Curriculum, Qualifications and Assessment
NASUWT members continue to identify excessive planning as a significant contributor to excessive workload and bureaucracy in schools. The NASUWT's model planning polices are available below. You can also find there a streamlined lesson planning sheet used in a secondary school that was recently evaluated as outstanding by Ofsted.
Curriculum in the UK
England, Wales and Northern Ireland
By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must receive a full-time education. The National Curriculum was introduced fully by 1992 and state schools are required to adhere to it until students reach age 16. However, independent schools and, in England, academies are not required to do so.
The Coalition Government has embarked on an extensive review of the National Curriculum. Resources setting out the Union's position on this emerging agenda are available on this page. The NASUWT will ensure that members are kept fully up to date on the Review as it progresses and on its potential implications for members.
Scotland has its own qualification framework that is separate from that in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. After seven years of primary education and four years of compulsory secondary education, students aged 15 to 16 may take the Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE). The Scottish Certificate of Education is recognized throughout Britain as the equivalent to GCE A-levels and is usually the entry qualification for university.
The Scottish curriculum is currently going through a national review called A Curriculum for Excellence with the aim of developing a streamlined curriculum for 3-18-year-olds and implementing new approaches to assessment.
Assessment, use of performance data and target setting
The NASUWT has produced detailed advice and guidance for teachers on the use of pupil performance data in schools and the setting of targets for teachers.
Following discussions with the Welsh Government over the administration and the marking of the literacy and numeracy tests that will be undertaken by learners from year two through to year nine in May, the NASUWT/NUT offers the following points of clarification to school representatives and members.
- Teachers should not be expected to administer the tests, unless they form part of a timetabled lesson and are undertaken in the teacher’s classroom.
- Teachers should not be expected to prepare their classrooms for the tests.
- Teachers should not be expected to mark the tests.
- Teachers should not be expected to input data from the tests.
This position reflects the views expressed to the NASUWT/NUT by Welsh Government officials and statements made by the Minister, and can be supported by the joint national action.
The NASUWT/NUT expects all schools to put in place arrangements that comply fully with these four points.
If resolution cannot be reached through contact with your headteacher and, if necessary, with the Chair of Governors, the matter will be referred with a view to escalation of the national action to protect you from this additional and unnecessary workload.