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Gove will invite best minds to draw up a traditionalist core curriculum for Britain's schools

Gove470 Overshadowed by the furore over Lord Ashcroft's tax disclosure the Conservatives had dedicated the last week to their education plans. ConHome has covered some aspects of this education week including promises to restore confidence in 'A' levels, increase the freedom of Academies and reduce the inspection burden on top-performing schools and, yesterday, we noted Michael Gove's increasing warmth to the idea of private sector involvement in education.

Today The Times reports on Mr Gove's plan to overhaul the national curriculum and deliver a much more traditionalist curriculum. The Shadow Schools Secretary told the newspaper:

“Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in rows, learning the kings and queens of England, the great works of literature, proper mental arithmetic, algebra by the age of 11, modern foreign languages. That’s the best training of the mind and that’s how children will be able to compete.”

Mr Gove plans to invite some of the greatest minds to help draw up the revised curriculum:

  • "The historians Simon Schama, Andrew Roberts and Simon Sebag Montefiore will be invited to write the history section.
  • The children’s writers Michael Morpurgo and Anthony Horowitz will be asked to advise on what books pupils should read, and Andrew Motion could suggest poetry.
  • Contemporary novelists including Martin Amis, Julian Barnes and Sebastian Faulks will be able to contribute views to the review, which will last about a year.
  • Mr Gove said he wanted experts, such as Baroness Greenfield, Lord Winston and Lord Rees of Ludlow, to draw up the new science curriculum."

ConservativeHome readers - who have long endorsed the centrality of the teaching of British history - will be delighted at Mr Gove's plans for history to be taught “in order". "It’s a narrative,” Mr Gove told The Times. “Guilt about Britain’s past is misplaced,” he continued and called for the nation's history to be celebrated.

This is terrific stuff and further proof that having Michael Gove as Education Secretary will be one of the best features of the Conservative government that this country so desperately needs.

Tim Montgomerie

> Mr Gove will be writing for ConservativeHome about his education agenda on Monday morning.


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