Warwick (1994)

1994 Warwick Evaluation (text)

The Warwick Evaluation (1994)
Evaluation of the Implementation of English in the National Curriculum at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 (1991-1993)

London: School Curriculum and Assessment Authority 1994
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

Background notes

Historical context

The English component of the National Curriculum was introduced in schools in the autumn term 1990. There were clearly concerns about it right from the start, because the following summer the National Curriculum Council (NCC) commissioned the University of Warwick to undertake an evaluation of the English curriculum. Work began in September 1991.

To complicate matters, a year later the NCC advised the Secretary of State that the English Order needed revising. The Secretary of State asked the NCC to conduct a review, and this was completed in March 1993. The Warwick project team therefore had to conduct their evaluation against this changing background.

The project team, led by Professor Bridie Raban, Urszula Clark and Joanna McIntyre, published their interim report in 1992. Their final report - the 'Warwick Evaluation' - was completed in August 1993 and published in 1994 by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA), which replaced the NCC in 1993.

Other reports on the teaching of English include:

Newbolt (1921) The Teaching of English in England;
Bullock (1975) A language for life;
Kingman (1988) The Teaching of English Language;
Cox (1989) English for ages 5 to 16; and
Ofsted (2012) Moving English forward.

Summary of the report's main recommendations

The report made the following recommendations (pages 126-7):

  • practical guidance should be made available on various elements of the English Order;
  • there should be clearer guidance and support for primary teachers in identifying and preparing schemes of work which adequately cater for progression and differentiation as well as coverage of content;
  • there should be clearer guidance on the distinction between teaching English in the context of other subjects and using English as a medium of teaching and learning for all subjects;
  • more consideration needs to be given to the way time is made available and used for teaching the early stages of learning to read at both Key Stages 1 and 2;
  • the influence of SATs on the teaching of English should be carefully monitored;
  • teachers need clear explanations of the terms 'More Advanced Reading Skills', and 'Knowledge about Language'; and
  • the pace of change needs to be slowed down, allowing time for a period of stability during which teachers can make professional decisions about the best ways of planning and teaching English in the National Curriculum.

The report online

The complete report, including the appendices, is presented in a single web page. I have corrected a handful of typing errors.

The report contains some fairly idiosyncratic (and inconsistent) use of capitalisation. It is shown here as printed.

I have numbered the preliminary pages - in the printed version they were unnumbered.

Most of the tables are shown as images.

The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 25 May 2013.