Exclusive TES/YouGov poll: most teachers feel national curriculum is ‘not fit for purpose’

One year on from the introduction of the new national curriculum, England’s teachers have given the controversial reform a resounding thumbs down.

An exclusive YouGov poll for TES finds that only a quarter of the profession believe the curriculum is “fit for purpose”.

Many teachers condemned the revised rules on what they must teach as “ideological” or “political”, saying they failed to take account of the modern world.

Ministers wanted the new curriculum, introduced to classrooms in September 2014, to be restricted to essential subject content. It was designed to be such a definitive statement of what pupils needed to know that major reform would never again be required.

But the poll of a representative sample of 678 teachers finds that the majority of teachers are unhappy with the result. Some respondents described it as a “pub quiz curriculum” and many said it was “too prescriptive”.

“It has clearly been written by people who don’t teach or can’t teach,” a primary teacher from the East of England said. “The key stage 2 requirements are frankly ridiculous and cannot be [fitted] into the school day. All joy has been sucked out of the curriculum.”

Most teachers – 56 per cent – do not think the new curriculum is fit for purpose, the poll found. A further 19 per cent are undecided.

For more on this story, get the 17 July edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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