Education is about preparing our young people for life beyond school in the broadest possible sense, so they are: secure in friendships; confident in social skills and skills for life; ready to make a positive different in their local community and able to respond to wider issues and needs in our global society; able to be ‘home makers’ whatever the context and ready for the world of work.

A school curriculum needs to teach empathy, resilience, independence and risk taking as well as key skills linked to different subject areas, and core knowledge.

Creativity, fun, appropriate challenges, passion and real life relevance need to be evident at every stage and within every strand of learning so that all children engage actively and begin the journey of life long learning.

These fundamental skills and opportunities are not jumping out at me as central and at the heart of the recently published draft National Curriculum.  Is that an oversight in the draft proposals or intentional, to ‘encourage’ more schools to become academies?  The success of academies is perhaps the legacy My Grove would like to be linked with?

The draft proposals are very much based on a drive for improving performance/academic success, but fails to mention or acknowledge other factors in this equation, other than parents.  Government funding of facilities, resources, staffing and teacher training sit alongside the curriculum in enabling the desired learning outcomes, plus the individual context of each schools.  Without adequate funding in all these areas it is not realistic to facilitate a broad and balanced curriculum for all and without full local community engagement it is not possible for all our pupils to aspire to and achieve their full potential.

Inclusion and equal opportunities for all, which is highlighted in the draft proposals, is fundamentally important but without increased funding to schools it will remain an ideal that cannot be delivered fully. Perhaps Mr Grove will be making a statement shortly to clarify future funding for schools, to sit alongside the new curriculum proposals?