies to ensure continuity of teaching and a growth of in-service training.

2.28 The proportion of teachers needing to be trained to teach Welsh or to teach through the medium of Welsh could be planned more adequately if authorities were to examine their needs in relation to the present shortcomings in provision. Clear language policies formulated by authorities in consultation with parents and teachers so as to reflect in a purposeful way the linguistic character of their areas would provide an element of motivation and would enable individual schools in turn to formulate positive policies within the framework provided. Authorities in Wales are therefore invited to include such policies in the reports on curricular plans for their areas which have been called for in this paper.

2.29 The Secretary of State for Wales is considering requests from several bodies for specific grants to be made towards the cost of bilingual education. In this connection the Government have indicated in their Green Paper on local government finance (Cmnd 6813) that they wish to discuss any proposals involving a wider use of specific grants with local authority associations.

Nursery education

2.30 Entry to nursery or primary school is an important event. For many children it may be their first big experience of life away from the family. More than half our children now start their schooling before they are five in nursery schools and classes or in the reception classes of primary schools. In the last few years there has been a big expansion of nursery education, mainly on a

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part-time basis; and as the age groups decline, the proportion of under-fives who are in school will rise steadily, even though limitations on resources will confine further expansion of provision in the immediate future to the areas of greatest social deprivation.

2.31 Nursery education is valuable for almost all children. But it should supplement, not replace, what a child learns at home. The experience of the playgroup movement has shown that parents often wish to be closely involved in the education and development of other young children as well as their own; and with professional guidance parents can play a valuable part in nursery schools and playgroups and by so doing can better fulfil their own role as parents. The Government have in recent years encouraged local authorities to improve the co-ordination of all available services for under-fives so as to make the maximum use of existing resources in the education, social services and health fields, as well as those which the community can provide through volunteers and voluntary bodies. This is an area of provision in which there is a growing interest, especially in relation to the needs of children with backgrounds of disadvantage of various kinds, and in which a number of new ideas involving the development of links between the education service and day nurseries, child minders and playgroups are being tried and tested. The Department of Education and Science and the Department of Health and Social Security hope shortly to issue a further joint circular to local authorities on this matter.

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3.1 At the regional conferences there was no widespread view that there had been a serious decline in educational standards. But elsewhere the conviction has been expressed that deterioration has occurred. Undoubtedly higher standards have been more difficult to achieve in recent years because of the high rates of wastage and turnover among teachers in primary and secondary schools, especially in some deprived urban areas. In 1962, the proportion of teachers who left the profession - the wastage rate - was 8.4 per cent; by 1972, it had risen to 9.5 per cent and in addition a further 11 per cent changed schools. In some urban areas the percentages were much higher: as many as one in four of all teachers in some local education authority areas left their schools during 1973. Pupils in some of the older city schools often suffered from frequent changes of teaching staff. Added to this were the demands of change itself on teachers' time, skills and energy: for example the raising of the school leaving age, reorganisation of secondary education and new approaches to the syllabus, such as modern mathematics or Nuffield science. One important reason for expecting educational standards now to improve is the marked decline in wastage among teachers in the last two years. It is estimated that in 1976 wastage was between 6 1/2 per cent and 7 1/2 per cent and in many urban authorities turnover was less than half the 1974 figure. A period of stability would do a great deal of good for our schools.

3.2 Within the general broadening of the curriculum there has been an extension of the range of skills and ideas that have been looked for in children. This may cut both ways. It has been alleged that, in primary schools, improved fluency in writing has been achieved at the expense of accuracy in spelling and punctuation; and that efforts to introduce modern aspects of mathematics and to reduce apprehension in pupils have been accompanied by diminished accuracy in traditional arithmetic. In addition some teachers in primary and secondary schools have found themselves teaching beyond the limit of their previous experience and professional competence; this is an important cause for concern, for example, in relation to standards of achievement in mathematics at the primary school or French at the secondary school. Some of these problems are essentially transitional; they will disappear as teachers gain more experience in their new schools and with the new methods. Others can be overcome by preparation, in-service training and so on. But what must be recognised is that it is not sufficient just to maintain present standards; like the nation as a whole the schools have to meet the growing and changing demands of the future.


3.3 Growing recognition of the need for schools to demonstrate their accountability to the society which they serve requires a coherent and soundly based means of assessment for the educational system as a whole, for schools, and for individual pupils.

(i) The national level

3.4 The traditional and long established means for assessing the performance of the educational system as a whole rest with HM Inspectorate and, more

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recently, with local education authority advisory services. They provide well-developed methods of describing and assessing the system and the institutions within it; the evidence they gather contributes to the support and development of schools and teachers, and points to any remedial action if a school is consistently less than satisfactory. Both, in different ways, are accountable and need to understand how their similar but complementary responsibilities fit together in the interest of the system; both need to be staffed to meet the demands made upon them.

3.5 Inspection seeks in the first place to answer the question: is the work upon which the pupils are engaged suited to the circumstances in which they are growing up, and is it pitched at a level and conducted in a way that will enable them to make the progress they should? It then seeks to analyse and interpret the findings of the inspection process in order to arrive at wider educational conclusions. It is for local education authorities to decide how to apply the results of inspections by local inspectors. In contrast, the conclusions reached by HM Inspectorate must be capable of being related nationally to the education system.

3.6 On the whole, inspection tends to be a subjective and qualitative process, though HM Inspectorate is increasingly moving towards complementary quantitative analyses of which the current surveys of primary and secondary schools are a good example. Another source of quantitative assessment will be provided by the Assessment of Performance Unit (APU) of the Department of Education and Science. Within its general terms of reference (Annex 3), the APU is concentrating at present on the development of tests suitable for national monitoring in English language, mathematics and science. Its programme of national assessment will start in 1978: the initial studies will be in the area of mathematics, probably with 11 and 15 year-olds.

(ii) The schools

3.7 Local education authorities need to be able to assess the relative performance of their schools to reach decisions about staffing, the allocation of resources, and other matters. In particular, it is an essential facet of their accountability for educational standards that they must be able to identify schools which consistently perform poorly, so that appropriate remedial action can be taken. Such assessment will take account of examination and test results, but will also depend heavily on a detailed knowledge of the circumstances of the schools by the authorities' officers, their inspectors and advisers, and such self assessment as may be undertaken by the schools. There is scope here for authorities to try to achieve a greater degree of uniformity in their approach to the assessment of schools. But 'league tables' of school performance based on examination or standardised test results in isolation can be seriously misleading because they fail to take account of other important factors such as the wide differences between school catchment areas. This danger will be recognised by local education authorities which are operating assessment practices (of whatever type) yielding results for their schools individually. Increasingly schools should assess their own performance against their own objectives as well as external criteria. In so doing they may be expected to keep under review much information useful to their governors, the local authority and HM Inspectorate.

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(iii) The pupils as individuals

3.8 The main purposes of the assessment of individual pupils are:

(i) to provide teachers with information about the progress and needs of pupils for whom they are responsible, and to enable them to assess the effectiveness of their own planning and teaching;

(ii) to enable the pupils to know how they are progressing and to provide incentives to better performance;

(iii) to enable parents to be informed about their children's educational progress;

(iv) to provide information about pupils at points of transition within the education system and when they leave school to start work or to go on to further and higher education.

3.9 Teachers adopt a variety of procedures for assessment, alone and in combination. There is, for example, the minute-to-minute questioning and scrutiny of children's work that is an ordinary part of the school day. There are the setting of objective tests and of periodic internal school examinations. Teachers also need to pin-point individual weaknesses though diagnostic assessment, including testing. Here the professional competence and knowledge of the teacher are of prime importance. The Education Departments will encourage the development of such tests and it is hoped that they will become widely used by schools and authorities; greater consistency of practice can only be beneficial.

3.10 The Departments are concerned with assessing individual pupils only as members of a representative sample, and this is the major function of the APU. A number of education authorities have already decided on or are considering monitoring the performance of pupils in their areas: tests suitable for this purpose are likely to come out of the work of the APU. Here again the Departments' concern is that there should be consistency within local education authorities and wherever possible between authorities.

3.11 It has been suggested that individual pupils should at certain ages take external 'tests of basic literacy and numeracy', the implication being that those tests should be of national character and universally applied. The Secretaries of State reject this view. Because of the differing abilities and rates of development of children of school age, tests pitched at a single level could be irrelevant for some and beyond the reach of others. Moreover the temptation for schools to coach for such tests would risk distorting the curriculum and possibly lowering rather than raising average standards.

The idea of a leaving certificate for all pupils

3.12 Traditionally, information about pupils on leaving school for employment or further and higher education has been conceived chiefly in terms of the results of public examinations taken at 16+ and 18+. The CSE was designed for pupils of average ability while the GCE 0 and A levels are traditionally taken by the more able pupils. There are, however, limitations on the usefulness of this information. Examination results do not offer a comprehensive picture of the abilities of any individual school leaver and many pupils will continue

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to leave without achieving graded examination results; it is doubtful whether the pupils or the schools would be helped by further examinations: attainments, motivation and personal qualities not reflected in examination results will be of interest to employers and others, and it may not always be possible to assess these simply by interview. This raises the question of whether there should be leaving certificates for all pupils.

3.13 But there are a number of practical difficulties. First, it is not clear how widely the value of such certificates would be recognised, even locally, unless it can be demonstrated that the standards portrayed by the teachers completing the certificates are consistent. Second, there is the risk that the certificates might be more of a discouragement to those whose certificates were unfavourable (as some must be if the system is to attain credibility) than a stimulus to the rest. Third, the production of honest and frank reports on certain pupils could engender controversy between parents and teachers. There are nevertheless a number of relevant local experiments which the Secretaries of State will watch with interest: they will also consider commissioning a national study into the possibilities for a leaving certificate.

Public examinations

3.14 The Secretaries of State have commissioned studies on the Schools Council's proposals for the introduction of a common system of examinations at 16+; these studies will involve a review of the present system of examining boards in England and Wales. They should be completed early next year. The Secretaries of State are also considering the Schools Council's recommendations for a Certificate of Extended Education (CEE) at the age of 17+. The Schools Council is also studying the possibility of changes to 18+ examinations; this review is designed to meet the concern (noted in paragraph 2.17) that exists about the present degree of specialisation in the sixth form curriculum.

3.15 The Government accept the need to end uncertainty over the development of 16+ and 17+ examinations and the value of implementing desirable changes without delay. But, equally, they are determined that any changes introduced shall stand the test of time and that the examinations of the future, as of the present, shall have national currency and acceptance. Decisions will therefore only be taken when this can be done with confidence.

3.16 The present system of single-subject GCE O level and CSE examinations at 16+ is healthy in that it helps schools to tailor the curriculum to fit the needs of individual pupils who are taking external examinations, and it can benefit those unlikely to be successful across a wide area of the curriculum. It has, however, been suggested that a 'grouped' certificate awarded to candidates who take at an appropriate level a number of specified subjects including mathematics and English, and possibly science and a modern language, might provide a useful incentive to pupils to follow more balanced courses.

3.17 Study of this possibility would not imply that single-subject examining at 16+ should be abandoned. Those for whom it may be appropriate to take subjects including none or some only of those specified could still do so and could receive notification of awards in essentially the present style. Likewise, if

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issue of a grouped certificate was conditional on the achievement of certain grades in one or more of the specified subjects, lesser grades could still be recorded as they are now.

3.18 This outline description of the possibilities leaves a number of detailed points for further consideration. The uses to which such a grouped certificate might be put by employers or in further and higher education would need careful scrutiny. When such issues have been studied, it will be necessary to consult further on the issue of principle, whether a grouped certificate on the best basis that can be devised should or should not be introduced. The Government intend to take that decision in due course, but are under no illusion that the appropriate study can be completed quickly or that it will not be controversial. At the same time the sooner it is started the better. The Government will be embarking on talks with the Schools Council and other bodies (including the Examination Boards) about the possibility of fitting the exploratory work into the former's current programme.

Record keeping

3.19 The need for keeping school records of the educational development of individual children has long been recognised. It is more than ever true today, bearing in mind the greater number of transfers between schools which now take place as a result of increased parental mobility, and the wider range of opportunities for further education and career choice, that clear and reliable records of progress are necessary if individual help and counselling are to be provided. The keeping and transmission of records should be systematic and understandable; they should be subject to clearly understood and agreed controls on what information is kept and what is not; and on what is disseminated and to whom; and full regard must be paid to the rights of parents, as well as those of teachers and pupils, to know what material is included.

3.20 The Secretaries of State therefore propose that, as part of the review outlined in paragraphs 2.21-2.23, local education authorities should examine and report on their existing practices in relation to records of pupils' progress. The review would cover the records themselves, arrangements for parents to see records, and the currency the records should have. There is a need for high standards of professional accuracy in record-keeping and for a reasonable consistency of practice between different areas of the country.

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4.1 Substantial problems can occur at the point of transition between primary and secondary schools. Lack of continuity between successive stages, whatever the organisational pattern, can have especially severe consequences in subjects like mathematics, science and modern languages, where progress depends heavily upon what has already been learned. The difficulties can be accentuated where pupils move from one part of the country to another; even within a single local authority area, problems may arise from the differing approaches adopted among primary schools and the different standards of performance achieved. Some local education authorities with a substantial responsibility towards families in the Armed Services make special efforts, for example through the use of educational records, to reduce the difficulties which the children of such families encounter: there are lessons here for wider application.

4.2 Difficulties of transition within an area often arise because there is insufficient contact between the teachers of a secondary school and those in their contributory primary or middle schools. Where, as is often the case, children go from one lower school to a number of upper schools, or, as is almost always the case, an upper school takes children from a number of lower schools, close contacts between schools are needed both across tiers and within them. Problems occurring when children move from area to area are less easily resolved: the general acceptance of the idea of a core curriculum would contribute to minimising the difficulties. This whole problem needs the urgent attention of local education authorities, not least to ensure that parents whose jobs demand mobility should not be deterred by fear of disruption in their children's schooling.

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The needs of ethnic minority children

5.1 Some children belonging to ethnic minorities, both recent immigrants and the descendants of earlier immigrants, have special cultural and educational needs. For some of them there are difficulties of adjustment to life in an alien language and culture. The educational needs of such children have received much attention over the years from the teaching profession, from local education authorities and from the Education Departments; this work has received useful impetus from reports of the House of Commons Select Committee on Race Relations, the latest of which (H.C. 180-1) has drawn particular attention to the needs of young West Indians.

5.2 But the work has been hampered by inadequate knowledge of the facts, since Governments have been reluctant to collect statistics concerning ethnic minorities, fearing this might be regarded as divisive. The Government, however, have concluded that statistical knowledge is essential for any effective policy of positive discrimination to help meet the special needs of ethnic minorities. To this end, the Secretary of State has now invited views from a wide range of bodies on the recommendations in the Select Committee report, including those concerning the statistical monitoring of pupils, students and teachers. The Government's wish is to alleviate inequalities of opportunity as fully as possible within the education system and through co-operation between Departments in joint social policies. As well as seeking to improve the academic performance of some pupils of immigrant origin, the education service will need to encourage more young people from the ethnic minorities to enter teaching; special courses of preparation for teacher training may need to be arranged for mature students. Such practical steps would be in the context of existing policy.

5.3 The Secretaries of State are also prepared to set up an inquiry to consider directions of future policy. They are concerned that there should be a broad basis of agreement about the objectives of such a committee, and have invited views on whether it should be concerned for example with West Indians only (as recommended by the Select Committee) or be extended to include the needs of other minority groups; alternatively such an inquiry might embrace the wider concept of the education of all children for life in a multiracial society.

5.4 It would be short-sighted to think of the establishment in this country of communities of overseas origin only in terms of the problems they present. We should welcome the enrichment of our culture which these communities can provide if only we have the imagination to accept it.

The needs of the handicapped and other disadvantaged

5.5 A few children suffer from physical or mental handicap or mental disturbance so severe that dedicated and specialised efforts are needed to help them achieve the most modest - though nevertheless worthwhile - levels of educational performance and social adjustment. Many others have less serious

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handicaps which call for special education - in the traditional sense of the term - either in special schools or increasingly in ordinary schools. Apart from society's duty to enable every child to benefit to his limit from the education system it is important in the national interest that the full potential of the handicapped is discovered and developed. The integration of handicapped children into ordinary schools, where this is in their interests and practicable, will be helped when Section 10 of the Education Act 1976 is brought into force, and will receive close attention in the report of the Warnock Committee, due to be published next year.

The needs of travelling children

5.6 Children of travelling parents, such as gypsies, present special problems to the education service. Many authorities are to be commended on the particular measures which they have taken to help this section of the community, for example, the West Midland Group Scheme for Gypsy Education, which makes use of mobile classrooms and operates across authority boundaries. The Secretaries of State hope that progress will be maintained; their Departments and HM Inspectors will assist.

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6.1 Any plans for bringing about improvements in the school curriculum and maintaining or raising standards will depend for their success not only on the availability of the necessary resources but also on the full understanding and support of the teaching profession, the quality of its members and their adaptability to the changing demands made on them. The policies of central and local government must recognise this truth if they are to succeed.

6.2 There are about 459,000 qualified teachers in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools - about 50 per cent more than in 1966. This additional teaching strength has been used, first, to reduce class sizes substantially in the last ten years. In 1966 two-thirds of all primary school classes had more than 30 pupils: by 1976 the proportion had fallen to under half (45 per cent). For secondary schools, the improvement was from 27 per cent in 1966 to 15 per cent in 1976. The staffing standards in terms of pupils per teacher in the schools (which are always lower than average class sizes because heads and other teachers have tasks outside the classroom and some of these are growing, like careers advice, pastoral work and home-school links) have also improved over the period, and are now the lowest ever. Details of the growth of teacher numbers and of the reduction in pupils per teacher in the schools are given in Annex 1.

6.3 Since 1975, the economic restrictions have brought the improvement of staffing standards within the schools to a temporary halt. The Government's expenditure plans provide, however, for sufficient resources to enable staffing standards within the schools to be maintained at their current levels, and additionally for a substantial expansion of in-service training and induction in the period up to 1981. It is the aim of the Secretaries of State to resume improvement of staffing standards within the schools as soon as economic conditions allow.

6.4 The increase in numbers was achieved through a major expansion of training in the 1960s coupled with strenuous efforts to persuade former teachers to return to service. In 1973, the peak year, over 40,000 newly-qualified teachers completed their training. The rapid fall in the school population, combined with much reduced wastage from the profession, has however now led to a planned contraction of the training capacity. When this has been completed, there will be fewer than 20,000 newly qualified teachers each year by the early 1980s.

6.5 Both advantages and disadvantages flow from the new situation of reduced wastage and new recruitment. On the one hand, the recent dramatic improvement in the stability of staffing of some schools in difficult areas has already afforded a very welcome measure of relief. Widespread inexperience is no longer so serious a problem as in the recent past: whereas five years ago the proportion of teachers with less than two years' service was one in five, it is now one in eight, and is likely to fall further. This greater stability is already having a favourable effect on educational standards in the schools.

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6.6 On the other hand, though the normal non-graduate training course is now of three years' duration, about half (150,000) of the non-graduate teachers at present in service were two-year trained; and, as a measure of the movement towards a fully graduate profession, just over one quarter (120,000) of all teachers are graduates. The reduction of recruitment of newly trained teachers limits the rate at which improved initial training arrangements can be effective in improving the qualifications and skills of the teaching force as a whole. This emphasises the importance of measures directed at improving the efficiency of teachers already in service.

6.7 After a period of great and rapid changes in the size and character of the school population, accompanied by continuing reorganisation of the schools system, it would be surprising if there were not some degree of 'mismatch' between the needs of the schools and the capacity of the present teaching force to meet them. Shortages of teachers of particular subjects persist and school curricula have often had to be trimmed to square with the staff available. Whatever remedies may be applied it is clear that, in times of economic stringency, everything cannot be put right at once and priorities will have to be established for both initial and in-service training.

6.8 Apart from the problems of mismatch, there is the question of the quantitative improvement in staffing standards referred to in paragraph 6.3. The impending large-scale decline in the school population means that this objective no longer requires the continued growth of the teacher force. If, for example, this were to remain at its present level, there would be no fewer than 60,000 teachers by the middle of the 1980s available to improve staffing standards. Even if the teacher force were at a level a little below this during the 1980s, a marked improvement would take place year by year in staffing standards. If local authorities and the schools deployed their teachers with this aim in view, there would be hardly any classes of over 30 by the middle 1980s. The plans recently announced for a further contraction of the teacher training capacity to a minimum of 46,000 places of which 36,000 will be available for initial training, should be sufficient, with the recruitment to be expected from other sources, to support a teacher force at any of these levels and so to allow for a continuing improvement in staffing during the next 10 years.

6.9 A coherent approach is needed in which policies for the initial education and training of teachers, induction, in-service training, and other aspects of the deployment and career development of the teachers will combine to provide staffs for the schools better equipped to deal with their present and emergent tasks. The following paragraphs set out the provisional ideas of the Secretary of State for Education and Science (who is responsible for the supply and training of teachers in England and Wales) on these matters. Many of the proposals described will need discussion with the representatives of teachers and local authorities and other interests concerned, and she will seek the advice of the Advisory Committee on the Supply and Training of Teachers (ACSTT).

Initial training

6.10 Major changes have taken place in the size and structure of the system for the initial education and training of teachers, and in the nature and content of courses, in the five years following the James Report ('Teacher Education

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and Training', 1972). Three and four year Bachelor of Education (B Ed) courses have been developed and provision has been made for a proportion of students to follow four year courses. Some educational interests have advocated four year courses for all but lack of resources precludes this development. The new patterns have not yet had time to prove their effectiveness but it will be important to monitor them carefully and to judge what modifications may be needed. The regional conferences have, however, revealed fairly widespread misgivings in relation to the following issues:

(i) whether entrants to the teaching profession have a sufficient command of the English language and are adequately numerate;

(ii) whether teachers have an adequate appreciation of the world outside the education system, particularly the importance of industry and commerce to the national well-being and the problems facing an industrial society like ours in an increasingly competitive world;

(iii) whether existing courses of teacher education give enough attention to the role of teachers in a multicultural society;

(iv) whether existing courses of teacher education furnish students with the essential intellectual mastery of the subjects they will teach;

(v) whether they provide students with sufficient practical guidance to enable them to become effective teachers capable of directing children's work and of ensuring their good discipline;

(vi) whether the Government's policy of a large measure of integration of teacher education with higher education generally is or is not likely to enhance the quality of training and allay the misgivings referred to above.

6.11 The aim of the Secretary of State is that there should be as soon as possible a graduate entry into the teaching profession, that from 1979 or 1980 the entry to the existing Certificate courses should be phased out, except for the shortened courses in particular subject areas for mature entrants with relevant qualifications or experience, and that the normal minimum entrance qualification to B Ed courses should be 2 GCE passes at A level. She proposes also that entrants to such courses should have qualifications at a minimum of O level grade C or CSE grade 1 in English and mathematics or should otherwise satisfy the institution concerned, and its validating body, of numeracy and literacy to the equivalent level.

6.12 The Secretary of State is, however, particularly conscious of the value for the schools of a flow of entrants to teaching who have broad and diverse backgrounds, experience, and interests: she has particularly in mind those who belong to the ethnic minorities or who have had experience of the problems of inner city areas as well as those with a wide variety of industrial or commercial experience. In her consultations with ACSTT on the proposals for phasing out the Certificate courses she has asked in particular for advice on what special measures might be necessary to ensure that these categories of potential teachers have adequate opportunities to qualify themselves for entry to teacher training courses.

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6.13 The Secretary of State shares the misgivings of those who believe that too many entrants to the teaching profession have inadequate experience and understanding of the world outside education, including its multicultural and multiracial aspects, and know too little about the problems of an industrial society. Opportunities provided by the integration of teacher education with other forms of higher education, especially in technology and business studies, will help to give teachers a better acquaintance with, and understanding of, the industrial world. But the Secretary of State is also anxious that, where possible, preference should be given in recruitment to applicants who have had some employment outside the world of education so that the traditional cycle of school/training/school can be broken and that eventually the great majority of teachers will have had at least some personal experience of the world of employment outside education for which most of their pupils are destined.

6.14 Suggestions have been made that the teacher education curriculum should be changed to place greater emphasis on acquainting intending teachers with the national importance of industry and commerce and the challenges which our society as a whole must face. The Secretary of State believes that these aspects should be given greater attention in initial teacher training and that training establishments should make specific provision to cover them. They should be better able to do this effectively if staff involved in training include a reasonable number with first hand experience of these problems.

6.15 The Secretary of State shares the widespread view that teacher education and other higher education should be more closely integrated, both institutionally and in course structures. This policy, together with the phasing out of the Certificate course and the raising of entry standards, should ensure that teachers have a thorough knowledge of their subjects. It is important that sufficient attention should be paid to teaching skills and that in more general-purpose institutions of higher education the special resources needed for professional aspects of training, including practical guidance on the development of classroom' skills, should not be lost.

6.16 The Secretary of State has in mind three proposals which she believes would help to avert this danger and to reinforce the professional aspects of teacher education.

First, she would like to see introduced a policy for much greater exchange of teachers between schools and colleges so that each has a better understanding of the other's role.

Second, she proposes to foster the growth of a network of centres of scholarship and professional expertise within the reorganised teacher training system. She would hope that, over a period, some institutions would come to be recognised as national or regional centres of development and resources in particular fields in relation to initial and in-service training. Thus a centre might be subject-oriented, or it might specialise in development work for particular age ranges of children, as certain colleges already do; other centres might take the lead in recognised problem areas such as remedial

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education, or the teaching of the mentally handicapped. Some might make their special contributions in areas of concern to teachers generally, such as the problems of inner city schools or children suffering deprivation, or education for life in a multicultural society, or the development of careers education. Some would be more directly concerned with professional skills and teaching techniques, others with developments in particular subject fields, but these two elements are complementary and need to be closely related.

Third, the Secretary of State sees a gap in the current arrangements for the development of the content of teacher education and training, in that those who are professionally concerned with these matters at present meet separately under the auspices of the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) and validating universities, in committees established by teachers' associations and the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET). The Secretary of State proposes to discuss with the teachers' and other interested organisations how this gap might best be filled.


6.17 It has long been recognised that newly trained teachers could benefit from more systematic help in overcoming the initial problems encountered during their first year of teaching. In 1971 the James Committee recommended improved arrangements which should include, among other things, release of new teachers from school duties for training for at least one-fifth of their time.

6.18 Pilot schemes for the induction of newly trained teachers were introduced, with special financial assistance from the Government, in the areas of two local education authorities - Liverpool and Northumberland: and several other authorities introduced pilot induction schemes on their own account. The Department of Education and Science through its research budget is financing work by the University of Bristol School of Education which is promoting and co-ordinating the monitoring and evaluation of the pilot schemes; and later in the year the Department through ACSTT will sponsor a conference of those most closely concerned in order to draw together the practical lessons which can be learned.

6.19 The Secretary of State considers that the time is ripe to devise more comprehensive arrangements for supporting teachers in their initial period of service on entering the profession, and for assessing their progress during that period. The general spread of induction schemes within the next few years should provide newly qualified teachers with more systematic support than has normally been the case hitherto. It should be possible for the workload and level of responsibility which new teachers undertake during this period of practical apprenticeship to be reduced and more closely defined, and there should be no necessity for the more difficult teaching tasks to be assigned to them. The Secretary of State also envisages that designated experienced members of staff should be given special responsibility for overseeing their work and progress.

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6.20 The reduction in the rate of recruitment of new teachers should make these developments possible without adding unduly to the burdens of experienced staff; it should also enable a closer watch to be kept on the progress of new teachers (for longer than just the first year of service if necessary), and a higher standard of practical competence to be required for the passing of probation than was feasible during the years of severe teacher shortage. It would be consistent with this approach that the status awarded on successful completion of training should be an interim one, and that the achievement of full status, as a passport to a teaching career, should await the satisfactory completion of probation. The teacher's permanent appointment might also be deferred until that time, his probationary service being undertaken on a separate contract reflecting his interim status and lightened responsibilities.

6.21 Clearly such changes could not be introduced immediately; in the meantime the Secretary of State intends to consult the local-authority and teachers' associations on the best way to embark on a study of measures of this kind intended to improve the level of professional competence among teachers at the early stages of their career.

In-service training

6.22 Normal in-service training, as distinct from the re-training mentioned in paragraph 6.32, is that which every teacher will expect to benefit from throughout his or her career, in order to keep abreast of the subject, to extend and refine teaching techniques, to accommodate to new patterns of school organisation, or to prepare for new responsibilities.

6.23 The fall in the number of births and in wastage from the teaching profession means a declining inflow of newly qualified teachers to schools, so that there is both opportunity and greater need for in-service training. At the same time the shift in school population from primary to secondary will require changes in the patterns of employment of many teachers if widespread redundancies are to be avoided. This will be followed by a contrary shift if the birth rate recovers.

6.24 Already local authorities through professional centres and their advisory services, subject and teachers' associations, colleges and universities - especially the Open University - provide a wide range of courses, workshops and conferences which enable many teachers, often in their spare time and at considerable personal sacrifice, to improve their qualifications. But provision varies widely from area to area and in some authorities is quite inadequate: moreover there is recent evidence to suggest that existing provision has been reduced. Release for full-time training has in particular suffered in recent years and has been only partially replaced by equivalent part-time courses.

6.25 The Government's expenditure plans (Cmnd 6721) envisage increasing financial provision for in-service training. The expenditure plans, which are of course subject to annual review, assume that the number of teachers released for in-service education and induction training will rise from the full-time equivalent of 4,500 in 1977 to the full-time equivalent of 18,500 in 1981.

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6.26 The Secretary of State's plans for the reorganisation of teacher education make provision for resources equivalent to 10,000 full-time places in polytechnics and colleges to be available in support of in-service training of all kinds, which could include not only longer full-time and part-time courses but also consultancy services, related for example to school-based training, and co-operation in the work of teachers' centres. In addition, university provision amounts to perhaps 3,000 full-time equivalent places. The provision of resources on this scale is a necessary but not in itself a sufficient guarantee that programmes will develop to the scale the Government would wish to see.

6.27 Because of their direct responsibility for the quality of education in their schools and for the complicated administrative and logistic arrangements which an expansion on this scale will require, local education authorities will have the major responsibility for developing programmes of in-service education and training. The Government believe that, to ensure the fullest co-operation of teachers and training institutions, each authority should establish advisory machinery on which both should be fully represented, to help develop its plans. Many authorities have already done so.

6.28 While the greater part of in-service training will be developed on a local authority basis, provision of longer, more advanced and more specialist courses will need to be organised at sub-regional or regional and sometimes national level. The Government regret that their earlier proposals for regional committees were not acceptable and will put forward fresh proposals on this matter when the Working Group on the Management of Higher Education has reported.

6.29 Programmes of in-service education and training will need to reflect the special needs and problems of the area concerned. The Secretary of State believes, however, that overall there are certain priorities which need to be borne in mind, in addition to the re-training courses referred to in paragraph 6.32 below. These include:

(i) provision for in-service training (and induction programmes) in relation to the special problems of multiracial schools, immigrant communities and schools in deprived inner urban areas;

(ii) the development of language skills and mathematical skills at all levels but with particular attention to the primary stages;

(iii) improvement of professional competence to recognise pupils' handicaps of various kinds and to counter them as far as possible; mainly therefore, but not exclusively, in the field of remedial education at both primary and secondary stages;

(iv) the continuing need for the training of senior teachers, especially heads of departments and head teachers, for the complex tasks of school organisation and management, including the design and planning of the curriculum, to help them make the most effective use of all available resources, not least the talents of the school staff itself, in providing for the diverse needs of their pupils.

6.30 The Secretary of State believes that, while courses involving substantial periods of full-time release are required to meet particular needs, full benefit

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will only be secured if in-service training is focused on the specific objectives and problems of individual schools and is therefore to that extent school-based.

6.31 The Government are making arrangements to channel funds through the Manpower Services Commission for the first year of retraining and, indeed, initial training of teachers of certain shortage subjects listed in paragraph 6.32. In the longer term, in-service training might be considered appropriate for specific grants' if the scope of such grants were to be widened. The Government have indicated in their Green Paper on local government finance (Cmnd 6813) that they will discuss with the local authority associations any proposals for an extension of specific grants.

Making the best use of our teachers

6.32 During a period of declining pupil numbers, the need to match the changing requirements of the service should be understood and accepted by both teachers and employing authorities. Re-training, as distinct from initial and from normal in-service training, may be necessary, for example to enable teachers with suitable potential to fill vacancies in shortage-subject areas. It should include:

(i) meeting the need for specialist teachers in the physical sciences, mathematics, craft, design and technology, which are particularly relevant to the country's industrial needs and where there have been persistent shortages of adequately qualified teachers for many years;

(ii) re-training teachers to work with children of different ages, to take account of the changes in age structure of the school population;

(iii) the further training of suitable candidates with experience in ordinary schools for teaching the handicapped.

6.33 Employing authorities will need to develop more systematic approaches to the recruitment, career development, training and deployment of their teacher force. For these purposes, they may well need to improve their available stock of information about their teachers. For example, if schemes for the training and re-training of teachers in shortage subjects are to prosper, there must be, as far as circumstances allow, an assurance of employment for those who successfully complete their training. Local authorities will accordingly need to forecast their requirements by subjects, at different levels of qualification, with some reliability. Again local authorities will need to study the age distribution of their teachers in relation to particular subjects they are competent to teach; this may reveal an impending crisis, for example, if the majority of teaching staff available for a particular subject are nearing retirement age. The Government in response to an initiative by ACSTT are instituting a 10 per cent sample survey this autumn of the qualifications and present duties of secondary school teachers. A number of individual authorities have already decided to extend this in their own areas into a complete census of their secondary teachers. One of the issues for particular consideration is the amount of time spent by senior and experienced teachers in administrative or pastoral duties. The Secretary of State believes that these teachers should devote as much of their time as possible to teaching.

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6.34 The character and quality of the head teacher are by far the main influences in determining what a school sets out to do and the extent to which it achieves those aims, as HM Inspectorate's recent report on 'Ten Good Schools' illustrated. It is thus not surprising that the regional conferences emphasised the importance of such appointments. Authorities will wish to consider whether their present arrangements are securing the best possible appointments, and also whether they are doing enough by way of training to foster the qualities of leadership and management that a headship requires, both amongst aspirants, in order to improve the supply of good candidates, and upon appointment and at intervals thereafter.

6.35 In some areas school rolls are already falling sharply and reductions in teaching complements are proving necessary. This process is likely to continue and become more widespread, even if it should become possible to allow some improvements in staffing standards. Local education authorities are expected to do all they can to make other posts available for teachers who are no longer required at their present schools, and in suitable cases to offer them opportunities for re-training. But there can be no guarantee that these efforts will always succeed in avoiding redundancies. The Government are glad to note that procedures for use in that situation have been agreed between the local-authority and teachers' associations, and commended to individual authorities. Authorities will only be able to take full advantage of the availability of well qualified teachers of shortage subjects to the extent that less suitably qualified teachers already in post can be redeployed or retired.

6.36 The overwhelming majority of teachers give devoted and efficient service throughout their careers. But there remains the problem of those teachers at all levels whose performance clearly falls below any acceptable level of efficiency, another of the topics on which concern was expressed at the regional conferences. In a period when more well-qualified applicants are likely to be available than the schools can recruit, all those concerned need to deal with this problem. Some teachers may prove early in their careers to have made a mistaken choice of profession: others with the potential for efficient service may have got off to a bad start, or may never have received the help and guidance needed to establish their competence. Others, again, after an honourable period of service may find it difficult to come to terms with changing circumstances, or may have become exhausted by the demands of the work. In none of these respects is the teaching profession unique; much the same could be said of other professions.

6.37 Just as the causes for shortcomings in performance are many and varied, so are the possible remedies. Some teachers may decide in their own interests to seek other careers; occasionally it may be possible to arrange a transfer to some other post within the authority's service which is better suited to the teacher's capabilities. In other cases special help from within the school's own resources, supplemented by those of the authority, may be the right answer. So may a systematic period of further training. In all these matters an authority which readily offers full consultation should be able to count on the help and sympathetic understanding of the teachers' associations, concerned as they must be not only to protect their individual members' interests, but also to promote the standing of the profession and the quality of the education service.

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6.38 Nowhere is this partnership more necessary than in the framing of the procedures for handling the difficult residue of cases where no effective remedy presents itself, and where the interests of the schools would best be served by dispensing with the services of the teacher concerned. Here, above all, local authorities face the difficult task of striking a proper balance between their duty to provide effective education for the children in their area, and their responsibilities as good employers for the welfare and career prospects of their staff. The establishment of standard procedures for the assessment of teachers' performance, for advice and, where necessary, warning to teachers whose performance is consistently unsatisfactory, and for all the other steps required by employment protection legislation, or judged necessary as part of a fair procedure for considering dismissal of staff, are matters which unquestionably call for the most extensive consultation with the teachers' associations. Once these procedures have been satisfactorily established, and when the distasteful necessity arises for them to be invoked in a particular instance, the teachers' associations, while immediately concerned to assist any of their members in the conduct of his or her case, could reasonably be expected to take account of the broader interests of the education service in forming their view of the authority's action.

6.39 With the agreement of the local-authority and teachers' associations, regulations are now in preparation under the Superannuation Act 1972 intended to facilitate the early retirement of teachers aged 50 or over on redundancy, or where this would be in the interests of the education service. The regulations will provide that where retirements in these circumstances take place, pensions will become payable as soon as those concerned leave teaching, and employing authorities will be empowered to enhance their accrued superannuation benefits at their discretion within prescribed limits.

6.40 Other aspects of teachers' conditions of service may need to be reviewed through the normal processes of negotiation between the local-authority and teachers' associations in order to promote the more flexible and effective deployment of teachers, in the interests of the schools and their pupils. The Secretary of State will stand ready to consider any changes identified in the course of such reviews as requiring action on her part, providing they serve those aims.

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7.1 In his Ruskin speech the Prime Minister gave special emphasis to the contribution that education has to make to the nation's industrial and commercial well-being. His concern about the relevance of present-day education to the needs of industry and commerce was reflected in many of the comments about this aspect of schools education at the regional conferences. It was said that the school system is geared to promote the importance of academic learning and careers with the result that pupils, especially the more able, are prejudiced against work in productive industry and trade; that teachers lack experience, knowledge and understanding of trade and industry; that curricula are not related to the realities of most pupils' work after leaving school; and that pupils leave school with little or no understanding of the workings, or importance, of the wealth-producing sector of our economy.

7.2 But there were many equally-strongly expressed criticisms directed at industry: for instance that employers often lay down unrealistic standards of attainment for school leavers well beyond what the job requires; that they have not made allowances for the fact that they are selecting from a group of school leavers which is more highly creamed by higher and further education than it would have been two decades ago. And overlying these specific comments was the frequently-expressed view that if certain occupations are perceived by young people as unattractive, it is unreasonable to expect teachers alone to remove the antipathy. If more able young people are to be persuaded to make their careers in industry and commerce the remedy lies with the companies and firms and only to a minor degree with the schools.

7.3 Manifestly there is a lack of understanding and communication. But the picture is not altogether gloomy; there was encouraging evidence at the regional conferences that some education authorities were already pioneering admirable schemes, including opportunities for visits between industry and schools and working parties to discuss common difficulties, for example in mathematics. And on a national scale there are some encouraging activities: the Schools Council Industry Project, and the Understanding British Industry project of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Some of the proposals put forward earlier in the sections on curriculum and teacher training will make a contribution here too.

7.4 But the key to better understanding lies above all with local initiative. There is no lack of possibilities. For example:

(i) People with experience in management and trades unions can be appointed as governors of schools.

(ii) Industry and commerce should be involved in the curriculum planning processes at national and local level, to ensure that their points of view are taken into account.

(iii) Employers and trades unions, through their first hand experience of industry and commerce, can make significant contributions to careers education and to improving understanding of productive industry by offering opportunities for work experience and work observation. Every effort should be made to make full use of such activities and relate them properly to school programmes.

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(iv) Employers can offer serving and potential teachers opportunities to gain experience of working in industry. They can also foster direct contacts between their own staffs and teachers in local schools, and those in education should encourage employers to participate in this way.

(v) These contacts should be planned in particular to widen the career horizons of women. A much wider range and variety of job opportunities is now available to women.

(vi) For pupils continuing their education, liaison between schools and universities and polytechnics can help to develop subject interest and open possibilities for further study. This is especially relevant to engineering which, while it is not generally taught in schools, is of obvious industrial and national importance. Manufacturing industry recruits some 80 per cent of its graduates from amongst engineering, science and technology graduates, and there has been a shortage of the most able school-leavers applying to take such courses, particularly engineering.

(vii) Close liaison between schools and colleges of further education is valuable, especially for pupils in their final statutory year in school. Before leaving school every young man and woman should have the opportunity to visit the local further education college to see the range of opportunities it offers and, wherever possible, should receive information about courses available.

(viii) Pupils should have the opportunity, where appropriate, of taking part in linked courses. The Government are encouraged by the development of co-operative efforts of this kind by national and regional bodies.

7.5 Young people need to reach maturity with a basic understanding of the economy and the activities, especially manufacturing industry, which are necessary for the creation of Britain's national wealth. It is an important task of secondary schools to develop this understanding, and opportunities for its development should be offered to pupils of all abilities. These opportunities are needed not only by young people who may have careers in industry later but perhaps even more by those who may work elsewhere, so that the role of industry becomes soundly appreciated by society in general.

7.6 It is for local education authorities, schools and industry to get together and decide which proposals best suit them: this is an area where no amount of central direction can take the place of local initiatives.

Careers guidance

7.7 The Careers Advisory Service has a major contribution to make to the initiatives described in the preceding paragraphs: this service is now provided in all areas by local education authorities, subject to guidance by the Department of Employment and, in Wales, the Welsh Office. Careers officers provide vocational guidance and placement services for pupils in their last years at school. These officers should have a detailed knowledge of occupations and

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jobs and training opportunities obtained through close links with employers in the area. Besides dealing with individual pupils, careers officers provide liaison between the schools and industry, advising employers on recruitment, training and induction problems, helping schools to plan and implement their programmes of careers education, and arranging careers conventions and other occasions which help to bring the schools and employers into direct touch. The Government have already taken action to strengthen the careers service as part of their policy on 'Young People and Work'.

7.8 The effectiveness of the vocational guidance offered by the careers service and by the schools themselves must rely very largely on the foundation which is laid by school programmes of careers education. Although most secondary schools have designated one or more careers teachers and although work of quality is undertaken, the time and attention allocated to this subject as part of the curriculum vary widely. Many schools will need to give greater priority in the curriculum to careers education for all pupils from not later than the age of 13, as recommended in the Department of Education and Science's Education Survey 18, 'Careers Education in Secondary Schools'.

7.9 The status of careers teachers within schools should reflect the crucial importance of their work. Long before the question of which job to take has to be decided, there are important decisions to be taken on, for example, subject options, which will effectively determine which career doors remain open. In order to make such choices, young people and their parents need systematic help and advice from teachers and careers officers.

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Links with the community

8.1 There is an increasing emphasis on the need for schools to become open to the community. Parents, industry and commerce should be aware of what the education system and individual schools are trying to achieve. Likewise within schools there should be a greater awareness of the community at large; the needs of the nation as a whole; the working of a modern industrial society; and the role of the individual participating in a democracy.

8.2 The chief emphasis remains, as in the past, on openness to those most intimately associated with schools and their interests, such as parents and other relatives. Many schools have made substantial and successful efforts to involve all members of the community in their activities and to make school facilities available to them. 'Community schools' in some areas offer services to the entire community. Falling school populations will provide new opportunities for wider community use of existing school buildings. Some schools offer opportunities for adult education outside normal school hours, and organise extensive community service by school pupils. Facilities may be made available to youth clubs, centres for elderly people and nursery groups. Community involvement of this kind creates problems as well as opportunities for staff and pupils, and requires a high degree of dedication and sheer hard work. Nevertheless wherever such community involvement takes place those concerned are enthusiastic about its benefits. The Education Departments have long sought to encourage community involvement and the concept of community schools. They promote in conjunction with local education authorities design and building experiments intended to foster such activity.

8.3. As soon as pupils achieve a degree of independence and a capacity to make decisions of their own about their behaviour, they influence, for better or worse, the lives of others. In spite of the community involvement described in the previous paragraph, which has helped many young people to understand the contribution they can make to the wider community, some schools have become associated in the public mind with truancy and vandalism. It is not the intention to attempt an analysis here of this issue - let alone to apportion blame; but a minority of schools undoubtedly have problems of this kind which require serious attention and sustained action. As part of their educational responsibilities to the children in their care, and in their own interests, schools and teachers must continue to strive for high standards in behaviour as well as in learning. They will need the support of parents and local education authorities.

8.4 The entire experience at school contributes to preparation for responsible adult life. One of the great potential gains from extended education is increased breadth, balance, and independence of outlook. Education for good health and happy personal relationships begins in the home, but throughout their childhood and adolescence young people will be greatly influenced by teaching and example at school. Attitudes towards sex, parenthood, smoking, drink

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and exercise, for example, will be set in these years; and schools should co-operate with parents in preparing young people for adult human relationships.


8.5 The group most deeply involved with the school must always be the parents.

8.6 It emerged clearly from the regional conferences that parents are asking for much more information about what is happening in schools. This wish can be met by increasing the access to parents at times convenient to them already offered by many schools. More comprehensive and comprehensible school reports would also help. Existing reports, on an annual or termly basis, vary greatly in the amount of information they give. Parents - and the pupils themselves - have a right to know how well the pupils are doing in different parts of their school work, and to have information on their conduct, attendance, and application. Parents for their part should have the opportunity to comment on how their children are developing and to make any observations they wish about the school. Schools should satisfy themselves that individual parents are aware of the progress made by children and any difficulties they may have and should welcome response to the information which has been supplied to parents. If leaving certificates for all pupils are introduced (see paragraph 3.12), it goes without saying that parents should see them.

8.7 There is also a place in the system for parents collectively. Parent-teacher associations and parents' associations have greatly helped many schools, through assistance with careers education and co-operation with extra-curricular activities, as well as in such basic matters as fund-raising. The report of the Taylor Committee will cover relationships between parents and individual schools.

8.8 Local education authorities should therefore review present arrangements in their schools, spread good practice within their area to all their schools and consider further improvements on the basis of good practice elsewhere. As part of this process the Secretaries of State will issue to local authorities later this year a circular describing the kind of information about schools that they consider should normally be given to parents. This will include details of size, admission arrangements, the range of courses available, which public examinations are taken, pastoral care arrangements and similar matters. Representatives of local authorities, teachers and parents have already been asked for comments on the draft of a circular.

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9.1 The studies and discussions of the past year have been, in part at least, a response to anxieties about the performance of our education system. Some of these anxieties arise from misleading or even distorted reports about what is going on in the schools. In this paper, the opportunity has been taken to put the record straight, and to impress upon the world at large that some accusations of failure are unwarranted. There are many major gains to the credit of our schools. Some genuine anxieties should be directed elsewhere than at the schools; they have been made scapegoats for other pressures and forces working in society. But some anxieties are justified and this paper makes proposals for dealing with them.

9.2 It is right that the Government should give a lead in making these proposals. But because of the way education is organised a major part in carrying them out will fall to others, particularly the local education authorities and the teachers with whom continued discussions will be needed, and are planned. In the short term it is not possible to consider remedies which require additional resources, but the Government's expenditure plans already allow for many of the developments discussed in this Green Paper and others could be achieved with the use of existing resources.

9.3 Each child's education is a unique experience. We, the partners in the education service, owe it to our children to provide them with the best education our means allow.

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10.1 During the past ten years major changes of organisation and practice have taken place in our schools. Primary schools have adopted approaches to early education reflecting a better understanding of children's growth and development; a fundamental reorganisation of secondary schools is largely complete - more than three-quarters of secondary pupils are now in comprehensive schools. The Secretaries of State believe that the process of comprehensive reorganisation must be completed in order that secondary education, as discussed in this Green Paper, shall be equally available to children over the full range of ability. Local education authorities, teachers and the churches have together striven to make these changes: much has been accomplished. Now we must look for a period of stability in organisation and improvement in educational standards. This is the common thread running through the proposals that follow.

10.2 The education system in England and Wales depends on a partnership between the Education Departments, the local education authorities and the teachers (paragraphs 1.14-1.15).

10.3 It is an essential ingredient of this partnership that schools should be accountable for their performance: accountable to the local education authority - and those who elect it - as part of the public system of education; accountable through the school governors and managers to the local community that they serve. The Taylor Committee were required to examine the relationship between school governors and the local community as part of their study of school government. The Secretaries of State look forward to widespread discussion of the Committee's report which is to be published later this year (paragraphs 1.14-1.15) .

10.4 Special help must be given to children who are disadvantaged by social, environmental or other handicaps. This may require positive discrimination in the use of resources, as in the recently announced policy for the inner cities (paragraph 1.13).


10.5 The design and management of the school curriculum play a central part in determining what is achieved by our schools. Much enlightened and intelligent development has taken place, but existing practice needs to be reviewed as a preliminary to defining a new framework.

10.6 The Secretaries of State propose a review of curricular arrangements, to be carried out by local education authorities in their own areas in consultation with their teachers. This review will precede consultations on the nature of any advice which might be issued to local education authorities on curricular matters (paragraphs 2.19-2.22).

10.7 They will in the light of the review seek to establish a broad agreement with their partners in the education service on a framework for the curriculum,

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and on whether part of the curriculum should be protected because there are aims common to all schools and pupils at certain stages. These aims must include the achievement of basic literacy and numeracy at the primary stage (paragraphs 2.3, 2.19).

10.8 As an element of this review the Secretaries of State propose that local education authorities should examine and report on their existing practices in relation to records of pupils' progress (paragraph 3.20).

10.9 In addition to their responsibility for the academic curriculum, schools must prepare their pupils for the transition to adult and working life. Young people need to be equipped with a basic understanding of the functioning of our democratic political system, of the mixed economy and the industrial activities, especially manufacturing, which create our national wealth (paragraphs 2.14-2.16, 7.4, 8.1).

10.10 The traditional division of labour between men and women is rapidly breaking down. The curriculum should reflect this by educating boys and girls according to their needs and capacities as individuals and not according to sexual stereotypes. Care must be taken to see that girls do not, by subject choice, limit their career opportunities. Both sexes should learn how to cope with domestic tasks and with parenthood (paragraphs 1.10, 2.17, 8.4).

10.11 Our society is a multicultural, multiracial one, and the curriculum should reflect a sympathetic understanding of the different cultures and races that now make up our society. We also live in a complex, interdependent world, and many of our problems in Britain require international solutions. The curriculum should therefore reflect our need to know about and understand other countries (paragraphs 1.10-1.12).

10.12 In Wales local education authorities should formulate clear policies for Welsh language in their schools. The curriculum review proposals in this paper should cover this aspect in Wales (paragraph 2.28).

10.13 The Secretary of State for Wales is considering requests from several bodies for specific grants to be made towards the cost of bilingual education (paragraph 2.29).

10.14 Nursery education should be more closely co-ordinated with other provision for the under-fives, especially where children suffer from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Department of Education and Science and the Department of Health and Social Security hope shortly to issue a joint circular on this matter (paragraph 2.31).

Standards and Assessment

10.15 There must be a coherent and soundly-based means of assessment for individual pupils, for schools and for the educational system as a whole.

10.16 The professional competence and knowledge of teachers are of prime importance in assessing individual pupils. The Education Departments will encourage the development of diagnostic tests to help them in this task and it

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is hoped they will be widely used by schools and authorities; greater consistency of practice can only be beneficial (paragraph 3.9).

10.17 Local education authorities need to be able to assess the relative performance of individual schools taking account of examination and test results, reports by inspectors and advisers, and self-assessment by the schools. But 'league tables' based on examination or standardised test results in isolation can be seriously misleading (paragraph 3.7).

10.18 Tests suitable for the monitoring of pupils' performance on a broader base by local education authorities are likely to come out of the work of the Assessment of Performance Unit (APU). Here again there will be advantage in greater consistency. The APU is concentrating at present on the development of tests suitable for national monitoring in English language, mathematics and science. It will embark on a programme of national assessment of the school system in 1978 (paragraphs 3.6, 3.10).

10.19 Local experiments in the provision of leaving certificates for pupils will be kept under review. The Secretaries of State will consider the possibility of commissioning a national study (paragraph 3.13).

10.20 The Secretaries of State are studying the Schools Council's proposals for changes in the examinations normally taken at 16+. The Secretaries of State will discuss with the Schools Council the possibility of fitting exploratory work on a 'grouped certificate' into their current programme. There is no intention of abandoning single-subject examining (paragraphs 3.14-3.18).

10.21 The Secretaries of State reject the idea that rigid and uniform national tests should be applied to all children at certain ages (paragraph 3.11).

Transition between schools

10.22 Substantial problems can occur at the point of transition between primary and secondary schools and when families move from one area to another. The difficulties can be reduced by:

(a) regular contacts between the teachers concerned;
(b) co-ordination of primary and secondary school curricula and of assessment procedures;
(c) good record-keeping practices.
This whole problem needs the urgent attention of local education authorities (paragraphs 4.1-4.2, 3.8, 3.19).

Special needs of minority groups

10.23 An enquiry into education policy towards ethnic minorities is under consideration. Interested organisations are being invited to give their views on statistical monitoring as a basis for positive policies towards equalising opportunities and on encouraging young people from the ethnic minority groups to enter teaching (paragraph 5.2).

10.24 The Warnock Committee will give close attention to the question of integrating handicapped children into ordinary schools (paragraph 5.5).

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10.25 It is upon the supply of good teachers in adequate numbers that the strength of the education system must rest. There is no hope of implementing successfully the proposals in this paper without the full understanding and support of the teaching profession. The key to the quality of the profession lies in standards of recruitment, in training and in career development: it is upon these aspects that this section therefore concentrates.

10.26 It remains the intention of the Secretaries of State to secure further improvements in school staffing standards as soon as economic conditions allow (paragraph 6.8).

10.27 The aim of the Secretary of State is that there should be as soon as possible a graduate entry into the teaching profession; the existing Certificate courses should be phased out and the normal minimum entrance qualification for B Ed courses should be 2 A levels. Entrants to such courses should also have qualifications at a minimum of GCE O level grade C or CSE grade 1 in English and mathematics or should otherwise satisfy the institution concerned and its validating body of numeracy and literacy to the equivalent level (paragraph 6.11).

10.28 The Secretary of State believes that wherever possible preference should be given to applicants for teacher education courses who have had some employment outside the world of education. She has particularly in mind mature students and those who belong to the ethnic minorities. She is consulting the Advisory Committee on the Supply and Training of Teachers (ACSTT) on what special measures might be necessary to ensure that these categories of potential teachers have adequate opportunities to qualify themselves for entry to teacher-training courses (paragraphs 6.12-6.13).

10.29 The Secretary of State considers that more attention should be given in initial teacher training to the national importance of industry and commerce, to helping them in their responsibility for conveying this to their pupils, to the need for children to be taught about participating in a democratic society, and to preparation for teaching in a multiracial society (paragraphs 6.13-6.14).

10.30 To reinforce the professional aspects of teacher education, the Secretary of State:

(a) would like to see many more exchanges of teachers between schools and colleges;
(b) proposes to foster the growth of a network of centres of scholarship and professional expertise within the teacher training system (paragraph 6.16).
10.31 The Secretary of State intends to consult the local authority and teachers' associations on measures to improve induction training, and hence the professional competence of teachers at the early stages of their career (paragraph 6.21).

10.32 The Government's expenditure plans, which are of course subject to annual review, envisage increasing financial provision for in-service training.

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They assume an increase in the number of full-time equivalent teachers released for in-service and induction training from 4,500 in 1977 to 18,500 in 1981 (paragraph 6.25).

10.33 The Secretary of State considers that each local education authority should establish advisory machinery to develop programmes of in-service education and training for teachers. She will herself put forward any proposals for regional or national level organisation of courses when the Working Group on the Management of Higher Education has reported (paragraphs 6.27, 6.28).

10.34 In the longer term, in-service training is an activity which might be considered appropriate for specific grants if the scope of such grants were to be widened (paragraph 6.31).

10.35 After consultation with ACSTT, the Government are instituting a 10 per cent sample survey this autumn of secondary school teachers, which will indicate among other things how their time is divided between teaching and other duties (paragraph 6.33).

10.36 The Secretary of State believes that senior and experienced teachers should devote as much time as possible to teaching (paragraph 6.33).

10.37 Local education authorities should develop more systematic approaches to the recruitment, career development, training and deployment of their teachers; and should consider whether their present arrangements are such as to secure the best appointments to headships (paragraphs 6.33-6.34).

10.38 Regulations now in preparation under the Superannuation Act 1972 are intended to facilitate the early retirement of teachers aged 50 or over on redundancy, or where this would be in the interests of the education service. Other aspects of teachers' conditions of service may need to be reviewed in order to promote the more flexible and effective deployment of teachers in the interests of the schools and their pupils: the impact of falling school rolls will add weight to the study of these problems (paragraphs 6.39, 6.40).

School and working life

10.39 Local education authorities, schools and industry must work much more closely together. There are already some admirable schemes - national and local - in operation, but more needs to be done and it is clear that great scope for improvement exists, particularly for local initiatives.

10.40 Consideration should be given to the appointment of people with experience in management and trades unions as governors of schools. Schools and firms should establish links at local level (paragraph 7.4).

10.41 Industry, the trades unions and commerce should he involved in curriculum planning processes (paragraph 7.4).

10.42 Full use should be made of the contribution industry and the trades unions can make to careers education and improved understanding of productive industry. Work experience and work observation, properly related to school programmes, have a valuable part to play (paragraph 7.4).

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10.43 Close liaison between schools and higher and further education establishments is valuable. Where appropriate pupils should have the opportunity of taking part in linked courses. All school pupils should have the opportunity to visit the local further education college, and should be given information before leaving school about courses available there (paragraph 7.4).

10.44 Careers education and the Careers Advisory Service have important contributions to make to improving arrangements for the transition from school to work. Schools may need to adjust their priorities to make room in the curriculum for careers education for all pupils from not later than the age of 13 (paragraphs 7.7-7.8).

Schools and the community

10.45 There is an increasing emphasis on the need for schools to become open to the community. Parents, industry and commerce should be aware of what the education system and individual schools are trying to achieve. Many schools have made successful efforts to involve the local community in their activities, and to make school facilities, including buildings and playing fields, available for community use. Local education authorities should seek to spread good practice to all their schools (paragraphs 8.1-8.2, 8.8).

10.46 The report of the Taylor Committee on school government will cover relationships between parents and individual schools (paragraph 8.8).

10.47 A Circular will be published later this year setting out the information that should be available to all parents about schools. Schools should encourage parental involvement, including encouraging parents' comments on the schools their children attend (paragraph 8.8).

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FIGURE 1.1 The number of pupils.
FIGURE 1.2 The number of teachers.
TABLE 1.1 The number of pupils per teacher.

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Fig. 1.1 Number of Pupils in Maintained Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools in England and Wales

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Fig. 1.2 Full-Time Teachers in Maintained Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools Schools in England and Wales

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Pupils per Teacher in Maintained Primary and Secondary Schools in England and Wales at January.


Part-time pupils are counted as half.
Teachers on secondment from the school are excluded as are unqualified teachers from 1971. Part-time teachers are included in terms of full-time equivalent.
The 1977 figures are provisional.

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TABLE 2.1 Education Expenditure 1965/66, 1975/76, 1977/78.
FIGURE 2.1 Distribution of Education Expenditure 1965/66, 1975/76, 1977/78.

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Total Recurrent + Capital3,8436,2236,074

of which

Post School:
    Universities (GB)425712705
    Further Education including teacher training5469651,017

    Primary and nursery schools8091,3381,380
    Secondary schools9641,5501,593
    Other Schools171348366

Other expenditure:
    School Meals and Milk207366332
    Administration and Research135240245
    Youth Service336162

of which
Post School:
    Universities (GB)17611166
    Further Education including teacher training868456
Youth Service141015

(1) Derived from Statistics of Education, Volume 5, 1972. Table 2, and from Appropriation Accounts, and repriced.
(2) Estimated out-turn, repriced (see 'The Government's Expenditure Plans - Volume II' (Cmnd 6721-II, February 1977).
(3) Forecast.

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Fig 2.1 Distribution of Education Expenditure in England and Wales
[at constant (1976 survey) prices]

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The Terms of reference of the Assessment of Performance Unit (APU).

The terms of reference of the APU are:

To promote the development of methods of assessing and monitoring the achievement of children at school, and to seek to identify the incidence of under-achievement.

The tasks laid down are:

1. To identify and appraise existing instruments and methods of assessment which may be relevant for these purposes.

2. To sponsor the creation of new instruments and techniques for assessment, having due regard to statistical and sampling methods.

3. To promote the conduct of assessments in co-operation with local education authorities and teachers.

4. To identify significant differences of achievement related to the circumstances in which children learn, including the incidence of under-achievement, and to make the findings available to those concerned with resource allocation within the Department, local education authorities and schools.