The whole idea of the National Curriculum was that children between the ages of 5 and 16 should follow a centrally directed curriculum consisting of core and foundation subjects.
The second premise was that children should be tested at ages seven, eleven, fourteen and sixteen. The rationale for the change was that some state schools did not offer a curriculum that was appropriate to their needs and those of society. Nation wide testing was advocated because standards seemed to be slipping when compared with children in other countries.
Of course there was no room for eleven plus testing in the great scheme of things.
In essence, however, the national curriculum in the `new’ form of core foundation subjects went back to the Education Act of 1902 when the then Conservative Government abolished 2568 school boards.
Testing at 14 has already been abolished. SATs at eleven has been attacked on many fronts.
But back in 1862 there was a system of payment to schools based on a limited range of subjects – the 3 Rs. (Reading, writing and Arithmetic.)
Suppose that some future government introduced a different system of payment by results based on mathematics along with verbal and non verbal reasoning.
This would introduce considerable controversy into the present fraught education system!
Think of a scenario where teachers at school were actively trying to help bright children to tackle demanding mathematics problems and cope with having to learn to reason and think!
It does not bear thinking. All over the country worried parents would not only have to worry about the pressure they were putting on their children – but parents would have to worry about the pressure the teachers at school were putting on their children!