How are parents coping with the new curriculum in the UK?

26th Oct 2015

As you are probably aware there is a new national curriculum in the UK and parents are divided as to whether the content is suitable for their children or not. The basic objective of this curriculum change is to lower the content but not in all subjects because primary English, science and maths remain more or less the same (or even expanded).

The fact is that the new curriculum is designed in a way in which allows teachers to form the curriculum as they please. In other words, teachers need to provide the basic knowledge and skills to the children, but the rest is left to their own creativity. While this is an interesting concept, some parents have already noticed the first difficulties. In many cases, the parents need to provide extra explanation for their children because they didn’t understand what their teacher was trying to say. The truth is that this concept works in schools where teachers are creative, but there are many teachers who are not prepared for this new system and this is especially true for the teachers that are slightly older.

It is good to mention that this new curriculum is adopted gradually and in 2015, it is the 15-year-old and 16-year-old students that will try this new concept.

As we said before, the changes have affected all subjects – history is presented in a more chronological way, more complex math is introduced to younger students, in English classes students learn more about English literature, students learn how to code etc.

According to many parents and experts, this new curriculum is very advanced and probably not suitable for their children because if we make comparison between this curriculum and the things that pupils in other countries learn, we will notice that most of them learn these things when they are older.
As previously mentioned, many parents complain that this curriculum is affecting the lives of their youngsters. Some of them complain that much of their free time is used for learning. They have increased volume of homework and the overall pressure is increased. While it is true that it’s good to learn more, for many students this new concept might be demotivational.

On the other hand, many of them believe that these changes are happening very fast and all at once. There is a risk of gaps in the education of pupils in higher grades. In addition, what will happen with the pupils that have studied following the old curriculum? Will they be less competitive and valued less on the labour market? These are only some of the questions that make parents worried. Of course, the Department of Education is trying to calm everyone by saying that these reforms are made after an extensive research and studies and the basic goal of this new curriculum is to prepare the youngsters to cope with the problems and challenges that our modern society brings.

Many experts and parents agree that changes are necessary, but we will find out whether these changes were good after a while.