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Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2006, 13:01 GMT
Curriculum is 'too prescriptive'
Teachers complain about the rigidity of the national curriculum
Two thirds of England's teachers believe the national curriculum is too prescriptive, a survey suggests.

And more than a third believe it makes it harder to manage pupils' behaviour, the Times Educational Supplement poll of 500 teachers and 100 heads found.

More than a half of those surveyed (55%) said they wanted to have the freedom to set their own curriculum.

But the government said the national curriculum ensured schools provided a "broad and balanced" education for all.

The findings reflect a survey carried out by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in September this year.

The ATL surveyed 628 teachers and support staff in England and found almost 90% wanted to tailor the curriculum to suit pupils' needs.


The TES poll found 68% of respondents thought pupils should learn what it means to be British and 36% thought they should learn the national anthem.

Government plans to cut back on GCSE coursework were supported by 68%, and 65% said schools should be allowed to teach creationism.

And 50% thought pupils should be able to drop religious education lessons by age 14, while 41% said languages should be compulsory until 16.

This follows the government's ruling that, since September 2004, pupils could drop languages at 14.

The survey found 63% admitted to preparing pupils for exams at the expense of "deeper learning".

And one in 10 wanted the national curriculum to be scrapped.

The Department for Skills and Education said the national curriculum allowed teachers to take account of pupils' diverse learning needs.

A DfES spokesperson said: "The national curriculum ensures that schools provide a broad and balanced education for all of their pupils while allowing them considerable flexibility to develop their own courses of study to meet the needs of their pupils and introduce new approaches to teaching and learning."

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