Although we have heard little in terms of a proposed timetable for the introduction of the Schama/Ferguson/Canndaine-concoted National Curriculum, it would seem from the White Paper and the DfE Business Plan, that the Three Wise Men will take another year or more before producing a draft version by March 2012. Schama claims to be busily listening to teachers. I wonder! Anyone rung you up for a chat yet? Anyway, it seems that there will be the usual pretty perfunctory ‘consultation’ period, leading to implementation in September 2013. Odd how these different versions of the NC seem to have a death sentence of about 5 years. The first 1990 model was revised in 1995 and was again overhauled, more radically in 2000. Within 7 years we had the current model which now seems doomed to a shelf life of, you guessed, it years. Almost as many curricula as names for the Department for Education. Don’t get me started on Secretaries of State for Education.
Which brings me to the funny story.
I am reminded of the famous Ted Wragg story about Kenneth Clarke’s Departure from the department for Education . After the cabinet reshuffle a lady teacher rang the office at the DES insisting to speak to Ken Clarke. “I’m sorry he no longer works here”, came the reply. A few days later came another call, from the same lady teacher, equally insistent. The courteous reply to the same question came in the form “I’m sorry Mr Clarke no longer works at the DES”. The following week came a third call from the same teacher, posing the same question just as insistently. This time the receptionist replied , “Sorry, Mr Clarke is no longer reponsible for education. Hang on, haven’t I told you this before?”. “Yes, replied the teacher, I know, but I just love hearing those words”.
Will we be saying the same of Gove in 5 years time, I wonder?