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Education: Reform

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL4113, tabled on 16 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to create an apolitical organisation to lead an independent consultation on reforming the education (1) curriculum, and (2) assessment, models.

Answered on

30 November 2021

There are no plans to change the curriculum framework for England. All maintained schools and academies are expected to offer a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development, and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

The department reformed GCSEs and A levels from 2011 to be in line with the highest performing education systems. We consulted widely with schools, colleges, universities and employers, both on the principles for reform and the detail of the content of individual subjects, to help them prepare for their introduction.

At GCSE, the department wanted to make sure that young people had access to qualifications that set expectations that match those in the highest performing countries. At A level, the department wanted the qualifications to be robust and rigorous and keep pace with universities’ and employers’ demands. There are no plans for further wholesale reform of GCSEs and A levels.

Primary assessment policy is the responsibility of the Standards and Testing Agency (STA), an executive agency of the Department for Education. Neither STA nor the department have any plans to establish an organisation to consult on assessment reform.