Circular 14/77 Review (1979)

DES Circular 14/77 Local Education Authority Arrangements for the School Curriculum (29 November 1977) invited local authorities to 'assemble relevant information and to report the results to the Secretaries of State by 30 June 1978.

The results of the survey were published in the Circular 14/77 Review in November 1979.

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

Commentary
Introduction
A: Curricula and development
B: Balance and breadth
C: Subject areas
D: Transition between schools
E: School records
F: Preparation for working life

Note Blank pages have been omitted.

The Circular 14/77 Review was prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 18 September 2017.


Circular 14/77 Review (1979)
Local Education Authority Arrangements for the School Curriculum
Report on the Circular 14/77 Review

Department of Education and Science
London: 1979
© Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


[title page]

Department of Education and Science
Welsh Office
November 1979




Local Authority
Arrangements for
the School
Curriculum

Report on the Circular 14/77 review





London Her Majesty's Stationery Office


[page ii (unnumbered)]

© Crown copyright 1979
First published 1979







ISBN 0 11 270486 7


[page iii]

Foreword by the Secretaries of State


The Government is deeply committed to the maintenance, and improvement, of educational standards in the schools. This does not mean looking for more resources, which are not available, but getting better value for the resources which can be afforded. Concern about educational standards cannot be divorced from concern about the curriculum offered.

DES Circular 14/77 (Welsh Office Circular 185/77) was issued to collect information from local education authorities about their policies and practices in curricular matters. The summary of replies is a significant document, which we commend to close study by the education service. The preceding commentary highlights issues of crucial importance which we hope will be widely debated.

MARK CARLISLE
NICHOLAS EDWARDS





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Contents



page
PART 1: Commentary1

PART 2: The Report
9
Introduction10

Section A: Local arrangements for the co-ordination of school curricula and plans for development
SUMMARY OF SECTiON A12
A1: Local education authority procedures14
A2: Collection of curricular information from schools17
A3: Development of local curricular policy20
A4: Role of school governors and managers24
A5: Support for local curricular initiatives26
A6: Local curriculum development work31
A 7: Sex discrimination and the curriculum34

Section B: Curricular balance and breadth
SUMMARY OF SECTION B37
B1: Relative emphasis in the curriculum: literacy and numeracy39
B2: Provision for slow learners42
B3: Provision of subject options for secondary schools46
B4: Essential curricular elements49
B5: Provision for moral, health, careers and social education54
B6: Promotion of racial understanding64
B7: Planning sixth form curricula68
B8: Provision for children whose mother tongue is not English72


[page vi]

Section C: Particular subject areas
SUMMARY OF SECTION C76

English:
C1 : Policies for language development78
C2: Literacy for adult and working life82
C3: Curriculum materials for teachers85

Mathematics:
C4: Policies for mathematics teaching88
C5: Mathematical skills for adult and working life91
C6: Dropping mathematics before age 1694
C7 : Curriculum materials for teachers95

Modern Languages:
C8: Policies for French in primary schools98
C9/10: Modern languages in secondary schools102
C11: Co-ordination of modern language provision106
C12: Curriculum materials for teachers109

Science:
C13: Policies for science in primary schools112
C14: Policies for science in secondary schools115
C15: Science options related to HFE needs118
C16: Curriculum materials for teachers120
C17 : Co-ordination of science provision123

Religious Education:
C18: Information on school arrangements126
C19: Implementation of agreed syllabus128
C20: Review of agreed syllabus131

Section D: Transition between schools
SUMMARY OF SECTION D134
D1: Transition between stages of school education135
D2: Transfer between schools when pupils move house143

Section E: School records
SUMMARY OF SECTION E146
E1: Maintenance of standard records147
E2: LEA consideration of school record policy152
E3: Access to recorded information155


[page vii]

Section F: Preparation for working life
SUMMARY OF SECTION F168
F1: Promotion of economic, social and political understanding160
F2: Relevance of curriculum to career prospects164
F3 : Careers education167
F4: Role of careers teachers170
F5: Work experience and work observation for pupils174
F6: Teachers' experience of industry178
F7 : School/FE liaison and linked courses182
F8 : Schools' contacts with local industry186
F9 : Co-ordination of 16-19 provision190
F10: Involvement of industry in curriculum development194





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PART 1

Commentary




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1. There is now more widespread public interest in the content of education - what the schools teach - than ever before. DES Circular 14/77 (Welsh Office Circular 185/77) invited local education authorities to respond to a series of questions on a range of curricular matters. The Education Departments wish to record their appreciation of the effort devoted by authorities to preparing their replies, some of which were very detailed and supplemented by considerable background material.

2. Part 2 of this report is a summary of those replies: it shows substantial variations within the educational system in England and Wales in policies towards the curriculum. It also gives valuable insight into the ways in which authorities' curricular responsibilities are discharged. It does not describe the curriculum in individual schools. The task now is to see what conclusions can be drawn that will lead to a more coherent approach to curricular matters across the country. Underlying the proposals in this commentary must be the question of resources. But restraint in resources must not be allowed to inhibit agreement on objectives or progress on curricular issues that are not primarily resource-dependent. Indeed a period of financial constraint calls for more effective curricular arrangements if the limited funds available are to be putto best use.

Inter-relationships of the Education Partners

3. Local authorities' policies, and the ways in which they are implemented, should not stand in isolation. They must be seen in the context of the relationships between all the parties with responsibilities for school education: central and local government, school governing bodies and teachers. The Secretaries of State do not intend to alter the existing statutory relationship between these various partners. Indeed they believe that the effective development and implementation of curricular policies must be based upon a clear understanding of, and must pay proper regard to, the responsibilities and interests of each of the partners and the contribution which each can make.

4. Nevertheless the Education Acts lay upon Ministers the duty to 'promote the education of the people in England and Wales'. This must involve an overall view of the content and quality of education seen from the standpoint of national policies and needs as well as the resources devoted to it. The Secretaries of State do not seek to determine in detail what the schools should teach or how it should be taught; but they have an inescapable duty to satisfy themselves that the work of the schools matches national needs. This task cannot be undertaken from the centre alone. The Government


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must bring together the partners in the education service and the interests of the community at large; and with them seek an agreed view of the school curriculum which would take account of the range of local needs and allow for local developments, drawing upon the varied skills and experience which all those concerned with the service can contribute.

5. The Education Acts lay the responsibility of providing efficient and sufficient primary and secondary education to meet the needs of their areas firmly on local education authorities. As with central Government, this implies a concern by authorities with the content and quality of education as well as with the facilities which they provide. To fulfil their responsibilities effectively within any nationally agreed framework authorities must exercise leadership and interpret national policies and objectives in the light of local needs and circumstances. Moreover, local authorities are concerned with policies for the level and distribution of resources, including staff, buildings, equipment and materials, which inter-act upon curriculum and standards of achievement. They are also in a position to foster cooperation and complementary provision among their schools, and between schools and further education colleges. It is therefore essential that they should be aware of, and take account of, the implications of their decisions on such matters for the curricula offered by their schools and colleges.

6. This does not mean that authorities should seek a detailed control of school curricula in their areas: but it does impose on them a responsibility to formulate curricular policies and objectives which meet national policies and objectives and command local assent. The Secretaries of State believe that the formulation of local policies, and decisions concerning their implementation, would be improved if local authorities were better informed about the curricular practices and aims of their schools and the extent to which the schools are successful in achieving these aims.

7. At the heart of the system are the individual schools. Their role is vital, both in contributing to the formulation of agreed local policies, and in translating these into curricular content in the light of particular needs and circumstances. Existing articles of government for secondary schools commonly delegate to the governors 'the general direction of the conduct and curriculum of the school', although curricular matters are often in practice devolved upon the head teacher and staff. Whatever the formal responsibilities of governing bodies there should always be the closest consultation and co-operation between the governors, head teacher and staff. Governing bodies can provide a forum for bringing together teachers, parents and the local community. In turn the teachers provide subject


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expertise and professional experience, and the fullest knowledge of opportunities and constraints, and of individual pupils' capabilities and expectations. At the end of the day, what schools teach and achieve remains a measure of the interest of the governing body and of the dedication and competence of the head teacher and the whole staff.

Local education authorities' policy and information needs

8. A nationally agreed framework for the curriculum is obviously very significant for teacher policies and resources at both national and local education authority level. In the view of the Secretaries of State it has a particular relevance to local education authorities' policies in the following areas:

staffing and staff development (including provision for posts of special responsibility in schools, and in-service training);
assessment (levels of performance within individual schools and throughout authorities' schools);
resources (covering buildings, equipment and financial allocations, including capitation);
educational records of individual pupils;
co-operation between schools and further education;
co-operation between schools and industry.
9. The responses to Circular 14/77 show that many authorities have developed policies in these areas. Such policies cannot be isolated from resource considerations, but are not totally dependent on them. It is important to look hard at desirable aims and objectives, and to establish proper priorities for the future. The report which follows contains many references to in-service training needs and the role of the local advisory services, both of which may be circumscribed by financial constraints in the short term. But many developments aimed at making the most effective use of both in-service training and advisory services can yield a big return for a modest outlay, or even be carried out without additional manpower.

10. On the evidence of the replies to Section A many authorities need to increase their working knowledge of what goes on in their schools, in order to improve their capability to develop and implement more effective approaches to staffing, curriculum development, assessment and the distribution of resources, all of which should be closely related to their curricular policies and the aims of the schools. Where improvements are


[page 5]

needed in these respects it is for authorities themselves to decide how to make them.

Areas of specific concern

11. The responses to Sections C, F and G of Circular 14/77 show that many authorities already have in hand a range of initiatives in respect of parts of the curriculum which have recently been topics of general concern. Evidence from HM Inspectorate's various surveys and from other sources indicates the need for further action. The Secretaries of State would like to see improvement in a number of respects:

a. English There is a continuing need to extend good practice, and to give more help towards literacy to meet the requirements of the adult world (C2).

b. Mathematics Many authorities are already producing guidelines for their schools (C4) but continued emphasis is needed on developing the mathematical skills suited to the needs of school-leavers at 16 entering employment (C5). There is some indication of a need for more co-operation among schools, and between schools and colleges.

c. Modern Languages There is a need for clear policies on the provision of modern languages in primary, middle and secondary schools (C8, C9 and C1 0). Such policies must take account of the availability of teachers. The dominant position of French gives rise to concern about the position of other major languages. Decisions about the ages at which children should start (and finish) modern language courses, and about the languages available, are often made at school level. The Secretaries of State believe that there should be more local co-ordination in the light of broad guidelines which would help to promote national coherence and protect the position of less commonly taught modern languages.

d. Science Authorities have indicated their concern to tackle the deficiencies in primary science (C13) identified by the survey of 'Primary Education in England'. This problem and the replies from authorities on secondary science (C14) viewed in the light of known weaknesses of provision for the age range 13-16 suggest that further guidance is necessary on science options in secondary schools (C14 and C15), on the relationship between school science and industrial processes (C14 and C16) and on the co-ordination of planning for science education for the 16-19 age groups between schools and further education (C15 andC17).


[page 6]

e. Religious Education Authorities' positions in respect of reviews of their agreed syllabuses vary widely (C20). All authorities are required by law to have an agreed syllabus, and it is desirable for it to be reviewed from time to time.

f. Preparation for working life The Secretaries of State believe that all authorities should regard the setting up of adequate liaison arrangements between schools and industry as a major educational responsibility. They commend three particular matters to authorities for further action: careers education, work experience and understanding the national importance of industry. It remains a matter for concern that the importance of careers work in schools, including links with the careers service, is still often under-recognised, that the potentialities of work experience on a wider scale have not been sufficiently explored and that many pupils are not being taught how industry creates national wealth and the ways in which we depend upon industry for our standards of living.

g. Welsh Language The Secretary of State for Wales will be publishing an independent report within Wales on the Welsh language section of WO Circular 185/77. (In all other respects, however, the report on authorities' curricular arrangements covers England and Wales.)

12. A great deal of valuable work on the curriculum has been done in recent years by many agencies. The various associations connected with subject teaching have been particularly active. The Bullock Committee reported on English teaching in 1975 and the Cockcroft Committee on mathematics is expected to report by about the end of 1980. In addition HM Inspectorate's surveys of primary and secondary education and their work with 41 schools in 5 local education authorities on their working papers 'Curriculum 11-16' provide evidence of the ways schools operate the curriculum and respond to the challenge of one sort of coherent framework.

The next steps

13. The Secretaries of State consider that the time is ripe to draw these threads together as far as possible and to seek a measure of general agreement. The summary of responses to Circular 14/77 suggests that not all authorities have a clear view of the desirable structure of the school curriculum, especially its core elements. They believe they should seek to give a lead in the process of reaching a national consensus on a desirable framework for the curriculum and consider the development of such a framework


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a priority for the education service. They recognise that this is a complex and difficult task. Such a framework will need to relate to the broad shape of the whole curriculum for the various stages of school education, and be capable of flexibility in accordance with changing perceptions over time of individual and social needs. It would give central government a firmer basis for the development of national policies and the deployment of resources; and provide a check-list for authorities and schools in formulating and reviewing their curricular aims and policies in the light of local needs and circumstances, and for teachers in exercising their professional skills and extending the interests of their pupils. Conceived in this way an agreed framework could offer a significant step forward in the quest for improvement in the consistency and quality of school education across the country.

14. As a first step towards the development of such a framework the Secretaries of State have invited HM Inspectorate to formulate a view of a possible curriculum on the basis of their knowledge of schools. The Education Departments will draw up and circulate a draft policy document suggesting the form a framework for the curriculum might take and the ground it should cover. This document will provide a basis for consultations within and beyond the education service which the Secretaries of State propose to hold early in 1980.

15. The consultations will seek to reconcile the broad range of views on curricular issues, and to concentrate on the many points where agreement should be possible. They will give an opportunity for a constructive exchange of views, based on proposals which will reflect current thinking within the Departments and HM Inspectorate. The Secretaries of State recognise that some issues may arise which will need to be referred to specialist groups for further study, but at the end of the consultations, the Education Departments expect to publish a revised version of the framework document for the guidance of local education authorities and schools, which would be subject to periodic review.



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PART 2

The Report




[page 10]

Introduction

The Origin of the Exercise

1. DES Circular 14/77 (Welsh Office Circular 185/77) was issued to local education authorities in November 1977, and replies were requested by the end of June 1978. The report in part 2 of this document is a summary of the authorities' responses. In all, 104 out of 105 authorities in England and Wales responded: 19 replies were received by the end of June 1978, a further 71 by the end of August, and most of the remaining 14 by the close of 1978. Only one authority (Kingston-upon- Thames) indicated that it did not propose to reply.

2. The Circular identified six main areas for consideration by authorities: local arrangements for co-ordination and development; curricular balance and breadth; selected subject areas; transition between schools; school records; and preparation for working life. For each of those areas, the authorities were asked to respond to a series of questions. This report has been prepared according to the same framework. (Seven additional questions about the Welsh language were addressed to authorities in Wales only. An account of their responses is being published separately by the Welsh Office.)

The Nature of the Exercise

3. A number of preliminary points should be made about the nature of the exercise and its limitations. First, the questions were in general framed in an open-ended fashion in order to leave authorities free to report a wide range of local approaches to matters of curriculum and organisation .. It cannot therefore be assumed that an authority which did 'not mention' a particular aspect of policy or action was not in fact concerned with that aspect: merely that the authority did not see fit to include it in the response. By the same token, the number of authorities reporting particular activities in itself gives no clear guide to the scale of, or priorities attached to, those activities locally: in general, quantification was not requested. Secondly, many of the questions concerned authorities' general policies and the action taken to help implement them. The replies do not, therefore, yield much direct or firm information about actual practices within schools. A good deal of information of this kind will be available independently from the reports of two recent surveys by HM Inspectorate: 'Primary Education in England' (HMSO, 1978), and the corresponding secondary school survey.


[page 11]

4. Thirdly, it is apparent from the replies that the concept of 'policy' has been variously interpreted, ranging from detailed written statements produced centrally within the authority, to the less formal initiation and encouragement of practices which have come to be generally adopted (see, for example, question A3). Often authorities have said that they prefer to leave to their schools (with support and encouragement from the local advisory service) the formulation and pursuit of curricular aims. As a result, it has generally been difficult to distinguish in the replies between specific initiatives stemming from the authority, and descriptions of common local practice. Finally, in view of the variety between authorities in the terms - and degree of detail - used to describe particular activities, it would be inadvisable to place too much weight on the classification of replies.

Presentation

5. For the above reasons, the report does not seek to analyse the replies in precise statistical terms, which might give a misleading impression of the frequency with which particular policies and practices occur. Nor does it attempt any extensive comparison between answers to different though related questions, or any analysis in terms of the sizes, locations or other characteristics of the authorities. Instead, it seeks to build up a picture of the overall position by indicating, where practicable, the broad scale of references to particular developments, usually expressed in terms of approximate proportions or fractions or by descriptive phrases ranging from 'a few' to 'most'. Simple bar charts have been provided at the end of individual question summaries, to illustrate visually the relative frequencies with which the commonly reported items occurred in the replies. The frequencies quoted in the text or the charts cannot necessarily be added together to produce a meaningful total: the various policies or practices concerned may not be mutually exclusive, and any individual authority may have reported more than one item.

6. The text also includes examples drawn from individual authorities, in some cases by direct (but not attributed) quotations extracted from the replies. These examples have not been chosen as instances of good practice; their purpose is either to illustrate in more detail a point typical of a number of replies, or to indicate the range of responses under a particular heading. In a few cases the quotations have been slightly edited or annotated for clarification, while preserving the substance. Sometimes (especially where they included cross-references) the responses to one question have been treated under another related question. Each main section of the report is preceded by a short summary of the main features of the replies to questions in that section.


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Section A: Local arrangements for the co-ordination of school curricula and plans for development


1. The seven questions in section A related to authorities' general procedures for the initiation dissemination and monitoring of local policies for school curricula.

2. Questions A1 and A2 asked about existing procedures for carrying out curricular responsibilities and for collecting information about the curricula offered by schools. Most authorities stress that they do not seek to control the detailed curriculum of each school: this is regarded as the responsibility of the school itself. The authority's function is commonly seen as being mainly to provide broad guidance and support for schools, in a variety of ways, but particularly through its advisory service's activities and in-service training programmes. Most authorities do not have systematic arrangements for regularly collecting and monitoring curricular information from their schools, relying instead on occasional enquiries about specific topics and on informal sources of information such as the day-to-day contacts of advisers or head teachers' reports to governing bodies.

3. The roles of advisers, teachers and governors in the development of curricular policies were the subject of questions A3 and A4. The replies reveal a variety of interpretations of the nature, formulation, and implementation of 'policy'. Most authorities see these processes as stemming from a complex inter-action between the various parties, none of whom plays a markedly dominant part in determining policy. Great emphasis is placed on the work of the advisory service. and on various ways of involving teachers in these processes. Governing bodies generally occupy a less central place in curricular matters, although many replies point to their increasing participation in discussions of major curricular developments or plans, often on the basis of head teachers' reports.

4. A variety of local curriculum development projects and initiatives. and ways of assisting them. emerges from the answers to A5 and A6. Again, the


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activities of the advisory service and the encouragement of school-based in-service training are given much prominence. Many authorities operate special arrangements for funding new curricular initiatives in individual schools. A wide range of local projects mounted in recent years reveals particular emphasis on work in literacy. numeracy, modern languages and sciences; a frequent objective is the production of teaching materials.

5. A7 asked about steps taken to help schools comply. in curricular matters, with the Sex Discrimination Act. The majority of authorities rely on written advice or informal guidance given individually by advisers; less commonly. in-service training is a source of practical help to teachers in planning curricular content and opportunities.





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A1. What procedures have the authority established to enable them to carry out their curricular responsibilities under Section 23 of the Education Act 1944?

(Section 23 makes provision for secular instruction in county schools and certain voluntary schools to be under the control of the local education authority. except in so far as otherwise provided by the rules of management or articles of government of schools.)

1. Two-thirds of authorities included in their answer to this question, or in a covering letter to their response as a whole. a statement explaining that the authority (as one typical reply put it) 'has not established, and would not wish to see develop, a formal system of detailed control over the curriculum of individual schools'. The great majority of such statements referred to the provisions of the rules of management or articles of government for county schools, delegating responsibility for the general direction of the curriculum to the managers or governors of individual schools. It was said that in practice most curricular matters were left to the head teacher and other members of the teaching staff, although articles of government required that authorities and governing bodies should be consulted over proposals affecting the curriculum. One authority, for example, explained that governors 'share their curriculum responsibilities with heads of schools who have specific responsibilities for detailed internal organisation, management and discipline, the choice of learning materials and books, methods of teaching and the arrangement of classes, and the supervision of teaching and non-teaching'. In many areas head teachers made regular reports to the governing body; these were copied to the authority and often included a section on the curriculum in the school (see questions A2 and A4).

2. Many authorities considered that this general delegation did not prevent them from exercising curricular responsibilities, most commonly through a process of consultation, guidance and support, but sometimes more directly, through the issue of policy statements (see question A3). It was evident from replies that in general authorities saw these activities as important parts of their duties, and were concerned to establish both formal and informal arrangements for carrying them out.

3. Thus one-fifth of authorities reported that the Education Committee or its Sub-Committees studied various aspects of curricular provision, usually on a subject basis but sometimes examining broader topics such as the primary curriculum as a whole; they also considered related issues such


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as mixed-ability teaching. Arrangements for consultation with teachers included discussions between the Education Committee and a Teachers' Consultative Committee, the establishment of Joint Advisory Committees which could act as a consultative forum for members, officers, advisers and teachers, and the setting up of joint study groups or working parties, through various initiatives by the Education Committee, advisers, teachers' centre advisory panels and local groups of teachers. Recommendations from such working parties, and also from the advisory service, often led to the issue of more or less detailed reports or guidelines on some subjects or aspects of the organisation of the curriculum (such as the arrangements for careers education in secondary schools).

4. Advisers were seen as a vital link between the central organisation of the authority and its individual schools and teachers, and as such their duties were often described as including some of the following: monitoring the performance of schools (about a quarter of authorities said that they had established a regular programme of inspection or carried out occasional in-depth inspections); providing guidance on or initiating new curricular developments and teaching methods; disseminating examples of good practice; reporting to the Education Committee or Director of Education on the treatment of specific areas of the curriculum across the authority; advising on the appointment of teachers; organising working parties and programmes of in-service training; advising on the planning of accommodation and provision of equipment. Advisers were thus in a position to explain to teachers an authority's policies, where these had been formulated, and to feed back information from schools to the Education Committee and to officers. It was frequently stated that officers, especially area or district education officers, assisted with some of these tasks.

5. Apart from the work of the advisory service, the most commonly mentioned means of furthering an authority's curricular aims - specified by two-fifths of the responses - was the development of a programme of inservice training. This provision was made through several agencies (particularly educational advisers, teachers' centres and local higher education institutions) and was often co-ordinated by committees representing the providers as well as teachers and the authority's officers. In-service courses, and especially school-based courses, were in many cases a response to teachers' expressed needs; but they also enabled the authority to influence practice in schools, for example by providing support for Schools Council projects or for local curriculum development projects.


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6. The broad emphasis of authorities' replies to this question was therefore that in practice most of the direct responsibility for the curriculum lay with the individual school and its governing body. The authority's function was seen as being principally to provide guidance and support, particularly by means of its advisory services and in-service courses, and 'through consensus rather than direction'. At the same time it retained a duty to ensure that provision in every individual school was satisfactory, and, where this was not the case, to undertake (in the words of one reply) 'an intensive investigation into the workings of the school'.

7. Many authorities commented that their answers to question A 1 were often illustrated in greater detail in their responses to other questions, since, as one said, arrangements for implementing curricular responsibilities 'permeate the whole organisation of the education service'.





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A2. What systematic arrangements, if any, have the authority established for the collection of information about the curricula offered by schools in their area?

1. One-fifth of authorities reported that they made a systematic annual collection of information on at least some aspects of the curriculum and organisation of all their secondary schools. The nature and scope of this information varied greatly, but it often included items related to the amount of time devoted to particular subjects, the staffing involved, the composition and size of teaching groups and the levels to which subjects were taught. Information was normally collected by means of questionnaires sent to each head teacher, and a number of authorities referred specifically to the use of a method of curriculum notation and of techniques of staff deployment analysis along the lines of those developed through the HMI COSMOS* courses in school management Details were often sought principally or solely in connection with the upper years of the secondary school; sometimes this meant that questions were restricted to the sixth form curriculum, but more commonly interest was focussed additionally on the fourth and fifth years, and in particular on the functioning of option systems. A further one-tenth of authorities were planning to introduce an annual system of this sort, based in some cases on the development of a standardised 'school profile' document.

2. Other authorities had carried out recently a single survey of the same kind. A few, while not collecting information from all schools, initiated each year detailed studies of the curricula of a relatively small proportion of secondary schools, normally selected on a rota basis. In one authority, for example, 'detailed examination is made of the curriculum of three or four schools in an annual programme', and the results made available to the Education Committee, Governors, and school staff concerned. Another authority's programme of in-depth studies centred 'on the secondary school of an area and its contributory middle, first and primary schools'.

3. Authorities described several other ways in which they collected data about the curricula of each of their secondary schools. A quarter of the replies indicated that the authority analysed schools' external examination entries in order to gain information about the range of subjects offered. One-fifth of authorities considered that they gained valuable knowledge about their schools' curricula from the copies they received of head teachers' reports to their governing bodies; in a few cases head teachers made a

*Committee on the Staffing, Management and Organisation of Schools.


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report direct to the Education Committee. A number of authorities pointed out however that such reports tended to concentrate on changes in the curriculum rather than on current practice. About one-tenth of authorities said that they obtained knowledge of curricula from the prospectuses prepared for parents of pupils about to transfer from primary or middle schools.

4. In contrast with the position for secondary schools, just one-tenth of authorities described a regular collection of detailed curricular information from even a proportion of their primary schools, although a few were attempting to devise suitable techniques, based, for instance, on 'the average number of weekly sessions spent on each major field', or on checklists covering 'buildings, curriculum and organisation'. Head teachers' reports to the managing body were also said to be informative in this respect.

5. Over two-fifths of authorities said that they carried out, through their advisory services and by means of questionnaires, occasional enquiries into specific matters. Many examples were given, and included enquiries into the teaching of particular subjects such as primary school French, mathematics, or science; the effects of falling school rolls; remedial education; and provision for the 16-19 age group. Some authorities reported that they obtained information on such topics from working parties or advisory panels of teachers, often associated with the activities of teachers' centres. One authority had set up three consultative groups to study language, mathematics, and curriculum for the 14-18 age group, with membership including councillors, officers, teachers and parents.

6. The part played by advisers and, to a lesser extent, officers in the collection of information was emphasised. Although only a small proportion of authorities referred to the maintenance by advisers of systematic records, three-quarters said that the information gathered by advisers and officers (eg during routine school visits, meetings with heads of department. and contacts at in-service courses) was an important - and often the major - source of curricular information. The dual role of advisers, both as subject specialists and in terms of their 'pastoral' responsibilities for overall provision, was often mentioned.

7. Several replies made the point that. as a formal system of information collection might require a considerable investment of time on the part of teachers, it was important to ensure by careful planning that the results of this effort were of practical value to the authority and to schools. One authority referred to information collection designed for the purpose of 'reports to its Education] Committee' on specific topics, or to reply to


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'enquiries ... from parents moving into the area', or to help determine 'the teaching establishment of schools' or for 'planning extensions to existing schools'. Elsewhere, however, considerations of the potential use of information were said to underlie decisions not to establish regular arrangements for gathering curricular details.





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A3. How do the authority, where appropriate, develop policy on matters relating to school curricula? In particular, what part is played in making and carrying out such policy by (i) local authority inspectors or advisers, (ii) teachers?

1. It was apparent from authorities' replies to this question that 'policy' was not always readily distinguishable from 'common practice', and that there was a sense in which 'policy' could be said to be made at all levels within the authority's area, so that to classify this continuum of activity might fail to convey an impression of the diverse patterns which existed (see Introduction, paragraphs 3-4). In order to provide a coherent account, it has been necessary, in summarising the replies, to differentiate between actions such as the promulgation of policy through written statements produced more or less centrally within the authority (whether formally endorsed by the Education Committee or otherwise), and .the less formal initiation, encouragement and development of practices which come to be generally adopted, and thus to be described as policies.

2. These distinctions are not hard and fast, but are intended to indicate the substantial variations in authorities' responses. They may be illustrated by examples from two different replies. One said that 'major decisions arising from discussion of national reports on education, eg Newsom, Plowden and Bullock, are made on broad issues by the Education Committee. Policy is also developed as a result of decisions over a wide range of specific issues ... The detailed development of ensuing policy is then essentially the result of discussion .. .' (between LEA officers, advisers, teacher working parties and schools). Another authority said that '"authority policy" is more correctly described as "usual practice", and "initiatives" by the authority in curricular matters are often in fact the encouragement of developments by teachers through advice, in-service training, the selective allocation of financial resources and the appointment and promotion of teaching staff'.

3. Few authorities reported that they produced detailed policy statements as such, on the curriculum. Those which did generally confined these to a small number of distinct topics (for example, the teaching of French in primary schools, or science in middle schools, or in Wales provision for the Welsh language). One-sixth of authorities said that to produce such statements might lead to too great a restriction on the exercise of teachers' professional judgement in curricular matters, although a number said that in their view an agreed syllabus for religious education was in effect a policy statement.


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4. Almost all replies indicated that particular policy initiatives could arise at the level of the school, the advisory service or the Education Committee, or a combination of these; and one-third of authorities stressed the importance of a continual process of informal consultation between these levels in arriving at a consensus. External agents, such as Schools Council projects or the examination boards, were also said to playa part in promoting the development of policy within an authority. The main emphasis of many replies was on, in the words of one, 'a partnership between teachers, advisers and administrators'. One-eighth of the responses stated that policies were sometimes formulated in the context of national events: the raising of the school leaving age, the publication of the Bullock Report 'A Language for Life' (see question C1) and the passing of legislation against sex discrimination (see question A7) ware examples commonly quoted.

5. The Education Committee in some authorities was described in terms which implied that it acted as a focus for policy developments. One aspect of this was the indication, in a number of the responses, that the Committee sometimes took the initiative in identifying policy issues (particularly those concerned with broad topics such as literacy and numeracy), and then established working parties, generally including teachers among their membership, to examine them in greater depth. The Committee would subsequently discuss the reports of such working parties, and might in some cases adopt their recommendations as policy. Many authorities followed a similar procedure with reports produced by teams of officers and advisers. It was also said by some authorities that one function of the Education Committee was to establish the framework, in terms of provision of staff, accommodation and other resources, within which policy could be developed.

6. In this respect also authorities gave great prominence to the role of their advisory services in devising and carrying forward developments, almost invariably in close consultation with teachers. Nearly one-third of the replies stated that the authority looked to its advisers to initiate both curricular policies and projects; half the authorities referred to the activity of their advisers in schools, helping teachers to formulate and implement curricular policies; and some said that advisers monitored the progress of adopted policies as they were put into practice. As one put it, development 'is based on the individual needs of a particular school, bearing in mind the strength and weaknesses of staff, physical attributes of a building, etc'. Over half the replies described aspects of the work of their advisory services as being especially significant in relation to the dissemination of policy.


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This applied particularly to the provision of in-service training of various kinds, but also, for example, to the preparation of guideline documents or handbooks on various topics. Such activities were in addition to the opportunities for policy dissemination presented by day-to-day contacts between advisers and teachers.

7. Teachers' centres were said by a quarter of authorities to play an important part in enabling teachers to participate in policy discussions, both through the work carried out by their related advisory committees, whose membership consisted largely of teachers, and through the in-service courses that were offered by the centres. Some authorities also regarded their programme of secondments to external courses of in-service training as a means of encouraging teachers to initiate local policy developments.

8. Almost one-third of the replies stated that formal machinery had been established for consulting teachers on issues related to the curriculum and organisation of schools; in one authority, for instance, a 'steering committee for educational development' had been set up for this purpose. Other authorities said that they consulted teachers on such matters through their professional associations. Advisers often considered curricular issues with groups of primary or secondary head teachers, secondary school heads of department and subject groups of teachers; and almost half the authorities specified that they involved individual teachers at all levels in policy discussions through working parties on particular topics or through subject panels. Some authorities indicated that they sought to involve the whole staff of individual schools by requesting schools to formulate statements on their approach and objectives in specified curricular areas (for example, on 'language across the curriculum' in secondary schools), or to prepare 'a policy document for the school, to be discussed by the governors'.



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A4. How do the authority arrange for governors and managers of schools to play a part in curricular matters?

1. A number of authorities began by saying that they regarded the composition of governing or managing bodies as in itself facilitating discussion of curricular matters: parental representatives would be likely to have a close interest in what was taught in the school, while representatives of the teaching staff would be in a position to encourage informed consideration of professional issues. In the words of one, 'the vital function of governing bodies is to keep the school in tune with the neighbourhood it serves'. About one-third of authorities reported that they provided or were about to provide some form of training for their managers and governors. This ranged in scope from a series of evening courses (sometimes including residential week-ends) on the role of the governing body, to conferences for newly appointed governors or managers, and participation in seminars on current curricular developments (for example, new approaches to mathematics). One authority covered in its training programme the governors' involvement in four aspects: syllabuses and schemes of work, social and personal education, pupil achievement, and the individual nature of each school. Others produced handbooks describing the duties and functions of governors (including, for instance, 'specific suggestions for the use of the head's report'). In a few cases the authority kept governors and managers informed of the wider background to curricular issues by providing copies of key papers prepared for the Education Committee, or by producing a regular bulletin for governing bodies.

2. Many responses referred to the general delegation of curricular responsibility to governing and managing bodies, although a number stated that in practice most curricular matters were regarded by governing bodies as the responsibility of the teaching staff (see question A 1). In a few areas, authorities reported that they asked governing bodies to set curricular aims for their school, and to monitor the progress made towards achieving these aims: one had notified governors of 'the need to ensure that schools' teaching programmes are making adequate provision for numeracy and literacy'. Some authorities said that participation in interviews for teaching staff appointments offered an opportunity for governors and managers to become involved in the consideration of broad curricular objectives; several referred to encouragement for governors to visit and observe schools during the working day. In a few cases formalised arrangements of various kinds were described, such as the nomination of individual governors to undertake regular visits to the school, or the establishment of links between particular governors and subject departments, as in the


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authority where individual schools had set up 'advisory subject committees to each of which a member of the governing body is appointed'.

3. The principal curricular activities of governing and managing bodies were generally stated to be to consider and comment on initiatives proposed by the school, and, in some instances, to commission from the head teacher reports on particular subjects. Almost a quarter of the authorities required head teachers to submit reports on major curricular developments to the governing body, and in half the responses it was stated that head teachers' regular reports to the governing body sometimes included items relating specifically to the curriculum, which the governors could go on to discuss. About one-fifth of authorities said that, in some schools at least, heads of department or other senior teachers 'report regularly on their subjects directly to the governors'. The general tenor of many replies conveyed the authorities' impression that governing and managing bodies were increasingly being provided with information about curricular matters, and given the opportunity to discuss them.

4. In many authorities, officers and/or advisers attended the meetings of governing bodies, either regularly or on request, in order to assist with the examination and discussion of curricular issues. These might relate to single subjects, to a school's approach to a particular topic across the curriculum, or to 'appraisals of schools and curriculum surveys of groups of schools'. One-sixth of authorities said that the Education Committee took formal steps to involve governing or managing bodies in curricular matters by tabling from time to time particular items for them to discuss (for example, sex education or liaison with industry); the reports of such discussions were expected to inform the Committee in its consideration of future policy.


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A5. What support do the authority offer to schools wishing to engage in curricular initiatives or to adopt new curricular ideas, including those deriving from Schools Council work, in terms of (a) advisory services, (b) financial aid, (c) in-service training, (d) other help?

(a) Advisory services

1. The scale of the support which authorities indicated that they provided through their advisory services varied considerably, particularly in respect of some subject areas, and was partly related to the nature and size of the authority. A number of (mainly smaller) authorities considered that the absence of specialist advisers for certain subjects hampered their efforts to assist curricular developments in those areas, especially in secondary schools. Advisory committees of teachers and general advisers were sometimes established in order to circumvent this difficulty.

2. A theme emerging from almost all the replies was that advisers tried to respond to, foster and encourage developments originating in individual schools. A quarter of the authorities also stated that they saw part of the advisory service's function as being to initiate and stimulate developments in schools' curricula, and quoted as examples the leadership given by advisers in developing CSE Mode 3 syllabuses and disseminating information about Schools Council and other national projects (see also question A6).

3. Advisers (and also, according to some responses, the staff of teachers' centres) could support curricular initiatives at several levels. Ideas were discussed informally with teachers, and followed up in appropriate cases by school-based in-service training. Over a quarter of authorities said that advisers organised in-service courses at district or authority level in order to inform teachers about developments taking place nationally or regionally and to encourage them to take account of such developments within their own schools. Ensuring that initiatives in individual schools did not develop in isolation was seen by some authorities as one of the vital tasks of an advisory service; one-seventh of the replies described in some detail the work of advisers in bringing groups of teachers together by organising meetings, establishing working parties to consider a particular development or arranging for teachers to visit schools where new ideas were being put into practice. A similar role was ascribed to the 'curriculum development leaders', based on teachers' centres and working closely with the advisers in one authority.


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4, Some authorities indicated difficulties in maintaining an advisory service staffed at a level adequate to ensure that specialist cover was provided for all major subject areas: thus, for instance, 'the main gaps are in English, history and geography, and several advisers have to cover wide areas of the curriculum'. These difficulties were generally related to recent financial constraints.

(b) Financial aid

5. Seven-tenths of authorities specified that they retained central funds for use in connection with curriculum development, although in many of these cases alternative sources of finance were also available. Various local methods were described for organising the disbursement of central funds to approved projects, but authorities generally placed considerable emphasis on the recommendations of advisers when deciding which schools or projects to support. In a few authorities, responsibility for the management of the curriculum development fund was delegated entirely to the advisory service. Such funds were described as serving a pump-priming purpose; at a later stage schools would be expected to assimilate the costs of a project within their normal budget.

6. Some authorities provided special funding to assist schools wishing to adopt Schools Council or other national projects; more commonly, authorities reported that special funds assisted with new developments in subjects to which particular priority was attached. On the other hand, one-fifth of authorities said that financial constraints in recent years had meant that they were able to offer only very limited funds for curriculum development; in such circumstances it was especially important to identify and support schools whose initiatives would be of general value, as in the authority which made specific grants for work in certain rural primary schools. In some cases, an authority might agree to assist a particular development on condition that the school met a proportion of the cost from its own resources.

7. One-fifth of authorities referred to small sums of money allocated to individual advisers or officers to use at their discretion in support of curricular initiatives. Such funds were most often available to advisers for use in connection with their specialist subjects, but they were sometimes allocated to area or district education officers or teachers' centre wardens for a similar purpose.

8. A few authorities said that they included within capitation allowances all or most of the funds which might provide for curriculum development,


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in order that so far as possible schools could allocate their own resources in the light of individual priorities. One instance was. an 'alternative use of resources' scheme which schools could utilise 'to purchase additional teaching or ancillary staff as well as materials, equipment or minor building adaptations ... , [in order] to develop curriculum ideas',

(c) In-service training

9. Many authorities appeared to rely largely on their advisory service (sometimes by the designation of a particular adviser as a 'co-ordinator), to relate in-service provision to schools' requirements in terms of curriculum development but one-sixth reported that formal consultative arrangements had been established centrally within the authority in order to plan an overall in-service programme. A number of authorities added that there was sufficient flexibility in their programme to enable them to respond swiftly to new curricular initiatives in the course of the year.

10. Most in-service work undertaken by teachers took place on courses arranged within the authority; such courses required a variety of attendance patterns, and were usually held at teachers' centres. The staffs and premises of local higher education institutions (including universities) were also closely involved with the provision of in-service training. Travel and subsistence allowances were among the means adopted to assist attendance, and some authorities described residential centres which were used for week-end conferences or longer courses. Almost half the authorities referred to the importance of school-based in-service courses, some of which involved the whole staff of a school, as a means of encouraging curriculum development, and a number expressed the view that 'increasingly, school-based activities are extending the scope and contact of in-service meetings, for instance in connection with language across the curriculum'.

11. A number of authorities said that they made financial provision, normally in the form of travel and subsistence allowances, for teachers who wished to attend approved regional courses, including DES short courses. One-third said that they had a programme of secondments to enable teachers to attend national one-term or one-year courses relevant to their professional development or the needs of their school. A few authorities commented that the availability of secondments had been restricted by the financial constraints of recent years, but added that at the time of replying the number of teachers involved was starting to increase again.

12. Some authorities emphasised the importance of encouraging teachers to put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired during in-service


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training. This was sometimes mentioned as being one of the responsibilities of the advisory service, but a few replies described schemes involving college tutors or seconded consultant teachers to provide follow-up support for teachers who had taken courses, for example, in reading development.

(d) Other help

13. Many authorities welcomed visits from external speakers, such as Schools Council project teams, as a stimulus to the development of new ideas in schools; and a few stated that in certain cases they were able to supply additional staff to assist a school with the adoption of a curricular innovation. Other authorities seconded small numbers of teachers to outside organisations or institutions, in order to work jointly on the development of ideas with curricular implications: examples quoted included research carried out at a local university, and work on educational broadcasts with a local radio station. Several responses mentioned that seminars and conferences for advisers were arranged in order to increase the effectiveness of their work with teachers. A number said that a useful adjunct to the work of advisers was provided by the library and museum services; other agencies such as public industries and services sometimes made available materials and information.

14. Specialist centres for particular subjects or curricular areas, such as mathematics centres or field studies centres, supported curricular initiatives in many authorities. In one case a special unit had been developing 'resources for independent learning for children in the first two years of secondary education in English, science, mathematics, social studies and French'. Some of the responses described the importance of the loan services for equipment and materials operated by teachers' centres, and others referred in the context of this question to the preparation of handbooks and teaching materials by groups of advisers and teachers.



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A6. What local curriculum development work have the authority initiated since January 1974?

1. Typical of many was the response that 'curriculum development work in the authority's schools is not initiated solely by the Education Committee, its officers and inspectors, but also by the schools themselves. The amount of curriculum development initiated over the period since 1974 has been so large and so diverse in scope that it is virtually impossible to convey adequately the developments that have taken place.' Some authorities accordingly restricted their replies to recent major developments across the authority, pointing out that these represented only a sample of the overall activity; even so, the range and number of examples quoted were very wide. Most included within the terms of their response a statement of local participation in and development of Schools Council and other national curriculum projects.

2. Replies indicated that curriculum development, under which authorities included the examination, evaluation and development of the content of and teaching methods employed for a particular subject area or group of areas, was approached in various ways. Advisers played a central part in this process by visiting schools and encouraging teachers to think about their work in new ways (one-seventh of the responses mentioned school-based curriculum projects) and by organising in-service courses to look in detail at certain issues. They helped to bring groups of teachers together to consider particular topics, and over a quarter of authorities referred to the establishment of curriculum study groups in various fields. Advisers also assisted in the production of curricular materials, which two-fifths of authorities linked with curriculum development. Teachers' centres, higher education institutions, and specialist subject associations were variously involved with many of these initiatives, and others were encouraged through HM Inspectors' activities.

3. A quarter of authorities referred to the development of the nursery school curriculum, and some mentioned work on the overall curriculum for primary schools and middle schools. On individual topics within the primary curriculum, over two-thirds of all responses listed projects concerned with the development of children's language skills, and over half listed projects related to number. Slightly under half included projects in the area of primary science or environmental studies, and a quarter included aesthetic or craft subjects.

4. Few authorities described projects which examined the overall secondary curriculum, for example for the 11-16 or 16-19 age groups, although


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some referred to work in connection with the management and organisation of schools, especially in relation to comprehensive reorganisation, and liaison with further education. Two-thirds listed work in the field of English language and literacy, three-fifths specified work related to mathematics teaching and half included work on modem languages and geography. Science (including work on relating the science curriculum to industrial processes and materials), history, religious education, environmental studies and craft, design and technology were each referred to by about two-fifths of authorities; one-third referred to projects in the fields of music, home economics and health education (including child care); about a quarter referred to art and careers work, and about one-sixth to social studies. A number of authorities listed projects concerned with provision for gifted children, and one-sixth included projects in the field of special education. It was especially noticeable that much development work in geography, environmental studies and history was based on the use of local resources.

5. For the reasons stated in paragraph 1 above, these figures do not necessarily represent the total number of authorities under whose auspices curriculum development work in the various subject areas has been carried out. Still less can they be taken to imply the relative importance attached to particular subjects by individual authorities (see question B4). Moreover, as one reply pointed out, 'much curriculum development work by its nature is gradual and builds on what has gone before, so that the pattern is much more complex than can be conveyed by a list of initiatives'. However, in providing an indication of the pattern of curriculum development across England and Wales the above summary shows the extent to which authorities are concerned to encourage this work, particularly in the fields of literacy and numeracy.



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A7. What steps have the authority taken to help schools comply, so far as curriculum is concerned, with the provisions and intentions of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975?

1. The majority of authorities reported specific steps to help schools comply with the provisions and intentions of the Sex Discrimination Act (described in DES Circular 2/76, Welsh Office Circular 20/76). These generally took two main forms: the circulation of information to and from schools about the implications of the Act; and measures to assist its implementation in the curricular field.

2. In spreading information about the Act, the most commonly reported actions were some form of central guidance from the authority, usually in the shape of a letter or memorandum to schools (this was mentioned in about half of the replies), and guidance - often on a more informal and individual basis - by advisers to schools (mentioned by a quarter of the authorities). Altogether two-thirds of the authorities said they adopted one or other of these approaches or a combination of them. Such initiatives were frequently based on discussions with head teachers, local advisory panels or teacher organisations, and made use of Circular 2/76, DES Education Survey 21 (,Curricular Differences for Boys and Girls'), or literature produced by the Equal Opportunities Commission. About one-seventh of the authorities (including some which had not recorded either of the above approaches) indicated that they operated arrangements to monitor the implementation of the Act, either through reports specifically provided by schools or through other channels (such as assessments by the advisory service). In some instances, monitoring included the collection of statistical information on, for example, 'changes in the pattern of subject choice at fourth year level by sex'.

3. Various measures were adopted to assist implementation of the Act in the curricular field, although a small number of authorities took the view that 'practice, as seen in the curriculum offered in schools, conforms with the requirements' of the Act, so that no special steps were necessary. The role of the advisory service, described above, encompassed offering practical advice as well as information, including 'help for schools in formulating revised syllabuses'. In-service training for heads and other teachers, whether in courses largely devoted to this topic or in other subject areas, was reported by one-sixth of the authorities. This was seen both as a means of stimulating a reappraisal of curricular organisation and content and as another way of disseminating information. Other measures less


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frequently mentioned included making available extra capitation allowances to cover additional provision in craft subjects, and taking special account, when planning building projects, of new accommodation needs resulting from changing patterns of subject provision for both sexes. Some authorities had developed exchange or sharing arrangements, especially between single-sex schools, to help overcome the limitations of existing facilities.

4. Some replies also indicated general policy or practice locally in relation to curricular opportunities for both sexes. About one-fifth specifically stated that all subjects in their schools were open equally to boys and girls, and a number of others referred to particular arrangements for rotating provision for subjects such as crafts so that all pupils had an opportunity to sample the whole range of options, often in mixed groups. A few mentioned that careers teachers and careers officers sought to ensure that careers literature and guidance avoided sex-stereotyping, and that this approach was also reflected at earlier stages in schools when subject choices were being made by pupils: in one area, these matters were considered by a working party of careers advisers. In some cases, positive efforts were described to develop, for example, technological studies for girls (eg by appointing women teachers where appropriate) and to defer the dropping of physical sciences; rather more rarely, corresponding activities were mentioned in the field of home economics for boys.

5. A few authorities drew attention to constraints upon the capacity of the education service to go beyond compliance with the law on discrimination, and secure a significant extension of opportunities for all pupils. Among such constraints were limitations (at least in the short term) of available accommodation, staff and other resources, and timetabling difficulties, often associated with marked variations in the numbers choosing different options. Moreover, some pupils and parents were said to be reluctant to take advantage of a wider range of opportunities than those hitherto associated with traditional sex roles. A particular instance was the cultural attitude of some ethnic communities in this respect. Elsewhere, contrasting views were reported, in that some schools would consider that 'their responsibility is to undertake compensatory action of various kinds; other schools see their obligation mainly in terms of providing equivalent opportunities to pupils of both sexes, but would not feel that they had responsibilities to change either the attitudes of their own pupils or those of society'.


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Section B: Curricular balance and breadth


1. Under this section were grouped a number of questions about authorities' approaches to the curricular balance within their schools.

2. B1, B3 and B4 raised broad questions about authorities' views of essential and less essential components. The replies to B1 (relative emphasis on particular aspects of the curriculum) clearly indicate the variety of attitudes among authorities. Some regard such issues as entirely a matter for schools, while others are involved with various forms of initiative or guidance, particularly through their advisory services. The responses to B3 reinforce this impression, Almost half of the authorities explicitly see the range of subject options offered to older pupils as a matter for individual schools, though practice is said to be influenced by the views of the advisory services and any consensus on curriculum design emerging from various forms of in-service training (courses, conferences and seminars). Nevertheless, adequate emphasis on literacy and numeracy is a primary objective.

3. The responses to B4 (curricular elements regarded as essential) are also significant in their diversity. No common view emerges of what these elements are, or how they might be identified. Half the authorities describe the curriculum in terms of various general areas of experience, and a quarter in terms of individually timetabled subjects (those most commonly listed being English, mathematics, science, religious education, physical education and modern languages).

4. Question B2 was concerned with the provision for slow learners. The replies indicate that substantial efforts are made by authorities to identify and help pupils in this category. Various diagnostic tests are applied, and these are followed by a range of special facilities and back-up arrangements, such as provision of extra staffing, withdrawal classes or centres, and a remedial advisory service.


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5. B5 enquired about the provision in four subject areas often not separately identified in school timetables (moral education, health education, careers education and social education). Understandably the emphasis on these subjects varies. Moral education is generally seen as part of the 'hidden curriculum 'in schools, often linked with religious education; health education as an integral part of the school curriculum in many forms (developed in co-operation with the area health authority); and careers education as a common requirement which all schools are encouraged to provide (in close association with the careers service). On the other hand, social education is much less clearly defined, and generally appears to be left very largely to school and community initiatives without direct policy guidance from the authority.

6. B7 raised the question of authorities' views on the planning of sixth form curricula. While the majority have established varying arrangements for co-ordination between schools, and between sixth forms and further education provision, a substantial minority indicate that they have formulated no general policy of this kind to date. Some two-fifths of authorities are currently reviewing their arrangements in this field.

7. Questions B6 and B8 were concerned particularly with ethnic minority groups, The answers demonstrate that the importance of promoting racial understanding is widely acknowledged, and that this is furthered through the whole curriculum, in-service training, staffing policies and community involvement. There is widespread perception of the need to make special provision for children whose mother tongue is not English, and authorities with a significant ethnic minority population have developed a variety of approaches to this issue, including special centres, peripatetic teachers, additional staffing and in-service training.

8. Throughout their answers to this section local authorities place great emphasis on the role of the 'advisory services. As noted in the summary for Section A however, this does not generally appear to extend to the systematic collection and monitoring of information about the curriculum offered in the schools.


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B1. How do the authority help schools decide on the relative emphasis they should give to particular aspects of the curriculum, especially the promotion of literacy and numeracy?

1. One-fifth of the authorities stated that the relative emphasis given to the various aspects of the curriculum was a matter for the professional judgement of the staff of schools, and many of them added that it would be wrong for the authority to require particular practices. One authority said that it would intervene only where a school's curricular balance was seen to be at fault, and that so far such intervention had not been necessary. A number of the responses indicated that the authority encouraged schools to discuss their objectives and to examine the overall balance of the curriculum. Thus one authority had 'invited all schools to undertake a process of self-assessment, measured against the recommendations of the Green Paper "Education in Schools"'*. A few authorities also referred to the part played by governing bodies in discussions on the curriculum (see question A4).

2. One-third of the responses specified steps taken by the authority which reflected the particular importance attached to literacy and numeracy. Several of these pointed out that the skills of literacy and numeracy could be developed through many.different subjects, and one authority illustrated this by quoting a policy statement to primary schools which affirmed that 'attainable targets in the central elements of basic skills, knowledge and experience ... would ... form a high priority in all primary schools'. Authorities promoted work on literacy and numeracy in their schools in a variety of ways, often through the provision of material or staffing resources to support work in these fields, as in one authority which stated its intention that 'every primary school should be provided with a specific resource area for literacy and numeracy'. and another which said that its policy was to encourage the appointment of heads 'who appeared at interview to hold the achievement of skills and knowledge in these two areas to be their primary educational objectives'. Many initiatives (reported in greater detail under question B2) were described in relation to the screening of primary school pupils with a view to providing additional assistance for those who were making slow progress in the basic skills. A number of the responses included comments to the effect that, while much work on literacy had followed the publication of the Bullock Report (see questions C1-3), there was a 'need for more work on the promotion of numeracy' (see questions C4-7). On the other hand, one authority, referring to the primary curriculum, warned that while 'in some respects the emphasis on

*Cmnd 6869, July 1977


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basic skills has been beneficial, in others it may have led to a narrowing of objectives'.

3. One-fifth of the responses mentioned documents which had been issued, as guidelines, reports or in some other form, in order to help schools arrive at a suitably balanced curriculum or to emphasis the importance of literacy and numeracy. One authority had recently developed 'new record cards for pupils in literacy and numeracy' which would draw 'teachers' attention to all elements of these particular skills'. Several authorities reported that the preparatory planning required for secondary reorganisation had provided an opportunity for the compilation of guideline documents or for the establishment of working parties to consider the question of curricular balance in comprehensive schools.

4. By far the most frequently described means of helping schools to determine the relative emphasis of subjects was the work of the advisory service, which was specified in three-quarters of the responses. Advisers were said to offer guidance to head teachers on overall curricular balance and emphasis in the course of routine visits to schools, but more systematic approaches by the advisory service were also described. For example, several authorities reported that their advisers had carried out surveys of individual schools which had involved study of the form of the curriculum. In some cases these had been followed up by discussions with the school's staff in order to encourage further consideration of this area.

5. Advisers were also said to encourage consideration of curricular balance and emphasis through the provision of various forms of in-service training. In-service courses, including those organised by higher education institutions, were referred to in over half the responses. They were sometimes arranged to enable senior staff with responsibility for major curricular decisions to examine the overall form of the curriculum, but reference was more commonly made to courses which emphasised the centrality of basic skills, bearing in mind, as one authority put it, 'the need to set literacy and numeracy in the context of a balanced, broad curriculum'. Another authority had prepared, and was shortly to introduce, 'a programme of day-time courses in (a) mathematics and (b) English language, which would involve at least one member of each school of a "family" or "pyramid" in discussion of literacy or numeracy ... ', Some responses also referred to arrangements for seconding teachers to longer courses outside the authority's area, occasionally stating that teachers applying for courses related to literacy and numeracy were given priority in such secondments.


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6. Advisers often played a major part in arranging the conferences or meetings, mentioned by over a quarter of the authorities, which were held to enable teachers at various levels to discuss common problems related to curricular balance and emphasis. One authority, which encouraged its schools to have written schemes of work and curricular guidelines, described an exhibition of primary schools' schemes of work attended by, among others, primary and secondary school head-teachers, Other agencies, such as language centres, mathematics centres and the library service, were referred to in a few of the responses as providing support for some of the work of advisers described above.






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B2. How do the authority help primary schools make appropriate provision for pupils who by the age of 8 have made relatively slow progress in learning to read and write or to use number?

1. Most replies conveyed a recognition of the varying scale and nature of pupils' difficulties, and described how methods of helping pupils who were making slow progress were adapted according to the severity of the problem. Circular 14/77 did not ask authorities to refer to provision in special schools and most responses did not therefore enter into such details. Although a distinction was usually drawn between pupils whose difficulties were deeply rooted and those whose problems were less severe, it was apparent that authorities did not regard such categories as hard and fast.

2. About two-thirds of the authorities mentioned that some form of screening was applied to all pupils during their primary school career. Most of these references were to the systematic diagnostic testing of various aspects of the level of pupils' literacy, the element most commonly investigated being reading ability. Fewer than one-tenth of the total number of authorities referred specifically to similar screening in the field of numeracy; and most of the authorities in this category had not yet introduced such screening, but were intending to do so shortly. One stated that there was no systematic testing in number in its area, and explained that 'diagnosis was left to individual schools, most of whom applied standardised tests at various stages of the primary course'; but such statements were comparatively rare. Several responses mentioned screening without specifying whether it applied to literacy, numeracy, or both.

3. One authority's exposition of the purpose of such screening tests was representative: 'the results ... are analysed and contribute towards decisions which are made by the appropriate officers of the [Child Guidance and Psychological] Service as to whether additional support is necessary, either by means of attendance by the child at a Child Guidance Clinic or remedial reading centre, or by means of additional teaching support for the school given by a member of the Remedial Reading Service'. The same authority went on to point out, however, that it was unusual for children to be identified as being in need of extra support on the basis of this screening process alone, and that head teachers would in most cases already have made a preliminary diagnosis of a pupil's difficulties. Other authorities said that teachers were given guidance and in-service training in order to assist them with the early identification of children requiring additional help.


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4. Although a number of the replies referred to the application of diagnostic screening at other ages between 5 and 10, particularly at 6+ and 8+, half the authorities specifying systematic tests said that children in their area took them at the age of 7+. In some areas children were screened twice during their primary school career, and several authorities explained that the age at which the tests were administered was related to the organisation of schools locally: thus one expressed the view that screening for mathematical competence was best undertaken at 9+ in order to give its middle schools 'the time and opportunity to deal with those pupils who were seen to have special problems'.

5. In describing the steps taken to help with provision for pupils who showed signs of making slow progress, a number of responses echoed the sentiments of the authority which commented that 'the emphasis ... was on helping schools to make their own provision as far as possible for children who needed remedial education ... ', Over one-third of the authorities stated that steps were taken to appoint additional teachers to schools with particularly large numbers of slow learning pupils. One, for example, reported that a number of teachers who had been displaced due to falling school rolls had been reallocated to schools with a high proportion of slow learners; another authority said that each primary school had established a scale post with responsibility for remedial work.

6. About three-tenths of the replies referred to steps which had been taken in order to facilitate the withdrawal of groups of pupils from their normal class for periods of additional tuition in basic skills (for instance, through the provision of part-time staff); some also mentioned the existence in some schools of separate classes for slow learners. One authority commented that: 'for pupils who have difficulties of a more enduring nature, opportunity classes exist where long term help in small classes, ideally of 12-15 pupils, can be provided. Teachers of such classes in primary schools are above "establishments" and receive additional allowances but, like the pupils, they are fully integrated into the main streams of the schools.' TWo-fifths of the authorities referred to special centres, attended on either a part-time or a full-time basis, for children with especially severe problems. Such centres might be established in association with a large primary school or as free-standing institutions, and were generally staffed by members of the remedial and/or psychological services (see paragraph 7 below). Authorities pointed out that children whose difficulties were of a medical nature could be catered for in appropriate special schools.

7. Almost all authorities said that they maintained services to provide guidance and support for the education of slow learners. Four-fifths


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referred to the work of a remedial advisory service (often including a team peripatetic teachers), among the tasks of which were the preparation of programmes of study for, and the part-time tuition of, particular pupils in individual schools; the provision of guidance and in-service training for the class teachers of these pupils; and the organisation and staffing of centres to cater for the needs of pupils with especially severe problems. One authority reported that it had encouraged 'the establishment of local, teacher-organised, remedial associations'. Two-thirds of the replies mentioned the role of educational psychologists in identifying and helping children with learning difficulties. Psychologists were often closely involved in the administration of screening tests (see paragraph 2 above) and in devising programmes of work for children in need of remedial tuition.

8. Three-tenths of the authorities said that they assisted schools needing resource material for remedial teaching, whether through the provision of special funds for the purchase of such materials, the setting up of working parties to produce suitable items or the establishment of a remedial resource centre. A few replies mentioned that documents giving guidance on the identification and needs of slow learners had been produced; for example, one authority was piloting developmental records which would 'provide a structure for teachers to monitor the development of children making slow progress' in literacy. Other authorities disseminated information about relevant national projects (for instance, the Schools Council's 'Early Mathematical Experiences'). Much effort was also said to be directed towards training class teachers to use remedial resource materials and, more generally, towards identifying and providing appropriate teaching for children who were making slow progress. About three-fifths of the responses referred to the provision of in-service training for this purpose.

9. A number of authorities acknowledged that the emphasis in formal provision for slow learners was on assistance with literacy rather than numeracy, although one authority stated that the additional staff allocated to some primary schools were 'appointed for the purposes of providing for remedial needs generally rather than specifically for reading purposes'. A few responses included comments on the importance of involving parents in the education of young children who showed signs of making slow progress in acquiring the basic skills.


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B3. What contribution have the authority made to the consideration of the problem faced by secondary schools, of providing suitable subject options for older pupils while avoiding the premature dropping of curricular elements regarded as essential for all pupils?

1. The responses to this question rarely referred to statements of policy on the desirable breadth of the curriculum for older pupils; almost half of them explicitly said that this was a matter to be determined by each school in the light of local circumstances. A few authorities, however, mentioned their general approach: for example, one considered that where there was a difference of view among those involved (parents, pupil and teachers) about the balance of a programme of study for a particular fourth or fifth year pupil, 'it was the responsibility of the school to advise, and if appropriate, require a pupil to follow a broad rather than a narrow curriculum'. Another authority'S interpretation of the dilemma expressed by this question was typical of many: 'it is not the view of the authority that the provision of suitable subject options for older pupils is incompatible with the retention of essential curricular elements. The problems lie in providing a sufficient range of options to satisfy the needs of pupils who have, collectively, a very wide range of abilities and aptitudes, without increasing class sizes in essential subjects in order to do so'. Nevertheless, responses often voiced an awareness of what one authority referred to as 'the danger of schools trying to provide a vast and indiscriminate range of options at the expense of balance'.

2. From the descriptions of existing practice supplied by most authorities in response to questions B3 and B4, it was apparent that there was considerable variation in patterns of provision for older secondary school pupils. While most authorities indicated that their schools generally required pupils to continue to the age of 16 with English, mathematics, physical education and religious education, in some form or other, there was variation in the overall size of the 'core'; additional subjects which some schools were said to make compulsory included a science, a modern language, a 'humanities' subject. a 'social education' course, a 'practical' (or 'creative') subject. or a combination of these. Several authorities stated that they were not aware of any serious imbalance in curricular provision, while others maintained that there was (in the words of one) 'a growing emphasis on ensuring that all pupils follow a reasonably balanced curriculum within the option system'. A few authorities, however, drew attention to the difficulties arising when individual pupils included three separate sciences or three foreign languages within their programme; and suggested


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that for abler pupils it was often the craft and aesthetic areas which were omitted.

3. Most authorities described particular ways in which they attempted to help individual schools to arrive at an appropriate scheme of options. Of these, the most frequently mentioned (in over two-thirds of the replies) was the guidance offered by the advisory service to head teachers and others responsible for devising patterns of provision for older pupils. Advisers could help schools to consider the balance of options available; and, for example, in some authorities they were discussing with head teachers the possibility of extending the core elements in the fourth and fifth year curriculum. In a small number of areas careers officers were also said to be involved in discussions on the objectives and development of some items within the overall curriculum for older pupils (see question F2). Another role commonly attributed to advisers was the monitoring, in the course of routine visits, of curricular balance in individual schools; other groups (such as governing bodies) were in a few instances mentioned as also having a part to play in this respect.

4. In somewhat under half the replies in-service training, in the form of courses, conferences and seminars, was mentioned as an important way of helping heads and other senior teachers to consider and discuss broad issues of curriculum design, allocation of staffing and other resources, and time-tabling. This in-service work was often carried out under the auspices of the advisory service, and a number of authorities stated that they tried to make it possible for all head teachers, and representatives of their advisory service and administrative officers, to attend HMI COSMOS courses. Some authorities described conferences, working parties and local meetings of teachers (and in a few cases also employers) which had been organised to consider questions related to the provision and balance of options, so that, for example, transition between institutions catering for the different age ranges could be facilitated.

5. In some authorities the lack of suitable specialist teachers was said to cause problems in relation to the range and, in a number of cases, the availability of courses in particular subject areas. Thus one authority reported that shortages of specialists had applied in particular 'to the study of second or minority languages; to some areas of science and technology; and, in terms of the breadth of curriculum available, to music and mathematics'. The reductions in staffing consequent upon falling rolls were also said to threaten some subjects in individual schools, and some authorities reported that they provided additional teachers to permit adequate breadth in the


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curriculum of small schools. A few authorities referred to teams of peripatetic teachers in certain subjects, 'to help small schools provide courses in minority subject areas or to assist where temporary staff shortages exist'; and another authority said that colleges of further education had provided specialised courses to enable some some small schools to offer their pupils an adequate number of options.






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B4. What curricular elements do the authority regard as essential?

1. The replies to this question well illustrated the range of views among authorities about the extent of their curricular responsibilities. While some were disinclined to express a judgement on which curricular elements were essential, many others supplied detailed and carefully formulated views. The degree to which such views reflected or influenced current practice, and the ways in which any such influence was exerted, appeared to vary considerably; for instance, some authorities listing what they regarded as essential elements specifically noted that they had made no statement to their schools on this matter.

2. The nature of the problem was encapsulated in the passage of Aristotle quoted by one authority: 'People do not agree on the subjects which the young should learn ...; nobody knows whether the young should be trained at such studies as are merely useful as a means of livelihood, or in such as tend to the promotion of virtue, or in the higher studies .. :. In fact most responses conveyed the view that the curriculum ought to consist of a balance of these and other elements, although authorities expressed this opinion in differing ways and with differing emphases. Thus while several responses contained statements to the effect that 'rather than identify elements, the authority stress the need for a balanced curriculum, bearing in mind the degree of knowledge and understanding which pupils at a particular type of school will require at the next stage in their education', one authority expressed support for 'the professional opinion that teachers in primary schools should concentrate their experience and expertise extensively on teaching the basic skills of reading, writing and number, and that no other curricular aims should deflect them from these major objectives'.

3. One-fifth of the authorities did not wish to offer a list of essential curricular elements, often explaining that they had issued no statements of policy on this matter, as it was their view that decisions in this field were the responsibility of individual schools. One response said that 'any statement at this stage would be likely to be counter-productive', as it was believed that policy statements about the curriculum should 'emerge as a result of a developing consensus' prompted by consultations between schools, governing bodies, parents and employers.

4. The lists of essential curricular elements provided by many authorities took two main forms: (i) general categories of knowledge, experience and


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skills, not necessarily related directly to particular subjects; and (ii) lists of individual school subjects. Slightly over half the replies described the curriculum in terms of general areas which authorities believed ought to form part of the experience of all pupils at some stage of their school career, and each of which could be approached through several separate subjects, or through combined courses. About one-tenth of authorities expressed their agreement with the checklist of areas of experience suggested in the working papers by HM Inspectorate on 'Curriculum 11-16'*, and a similar proportion submitted an identical or very similar list. Others referred to the model adopted by the Assessment of Performance Unit, or to aims of schools set out in paragraph 1.19 of the Green Paper 'Education in Schools', but many had devised similar lists of their own. For example, one authority'S model was as follows:

'1. an opportunity to acquire and develop linguistic skills;
2. an opportunity to acquire and develop mathematical skills;
3. an opportunity to acquire an understanding of scientific thought and to use scientific methods;
4. an opportunity to acquire some understanding of society, of people and the world;
5. opportunities for aesthetic and spiritual experience;
6. opportunities to acquire and develop personal skills and social competence;
7. an opportunity to acquire and develop physical and motor skills;
8. where appropriate an opportunity to study at least one subject to some academic depth.'

A second authority adopted the following approach:

'literacy and oracy;
numeracy;
a knowledge and understanding of man's natural and physical environment;
a knowledge and understanding of man and his social and industrial environment;
religious and moral attitudes; aesthetic sensibility; technology;
physical Education.'

*HMSO, 1978 (page 6).


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The same authority went on to say that these elements 'will not all be pursued with the same concentration at all stages in a child's growth, and the balance required between the different areas will vary from child to child'. Most authorities' lists in this category bore a general resemblance to those quoted above, although the emphases varied and the areas covered were not always identical.

5. Although some authorities stressed that no particular significance attached to the ordering of the elements within their classification, a number made comments to the effect that 'in normal circumstances, literacy and numeracy skills would be in the forefront of objectives for all pupils, supported, however, by a wide structure of other curricular goals'. A different emphasis came from another authority, arguing that 'to separate out language and mathematical skills to be protected as "essential" could lead to stagnation in the primary school curriculum and defeat the very object of the exercise'.

6. The second approach mentioned in paragraph 4_above was adopted by just over a quarter of the authorities, who answered this question by listing school subjects which they regarded as essential, though not necessarily to be taken by all pupils throughout the school. One authority explained that it had 'a predisposition to include curricular elements that have gained traditional acceptance in schools since they create a continuous relationship between older and younger, sustain a kind of cultural continuity in the community at large, represent naturally the common ground for educational discussion and development, and provide the basis for coherent assessment of procedures, methods etc'. Almost half of the authorities submitting a reply in this form specified separate lists of subjects for the primary and for the secondary curriculum (see paragraphs 7 and 8 below); the remainder provided composite lists. A few annotated their lists with some indication of the ground to be covered in stages by, or the aims and objectives of, each subject.

7. Of those listing subjects which they considered ought to be included in the curriculum of primary schools, all referred to language and number, and all but one to religious education; over two-thirds referred to science and/or environmental studies; almost two-thirds to physical education; over half to aesthetic and/or craft subjects; and a quarter to health education.

8. Many more subjects were listed as essential elements of a complete secondary curriculum, although, as mentioned above, they might not be studied by all pupils at all stages of their school careers. (Provision for


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older secondary school pupils is described more fully under question B3.) Of the authorities giving this form of response, over nine-tenths referred to English and mathematics; about four-fifths to each of science, religious education, and physical education; and two-thirds to modern languages. Two-fifths and one-seventh of these authorities respectively drew separate attention to the areas of careers education and health education. While a substantial number also identified history, geography, music, art and technical and craft subjects separately, others adopted a variety of more general labels covering these and other areas, such as humanities and social studies, or practical and creative subjects. For this reason it has not been possible to quantify references to this group of subjects. Among other features regarded by some authorities as essential to the secondary curriculum were items linked specifically to preparation for adult responsibilities, such as education in personal relationships and information about the economic functioning of society.

9. A few authorities, however, referred to the problem of the overcrowding of the curriculum, and mentioned the establishment of working parties or study groups to consider this A number of authorities accepting the possible desirability and feasibility of identifying the essential elements of the curriculum had taken similar steps to promote the examination of these matters.


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B5. How do the authority help secondary schools provide for (i) moral education, (ii) health education, (iii) careers education, (iv) social education through community links, etc whilst giving adequate attention to the basic educational skills? What part is played by the idea of a core or protected part of the curriculum?

(i) Moral education

1. One response summarised the attitude of most authorities towards moral education: 'the most effective moral education is achieved through the "hidden curriculum" - the sense of caring and responsibility which the whole organisation and corporate life of the school is intended to create'. Another authority commented that it did not see moral education as another subject to add to an overloaded curriculum, but as a vital educational activity, found in a variety of subjects and aspects of school life. Consideration of moral issues, far from distracting attention from basic educational skills, enabled pupils to focus more readily upon them.

2. Whilst very few authorities reported that they encouraged the provision of moral education in a separate course, several outlined ways in which it could be developed within the curriculum. One authority which considered that 'didactic approaches ... may be counterproductive', suggested that the moral development of young people was best fostered through a programme which should:

'(a) offer concrete opportunities for making decisions and acting upon them,
(b) expose pupils to situations in which their contribution is necessary
to the success of the venture or project,
(c) foster their self-image without inflating their egos, (d) minimise the pressure of compulsion,
(e) enable pupils to develop independently of their peers without losing involvement with their peers,
(f) provide for the maximum interaction between pupils and teachers as young people and adults.'
Accordingly, teachers in this authority were 'encouraged to capitalise upon incidents and situations which give opportunities to discuss the broad basis on which choices and decisions are made and to refine children's perceptions in this field'. This approach was echoed in many responses (over a quarter of the total) which stated that moral education was the


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responsibility of all the teachers in a school, whether through personal example or through teaching; and that in the classroom this responsibility might be exercised through religious education, or in the context of other subjects such as history or English, health education or careers education, or through more general courses having moral education components.

3. Almost half the authorities linked moral with religious education, usually stating that they expected schemes of work for the latter to include elements relating to moral education; in some cases the agreed syllabus for religious education was said to contain such elements. A number of authorities said that they encouraged schools to provide courses of education for personal relationships, which would link moral with health education (see section (ii) below), while a few referred to moral education as being an implicit part of the duties of pastoral staff, in the counselling and assistance which they gave to pupils.

4. Three-tenths of the authorities mentioned the work of advisers in promoting moral education in schools. Where this was described, the adviser for religious education was usually said to have regard to this aspect of provision, although one authority considered that this was one of the pastoral responsibilities of advisers generally. A few authorities said that religious education centres were able to offer valuable assistance, although there were no references to specialist resource centres for moral education as such.

5. Almost half the authorities reported that in-service training was one of the means adopted to support moral education in schools. Courses were sometimes linked with one or both of the Schools Council's projects 'Moral Education 8-13' or 'Moral Education 13-16', to which over a quarter of the responses referred. One-eighth of the authorities said that they had established working parties to consider aspects of the provision of moral education. Some of these were producing materials for use in the classroom, and in a few cases such groups had compiled or were compiling guidelines. For example, one authority hoped that, arising out of the work of one such group, 'a series of guidelines, if not a syllabus, would be made available to schools, probably with the backing of the Education Committee as a policy matter'. A few responses mentioned conferences which the authority organised to give older pupils an opportunity to meet and consider selected moral issues in depth.


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(ii) Health education

6. Many authorities referred to the importance of health education as an integral part of the school curriculum, and one had recently re-emphasised this to its schools and colleges 'because in many schools the teaching of health matters seems to be limited to girls, to low-ability groups and to wet-weather interludes in physical education programmes'. Comparatively few, however, were specific about the approach which they favoured. Just under one-fifth of the replies said that in practice health education was taught in varying contexts through the medium of other subjects. One authority explained that about a quarter of its secondary schools taught this topic in a separate course; in other schools, aspects of health education were incorporated in biology, human biology, combined science, physical education, home economics, child care etc. Some authorities supported the teaching of related aspects of health education such as sex education and child development together with moral education, within a course of education for personal relationships. Such courses were taught by teachers from several different departments, and a few authorities saw a consequent need for a programme of health education or education for personal relationships to be co-ordinated and monitored by one teacher in each secondary school.

7. Assistance was provided to schools in several different ways. Three-quarters of the responses referred to co-operation with the area health authority, and in particular with health education officers. Many authorities placed great reliance on their support and health education officers were involved in most of the activities described below, as well as in the provision of resource materials such as films for use in school. A few authorities mentioned that a health education centre was maintained by the area health authority, and that this was used by teachers in much the same way as the specialist resource centres for other areas of the curriculum (such as those


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mentioned in questions C3, C7, C12 and C16). Particularly close involvement with the area health authority was described by one authority, where health education officers were provided on a part-time basis in middle schools to 'work on agreed programmes with the pupils and also act as consultants to other staff, particularly group tutors and year leaders, on questions of health education'.

8. About three-tenths of the authorities reported the appointment of an adviser with special responsibility for health education or for education for personal relationships. In a few instances the close relationship with the area health authority was emphasised by the fact that the adviser for health education was a joint appointment. A number of authorities referred to the establishment of a health education advisory committee to encourage the development of health education in schools and to co-ordinate the work of the local education authority and the area health authority. Some of these advisory committees were said to have been set up in the absence of a specialist adviser. A group of this kind had, for example, been established in each of the areas of one authority, with a membership 'made up of teachers (from all phases of education), doctors, health education officers, nurses, health visitors and environmental health officers. The group studies all aspects of health education in schools and arranges for the economic use of the" human and material resources on which schools may be able to draw to assist them in health education programmes.'

9. Working parties on aspects of health education were mentioned in one-sixth of the responses: many were concerned with defining the broad field of health education and how it should be taught, but others were currently engaged on such work as the production of a hand-book on sex education and programmes of study drawn up with the assistance of the area health authority. A further sixth referred to the production of classroom materials; for example, in one authority a head teacher had been seconded 'to liaise with schools and produce material of their own choosing'. One-fifth of the authorities said that they provided handbooks or guidelines to encourage the development of courses of health education in their schools. Over a quarter of the total reported that they encouraged schools to make use of national projects in health education, such as those of the Health Education Council or the Schools Council, or to have regard to the DES' handbook 'Health Education in Schools'. One authority, for example, said that it had organised conferences to disseminate one of these projects. The most frequently specified form of support for national projects, and indeed for health education generally, was in-service training which was mentioned in slightly under three-fifths of the responses.


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(iii) Careers education

10. Many authorities gave detailed information about their provision for careers education (and related topics) in their replies to the relevant questions of section F. Among the topics reported on more fully in section F are the different types of careers education, the role and appointment of careers teachers in schools and their liaison with the authority's careers advisory service, links with industry, work experience schemes and participation in activities sponsored by national bodies.

11. In over one-third of the responses to question B5 it was specifically stated that all schools were encouraged to provide for careers education in terms of staffing and accommodation, and in most of these cases all schools in the authority's area were said to make such provision. A number of authorities allowed schools additional staff for this purpose, or said that they were proposing to do so, although one authority maintained that its resources were not sufficient to support the number of careers teachers considered desirable. A few authorities, while not denying the value of specialist careers teachers, made comments to the effect that careers education could 'often be most successful when diffused throughout departments of the school other than the careers department', and some linked the co-ordination of careers work with the network of pastoral responsibilities encouraged in their schools. A number of responses, however, indicated that the authority expected schools to set aside time specifically for careers work, while several authorities reported that the arrangements made for careers education varied according to the emphasis placed on it by the head teacher.

12. Over two-thirds of the responses referred to the work of the careers service in assisting schools' programmes of careers education. In slightly


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under a quarter of the replies an adviser or assistant education officer was said to have particular responsibility for the promotion of careers work in schools and the co-ordination of support, and many authorities stressed the close relationship between the work of these officers and the work of the careers service. One of the areas in which this relationship was said to be closest was in the provision of in-service courses for careers teachers. About half the authorities mentioned that they organised such courses, or, less frequently, that they encouraged teachers to attend national courses leading to a qualification in careers work. Advisers and careers officers were also often instrumental in establishing local careers associations or working groups, which were reported (by just under a quarter of the authorities) to provide a forum which enabled all those concerned with careers education, often including subject teachers and representatives of local industry, to meet and exchange ideas. These associations usually played a large part in drawing up the guidelines or handbooks which one-sixth of the authorities reported issuing as an aid to schools planning programmes of careers education. Some authorities took steps, again through their advisers and careers officers, to organise events such as careers conventions and conferences which offered older pupils an opportunity to discuss particular careers with representatives of industrial and commercial concerns.

13. A few authorities said in the context of this question that they encouraged their schools to participate in national developments such as the Schools Council's 'Careers Education and Guidance Project', and the CBl's 'Understanding British Industry' scheme, and one authority had used special curriculum development funds to sponsor 'independent research into problems of careers education, for instance in the area of disadvantage or against the background of high unemployment in the inner city'. A few authorities provided special funds to help schools purchase materials for careers education, or maintained loan collections of audio-visual and other resources; in one region a group of authorities reported that they had established a counselling, careers and development unit in association with a neighbouring university.



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(iv) Social education through community links etc.

14. There was no common view about what was meant by social education as such; most authorities dwelt in their replies on participation by the school in the life of the local community. One, for example, referring to schemes of community education, said 'the school should be seen as an integral part of the neighbourhood; it should look outwards to the community and at the same time should encourage the community to playa full part in its life. However, the school should be only one element in the educational life of a community and may not necessarily be its focal point. If the community is to flourish as an entity, then it may well be that the education service is best placed to serve as a catalyst and stimulate social and educational interaction, but the key to success is that education and indeed all public services should work with people rather than for people.' Another authority was of the opinion that 'all corporate activities - assemblies, musical and sporting occasions etc - are part of social education; but so are form periods, caring for the old, young and handicapped etc.'. A county authority pointed out that rural schools were inevitably closely bound up with their local communities. In almost all replies the emphasis was on extra-curricular activities rather than on work in the classroom (although see paragraph 18 below), and many authorities said that they regarded social education as a matter for each school to organise in the light of its own circumstances.

15. Some responses, however, described ways in which the authority was attempting to build social education into its overall educational provision. One-fifth of the authorities referred, for example, to community schools or colleges. Although few authorities had more than a handful of these, one reported that all upper schools were designated community schools: 'each has a senior youth and community officer and supporting staff appointed


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to it. The senior officer is required to facilitate collaboration between the school and the complete range of community groups, including pre-school play-groups, senior citizens' clubs, and voluntary youth organisations.' The authority added: 'there is little doubt that the philosophy behind the community school offers a positive method of social and community education for pupils'. In a number of other areas, some schools were said to have youth wings and youth tutors whose remit, according. to one authority, was concerned with social education and usually included 'club work at lunch-time, in the evening and at weekends, as well as teaching in the school'. Use of school premises by the community, for evening classes or for sport in particular, was said by several authorities to strengthen links, although only in a few cases was it specifically stated that pupils were able to participate in such activities.

16. By far the most frequently mentioned form of social education was community service, referred to in three-quarters of the responses. A very wide range of activities was cited, including helping the elderly with household jobs, visiting hospitals, assisting with play-groups and nursery schools, and work with the handicapped. Some authorities pointed out that such activities were generally confined to the older pupils in secondary schools, and several added that, although they regarded them ideally as an important part of the experience of all pupils, in practice they were often associated principally with the less able. One authority commented that there had been an expansion in community service activities since the raising of the school leaving age.

17. Community service was often said to be organised by each school independently (in many cases by the staff responsible for religious education or humanities). Some authorities, however, provided financial assistance for particular projects, and a few had appointed advisers with special responsibility for community education who were able to co-ordinate activities among schools. Specialist advisers whose sole responsibility was for social education appeared to be rare, although some replies indicated that advisers for other subjects, for example home economics, took an interest in social education. About one-seventh of the responses referred to co-operation with other local authority departments, particularly the youth service and social services, in making arrangements for community service. Comparatively little in-service work in this area was reported, although one authority had 'used some in-service training courses (both residential and non-residential) to introduce schools to community organisations of which they should be aware'.


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18. Various national projects were encouraged by some authorities, those frequently mentioned being the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, Project Trident and the National Westminster Bank's Project Respond. A number of replies stated that some schools offered courses in various forms of social education leading to a CSE mode 3 examination. There were very few references to curriculum development work in this field, but one authority described a course 'for which a team of advisers and teachers combined language, moral education and careers material from Schools Council projects'. This integrated course, which included a large element of community service, 'embraced social and personal education through links with employers, social and welfare agencies, with the churches, and the community at large'.

Relationship between these and other areas of the curriculum

19. Authorities' attitudes towards the concept of a core curriculum are summarised under question B4. This final part of the summary of responses to question B5 deals with the relationships indicated by authorities between the areas covered in sections (i) to (iv) above and other aspects of the secondary curriculum.

20. Two-fifths of the responses made it clear that the authority regarded the determination of the place of these four areas in the secondary curriculum as the responsibility of each individual school, and one authority explicitly stated that 'the possible conflict between [these areas] and the teaching of basic educational skills is a matter for the schools and is largely successfully resolved within them'. It went on however to point out that 'inspectors would discuss the matter with head teachers if they found that basic teaching was being adversely affected'.

21. Some authorities did nevertheless offer their view of the desirable relationship between these areas and basic educational skills. There was fairly general agreement that learning about morals, health, careers and society was an important part of educational experience: but while some


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authorities commented that they would not wish to see the basic skills suffer by over-emphasis on these four elements, others said, in the words of one of them, that these areas 'embraced many educational skills which were arguably just as basic' as those of literacy and numeracy.

22. Authorities' views of the most suitable approach to these four areas also varied widely, especially in terms of the extent to which it was was considered appropriate to teach them in the form of separate courses. For example, in one authority a broad scheme of social and personal education, covering many aspects of these areas, had been developed by teachers and advisers 'to help schools integrate work already carried out under subject headings and to include additional material where necessary to ensure that pupils will be educated for life in the modern world.' An advisory committee of the Education Committee had been established to promote and control the adoption of the scheme; in-service training courses were planned for school co-ordinators and for other teachers, and an adviser would work half-time in schools as the scheme developed. Another authority, on the other hand, while emphasising that these areas were regarded as essential. stressed that the way in which they were treated must vary from school to school, 'depending on matters such as the particular expertise and interests of members of staff, and considered that the 'hidden curriculum' of the school was a powerful factor, in that 'much is achieved in some of these areas without any overt teaching at all'.

23. A few authorities made comments to the effect that 'schools themselves protect certain parts of the curriculum in response to the pressure of public examinations, public and parental pressure, the demands of career opportunities and the needs of individual pupils to satisfy their own aspirations'. As a result. according to a number of authorities, areas such as the four mentioned above were sometimes squeezed out of the curriculum, or were offered principally to the less able. Very few authorities stated that in practice these elements endangered the amount of time devoted to what were considered more central parts of the curriculum. Responses occasionally, however, contained references to in-service courses in curriculum design for senior members of staff, and to the guidance which would be offered by advisers where it was felt that the balance of a school's curriculum was at risk (see questions B1 and B3).


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B6. How do the authority help schools promote racial understanding?

1. From the replies to this question it was evident that the importance of promoting racial understanding was widely acknowledged, Almost one-third of the authorities, however, qualified their responses by commenting that this had not been viewed as a major problem in their schools, normally because the ethnic minority population in their area was relatively small in number. Even so, many of these authorities recognised the role of the schools in this field, typified by one which intended that its pupils who would leave 'to live and work in areas where the racial mix is very different ... should have both an understanding and tolerance of the mores of other races'. One authority commented, however, that young people were quick to accept each other, and adults did them 'less than credit in assuming that they need to be educated to accept those from different cultures'. On the other hand, half a dozen replies specifically stated that a sizeable ethnic minority population created both a special need and an opportunity to foster tolerance: expressions such as 'enrichment' and 'a powerful factor in promoting racial understanding' were used to describe the multicultural character of schools, while another reply referred to 'a great deal of quiet and deliberately unpublicised local work' carried out by schools to improve community relationships. Overall the responses contained a range of illustrations of action taken locally, although much of the range was found among a relatively small number of authorities. The answers were often linked with those to question B8 in order to draw attention to the encouragement of two-way understanding between different parts of the community through the provision of special help for those with English language problems.

2. A general point mentioned in a third of the replies was that action to promote racial understanding needed to extend across the whole curriculum. Religious education was commonly cited as the main avenue through which it was approached, but a variety of other areas of the curriculum also featured, including moral education, the humanities, social studies, history, and home economics. A handful of authorities said that they had issued, or had encouraged schools to produce, policy documents or guidelines on education for racial understanding: for instance, one was preparing a 'code of practice on race relations', another had encouraged head teachers to set up working parties to draw up a document of guidance for their staff, and a third authority had produced a checklist for its advisers. Some had sent information about the Race Relations Act to all their schools.


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3. In-service training was mentioned by some two-fifths of the authorities as a major contribution. It took a variety of forms. Some training was geared to particular local community needs, as in the case of one authority which arranged for teachers to study Creole, and another Urdu, to ease communication with the West Indian and Asian groups both inside and around their schools. In other areas, courses focussed on preparation for the teaching of English as a second language (see question B8), and on the culture of local ethnic communities. In-service training in relevant subject areas, such as religious education and the humanities, was frequently said to cover aspects of racial understanding. Courses in topics such as education for a multi-racial society, mounted at or in conjunction with nearby establishments of higher and further education, as well as locally-organised or school-based training, were mentioned in a number of replies; and several referred to D ES/ ATO regional courses in such topics. One authority with a substantial multi-racial population emphasised the importance of its close contacts with institutions providing initial teacher training, as a means of introducing intending teachers to the needs of different ethnic groups.

4. Rather under a quarter of the authorities referred to the role of an adviser with special responsibilities for multi-racial or multi-cultural education. In some cases the adviser's duties in this field were combined with other responsibilities, most often in religious education. One large authority described the distribution of responsibilities within its advisory team, where one adviser had an overall co-ordinating role in this field, seven others had various specific duties in multi-racial education, and the remainder had been asked to include concern for this matter among their pastoral duties. Elsewhere, replies generally indicated that advisers carried out their role by arranging or co-ordinating in-service training, encouraging the establishment of study groups of teachers and others, and maintaining close liaison with the work of resource centres (see paragraph 7 below). One authority said it employed a teacher/research assistant to encourage schools to initiate curriculum development in this field, combining this post with advisory responsibility for religious education.

5. The staffing of schools received some attention. One-tenth of the authorities said that where possible they encouraged the appointment of teachers or other staff who themselves came from ethnic minority communities, both to assist in meeting the special needs of pupils from those communities and to introduce indigenous pupils to people from other cultural backgrounds. Examples of such staff as well as teachers included those cited by one authority which recruited Asian and West Indian non-teaching helpers for primary schools, and another which employed an


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educational welfare officer of Asian origin. A few replies mentioned placing overseas students in schools for teaching practice or as part of other courses. A further tenth of the authorities referred to the provision of additional staff (not necessarily from minority groups themselves) for schools with special needs, usually those serving multi-racial communities: often these were arrangements made under Section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966. A few said that they provided other extra resources for such schools, for example for the purchase of books.

6. Various ways of involving the local community were described. A quarter of the replies mentioned arrangements for co-operation with local community relations councils (CRC) or similar bodies, often cemented by the inclusion of representatives of teachers or education officers among the membership of those bodies. In one case the CRC, chaired by a former head teacher, had established an educational panel to consider ways in which schools could promote racial understanding. Almost one-fifth of the replies mentioned other forms of liaison with ethnic minority groups: examples included the appointment of representatives of such groups to advisory committees on, for instance, the careers service, and invitations to speakers from these groups at conferences of head teachers. Ways of involving parents from immigrant groups featured in a sixth of the responses: some mentioned the appointment of home/school liaison teachers, while among the other methods cited were financial assistance to West Indian Parents' Associations, the distribution of school information sheets in mother tongues, and the provision of English language classes for parents or mother-tongue classes on parenthood. A tenth of the authorities referred to the promotion of ethnic arts, commonly by supporting local Asian and Caribbean Festivals; other individual instances included employing a peripatetic musician to train school bands in folk idioms, and developing 'theatre-in-education' work with an international outlook. A few replies mentioned support for youth and sports activities with an ethnic flavour, and the provision of day, weekend or holiday courses for secondary pupils from minority communities.

7. A range of approaches to the development and use of curricular materials emerged. One-tenth of the authorities gave examples of curriculum development work or the production of resource materials, including an 'Asian project' designed for primary schools without ethnic minorities, work on a multi-cultural religious education syllabus, and a world history project. Often such work was undertaken in or stimulated by the multicultural study and resource centres mentioned in a tenth of the replies. One such unit was said to offer a loan service to schools of artefacts, audio-


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visual aids and books, while in another area loans were provided through the museum service. One authority described the contribution made by its education television service, and another mentioned links with a local radio station. Exhibitions of children's work on multi-cultural themes were sometimes said to be displayed at schools, teachers' centres, and public libraries; one authority drew attention to a special collection of multi-racial books at a local children's library. A few replies said that schools were encouraged to examine teaching materials and curricula 'so that they are appropriate to our multi-cultural society'. One-tenth of the authorities cited support for nationally-developed curriculum projects: most commonly listed was the Schools Council/NFER project on 'Education for a Multi-Racial Society'. Several authorities spoke of the value of links with national bodies in this field, such as the National Association for Multi-Racial Education, the Council for Education in World Citizenship, and the Commonwealth Institute.





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B7. What kind of help do the authority give secondary schools with the planning of sixth form curricula? Is there a policy for the provision for minority subjects, for example within groups of schools or within an area?

1. About one-fifth of the responses indicated that the authority had formulated no general policy to provide special assistance to enable schools to co-ordinate their sixth form provision, although it was often stated that the advisory service would offer guidance on the planning of individual schools' sixth form curricula if this was requested. Three-fifths of the authorities described arrangements for co-ordination, of varying degrees of formality and often on a small scale. Most of the remainder, and a number of those included in the categories mentioned above, said that they had established machinery to review sixth form provision, usually as part of an examination of provision for the 16-19 age group as a whole (see paragraph 7 below).

2. The responses tended to dwell at greater length on the arrangements for co-operation among institutions in order to provide an adequate range of courses, than on the nature of the sixth form curriculum which the authorities considered desirable. The view was expressed that it would be inappropriate to seek control over the curriculum of individual institutions beyond that offered by the general arrangements for co-ordination. There were, however, several references to matters such as the importance of devising curricula which would meet the needs of the less academic sixth former, and which would moreover encourage the less academic to stay on into the sixth form. A few authorities said that it was important that all sixth forms should offer a core of A levels as a minimum: the list specified in one case was English, history, geography, French, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and art, while other subjects were accommodated through consortium arrangements. Some authorities stated that they were giving particular attention to such curricular matters, and to the general co-ordination of sixth form provision, as school were reorganised.

3. A few responses described planning arrangements, based on the systematic collection of information about provision, instituted to help schools provide an adequate choice of subjects in the sixth form. For example, one authority which had organised its schools in consortia gathered data 'on an annual basis which indicate the future sixth form aspirations of all secondary school pupils in their fifth year. [These data are] analysed by computer to give head teachers a full picture of the sixth form requirements of all other schools in their consortium ... so that adequate


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arrangements can be made on an inter-school basis to teach minority subjects or subjects which are not regarded as viable within a single school.' Another approach was that of the authority whose general policy was that, while taking into account constraints due to geography and staffing, there should be 'minimum group sizes for sixth form subjects, with an overall proviso that exceptions may be made where a particular minority area of study is in danger of being discontinued'. One response was typical of a number in stressing that 'no county-wide pattern has been aimed at, but instead each area or group of schools has studied the best ways of meeting their own particular needs. These include the concentration of sixth form work at one school, the joint planning by several schools for the needs of their sixth form pupils, and the concentration of minority subjects at specific points.'

4. Over half the authorities referred to similar arrangements made between individual schools, although these were usually ad hoc rather than the result of an overall approach to the planning of sixth form curricula. Other forms of such co-operation were sometimes specified: for example, the provision of classes in one institution after school hours for pupils from neighbouring schools, or of peripatetic teachers. Subjects most frequently said to be concentrated in these ways were music, art, geology and languages such as Russian, Latin and Greek; a few authorities observed that concentration of resources seemed to have improved the standard of achievement in these subjects. Almost a quarter of the responses contained references to similar ad hoc arrangements which enabled colleges of further education or sixth form colleges to supplement or support the curricula of school sixth forms. (Virtually all these references were made by authorities also mentioning co-operation between schools.)

5. Fewer than one-fifth of the replies described the establishment of standing consultative or co-ordinating committees to plan the provision and distribution of courses within groups of institutions, and such committees usually existed in only a small part of an authority's area. The committees generally consisted of the heads and principals, and sometimes representatives of the governors, of the institutions (often including colleges - see question F9) providing education for 16 to 19 year olds in a particular area, together with officers, advisers and occasionally elected members of the authority. Their powers varied: in some cases institutions had to seek the approval of the committee for any new course; elsewhere the committee's views were merely recommendations, made direct to the institutions or to the Education Committee (or one of its sub-committees). The functions of these advisory committees were, however, broadly similar in most cases,


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and generally two-fold: to ensure that pupils had a wide range of courses available to them (including courses other than A levels), and to encourage the economic use of resources by avoiding unnecessary duplication. The methods used to achieve these objectives were similar to those adopted by institutions making less formal arrangements (paragraph 4 above), and generally required some degree of co-ordination of timetables.

6. Authorities described various ways in which they offered guidance in this area to schools. Over a quarter referred to in-service training in curriculum planning, and one-fifth said that their advisory services helped in the planning of co-operative arrangements for sixth form courses. A handful reported that they had taken further steps such as issuing guidelines on co-ordination, or disseminating information about good practice. Some authorities stressed the difficulties which hampered effective co-ordination. Chief among these were problems of geography, particularly in rural areas where travel between institutions was hard to organise; but authorities also mentioned the complexities involved in co-ordinating the timetables of various institutions. A few authorities also made comments to the effect that 'feelings of pride in schools' sixth form traditions, the sense of obligation to mount any course or subject demanded and a strong sense of independence has made the establishment of an authority policy impossible to achieve, even if it were desirable'.

7. Almost two-fifths of the authorities, including some of those describing arrangements for co-operation currently in operation, said that they were reviewing the provision of education in sixth forms. Such reviews generally took the form of working parties representing the various educational interests, which were set up to consider the possibility of rationalising and broadening the overall provision for the 16-19 age group. For example, in one authority the inspectors for each division had convened conferences to initiate the production of plans which were to contain the following information:

'(i) The A-level subjects (minimum 12-16) to which access will be guaranteed by 1982, and the arrangements that will be made for implementing this subject offer.
(ii) The present range of non-A-level subjects and examinations in first and second year sixth forms, and how they dovetail into A-level courses where this occurs.
(iii) The method to be used both in the schools and between schools and colleges to make a continuous review of the appropriateness of the arrangements.

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(iv) Special attention should be given to arrangements for what may be called minority subjects (for instance, music, Latin and some modern languages).'





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B8. What special provision do the authority make for children whose mother tongue is not English?

1. 'Anything which promotes the teaching of children whose mother tongue is not English is itself a contribution to racial understanding.' This observation was typical of many authorities' opening remarks linking their answers to questions B6 and B8.

2. The nature and extent of special provision made by authorities evidently depended largely upon their perceptions of the numbers, backgrounds, and distribution of such pupils. Over a quarter of the authorities indicated their view that these pupils were sufficiently small in number and dispersed as to render unnecessary any permanent or concentrated form of provision; most of these authorities said that steps were taken as the need arose in individual cases. Ad hoc provision often appeared to involve the use of peripatetic teachers of English as a second language (see paragraph 6 below). A further sixth of the replies implied that, while the problem was a relatively small one locally, arrangements of a more systematic kind existed, generally under the supervision of a member of the advisory team and sometimes involving the establishment of a special centre or of a unit attached to a school (see paragraph 5 below).

3. Most of the remaining replies (over half of all authorities) conveyed the impression that the authority viewed the problem as significant in at least part of their area, and described various special arrangements recorded below. One authority, for example, with a sizeable inflow of new arrivals commented that 'the greatest difficulty facing the schools and the administration has been to meet, as quickly as possible, the special language needs of large numbers of non-English speaking children arriving continuously and often in a state of severe culture shock'. Several authorities gave estimates (in some cases derived from specially-conducted surveys) of the numbers of pupils in their areas with potential language difficulties. Most commonly these pupils were said to come from Asian or West Indian backgrounds, but there were also references to children of African, Italian and Chinese-speaking origin; they included children from existing communities, as well as new arrivals. One authority described the different organisational measures adopted according to whether its schools were classified as having a low, medium, or high density of non-English speaking pupils.

4. Some authorities set out their arrangements in the context of an overall policy towards the teaching of English as a second language. A distinction


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was often drawn between the basic language skills required before a child could begin to take his place in normal school classes, and the more advanced skills called for, particularly at the secondary stage, in order to participate fully. Some replies pointed to the special problems facing the newly-arrived pupil of upper secondary age; few described any special provision for children of infant school age. A good many authorities stressed the importance of social. as well as language, learning; some linked English language tuition with the work of the remedial service, while others distinguished more sharply between the two. In one authority'S view, however, the teaching of English as a second language 'should not be regarded as separate from the authority's general provision for language development for all children', and in this context the authority mentioned the work of its unified 'language, literacy and numeracy support' scheme.

5. Many kinds of arrangements were reported, but on the whole they tended to be confined to a relatively small number of authorities. The most common action - recorded in almost half of the replies - was the provision of centres for non- English speaking pupils. These were usually separate establishments to which pupils were initially allocated for more or less full-time tuition. In some cases, however, units attached to or designated at existing schools were mentioned, often where the numbers of pupils involved were said to be relatively small and locally concentrated; and arrangements varied between partial and total withdrawal from ordinary classes. A typical description of the role of the centres was that they 'provide language teaching and general preparation for school life : they seek to overcome "culture shock" and, for older children, to repair some of the deficiencies in general education which the lack of education or the different educational approaches in their own countries have created. They have an assessment function and each child is transferred to [an ordinary] school when he is judged to be ready to take his place [there] with the help of the special support the school can provide; the length of stay in a centre will vary but the average is 3-4 terms.' Another authority listed the curriculum of its primary centre as including pre-reading programmes, language teaching, craft and recreational activities, teaching about the local environment and about other cultures, safety training, and library and school journeys. Its corresponding secondary centre curriculum included English, mathematics and science: physical education; environmental studies; art and craft activities; social training; and some teaching through the mother tongue .. 6.. few replies mentioned the mounting of CSE mode 3 courses in English as a second language, either at such centres or elsewhere. Many of the authorities reporting the use of centres referred to


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systematic arrangements to screen pupils newly-arrived from overseas, mainly to identify language needs.

6. Special measures to deploy teachers in schools with particular needs were frequently mentioned. Over one third of the replies emphasised the role of peripatetic teachers of English as a second language; while they spent most of their time visiting ordinary schools, teams of such teachers were often based on, or worked closely with, specialist centres. A sixth of the authorities mentioned the assignment, usually on a more permanent basis, of teachers of English as a second language to particular schools. Both peripatetic and permanently-assigned teachers were said to provide additional help for children whose command of English, although inadequate, did not require reference to a special centre; these teachers also assisted the integration into schools of pupils returning from the centres. In some cases these teachers taught pupils withdrawn part-time or full-time from normal lessons in the schools; in other cases their main task was to advise class teachers on ways of tackling the needs of non-English speaking children. Some authorities used these specialist teachers to help other pupils who, although not new immigrants, had an insufficient command of English.

7. Over a quarter of the authorities said that they arranged for additional staffing and other resources for schools (mainly primary) with special needs. This extra support was not confined to specialist teachers of English as a second language: for example, one authority said that certain schools were 'treated more generously in respect of the teacher/pupil ratio, capitation and ancillary assistance', and another commented that 'the provision -of extra [non-specialist] staff allows smaller classes overall which have a beneficial effect for all children, including those from ethnic minorities'. Other instances included the provision of welfare assistants in selected primary schools; unemployed teachers appointed as auxiliaries, financed by the Job Creation Programme; and youth workers, funded under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966.

8. In-service training was mentioned by a quarter of the authorities. Some took place at the specialist centres, which offered a particular opportunity to observe practice in the teaching of English as a second language. Elsewhere, training was provided by means of short courses at further education establishments, mainly concerned with the teaching of English as a second language; or through area conferences or one-day seminars for the whole staff of a school. About one-tenth of the replies drew attention to the work of advisers with special responsibilities for provision for non-English


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speaking pupils. These responsibilities were often assigned to advisers whose main duties concerned multi-racial or multi-cultural education in general; less frequently others, such as English or remedial advisers, were mentioned in this context. Advisers generally maintained close links with specialist centres and co-ordinated in-service training opportunities; in some cases they also supervised the teams of peripatetic teachers.

9. Ways of encouraging parental and community involvement in provision for non- English speaking pupils featured in one-fifth of the replies. Some of these have already been listed under question B6 as means of promoting racial understanding generally, but those mentioned commonly in question B8 included the use of home/school liaison teachers, the provision of English language classes for adults (especially parents), and the distribution of information in mother tongues about the school system.

10. A number of replies made specific reference to nationally-developed curriculum materials for non-English speaking pupils:' those quoted included the Schools Council project on English for Pupils from Overseas, SCOPE, and Concept 7-9. Locally devised curriculum development work was often seen as one of the functions of the specialist centres and teacher teams described in paragraphs 5 and 6 above. Other authorities mentioned collaboration between schools and further education establishments, both on continued language tuition and in relation to careers guidance and preparation for working life.


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Section C: Particular subject areas


1. This section was addressed to authorities' policies and actions in relation to five specific subject areas. These are summarised in turn below.

2. English (questions C1-3)

Authorities have undertaken a wide range of measures to promote English language development in the light of the Bullock Report: most common are in-service training, setting up study groups, and producing guidelines for teachers; but only a minority have asked schools to formulate language policies. Similar measures are commonly taken in connection with the development of literacy skills for adult needs: here emphasis is also placed on remedial language tuition for older secondary pupils, and liaison to identify employers' needs.

3. Mathematics (C4-7)

Corresponding steps to those described above are reported as ways of promoting consistent policies for mathematics teaching; in addition half the authorities mention formal liaison arrangements between primary and secondary schools for this purpose. Most authorities have established liaison machinery with employers to assist mutual understanding of the mathematical skills needed in adult life and of related school curricular provision although fewer take active steps to disseminate information about industry's requirements to schools. While the majority have no formal policy with regard to the continued study of mathematics up to the age of 76, most say that the subject is rarely dropped before that age.

4. Modern languages (C8-12)

Half the authorities support the teaching of French in certain primary schools; on the other hand, one-third discourage it while a small minority have no policy on the matter. According to half the responses, almost all secondary pupils study a modern language; elsewhere, authorities have no


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formal policy on the matter. French is overwhelmingly offered as the first foreign language; German far less commonly as a first language, but more frequently as a second. Many authorities draw attention to the difficulties caused by the shortage of specialist teachers. A substantial minority of authorities have taken no steps to co-ordinate modern language provision in school sixth forms and further education colleges, while others have this question under review. Formal co-ordination arrangements among schools, or between schools and colleges, are comparatively rare.

5. Science (C13-17)

Few authorities require primary schools to provide science teaching; half, however, encourage such provision while the remainder leave it to the discretion of schools. Almost half encourage the provision of science in some form for most secondary pupils up to the age of 76: this is generally expected to be compulsory in the first three secondary years, and as part of option systems thereafter. A minority have no formal policy in this matter, or in respect of assistance to schools in planning science options for pupils proceeding to further education. Elsewhere, the latter question is seen as one for action largely by the advisory and careers services. A substantial minority of authorities take no steps to co-ordinate science provision in sixth forms and further education colleges; others operate a variety of formal and informal arrangements.

6. Religious Education (C18-20)

Most responses highlight the advisory service as the main source of information about schools' arrangements for religious education; few authorities have systematic procedures for collecting such information. In-service training and, to a lesser extent the work of advisers and specialist resource or teachers' centres are widely seen as a source of help to schools in implementing the agreed syllabus. Many authorities have no systematic arrangements for periodical review of the syllabus; those which do rely largely upon local working parties or standing advisory machinery.

7. For most of the subjects in this section the responses indicate widespread reliance on specialist resource or teachers' centres to help teachers become aware or and select from, the range of curriculum materials available. In this, as in other aspects of curricular provision the replies throughout section C also indicate the considerable importance attached to the activities of the advisory service and to the role of in-service training.


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ENGLISH

C1. What steps have the authority taken to promote the development in their schools of coherent policies for language development in the light of the Bullock Report 'A Language for life'?

1. Authorities supplied a great deal of detailed information in response to this question, often listing a wide range of activities which had taken place as a direct result of, or which had received fresh stimulus from, the publication of the Bullock Report. A number of authorities added that they had been conducting a substantial programme of work in the field of language development for several years before the Report was published. The first step which many authorities took was to organise a conference or series of conferences, generally for head teachers or heads of English departments, but sometimes for the advisory team as a whole in the first instance, to consider and disseminate information about the Report. Over one-third of the responses referred to such conferences, many of which had been addressed by members of the Bullock Committee or HM Inspectors. They frequently led to the establishment at various levels of working parties or other groups to pursue in depth some of the issues raised by the Report and to examine their relevance in local circumstances (see paragraph 6 below).

2. A few authorities encouraged wider knowledge of the Report's findings by providing schools with a summary of its recommendations or, more generally, by issuing a regular bulletin on language development. In many cases dissemination of the Report's recommendations was linked with encouragement given to schools to adopt national curricular projects in this field: the Schools Council project on communication skills in early childhood was frequently cited in this connection, for example by the authority reporting that it had reappointed 'an Infant Adviser to set up a permanent working group' on this project. One-tenth of the responses mentioned steps taken to inform parents about new approaches to the teaching of language, sometimes through talks given to parent-teacher associations by advisers, and in one case through the production of a handbook for the parents of pre-school age children.

3. Nine-tenths of the responses referred to the value of in-service training (including secondments to long courses and support for the Open University's reading course) as a means of widening teachers' understanding of language and learning and the relationship between them, and


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of equipping teachers with the skills necessary to apply this understanding in the classroom. A very wide range of subjects was covered by in-service provision, but one of the main emphases in courses for primary school teachers was on the teaching of reading, while for secondary teachers there were many references to work on 'language across the curriculum'. Both these topics were said to be well-suited to an approach through school-based in-service courses. The latter were referred to in a quarter of the replies, and were often described as part of the follow-up to a course held outside the school. One-sixth of the authorities reported that they had established specialist language centres; these were frequently used as locations for in-service training, and also as bases for the remedial language teams which many authorities said had been strengthened as a response to the Bullock Report (see question B2). A number of the responses referred to the authority's arrangements for schools to make a diagnostic assessment of their pupils' literacy (also dealt with in greater detail under question B2). For example, one authority attributed the introduction of more systematic screening to the stimulus of the Report.

4. A number of responses described surveys which had been undertaken, generally through the advisory service, in order to assess the current provision for language development. Two-fifths of the authorities referred to the important role of advisers in work on language development, from the dissemination of information to assistance with the implementation of policies or projects in the classroom. Of these authorities, half stated that at least one adviser had particular responsibilities in the field of language (often adding that the appointment had been made in response to the recommendations of the Bullock Report). One authority stated that it had established a team comprising advisers for English and reading, an educational psychologist and a senior librarian; this team had 'given advice to schools on the development of policies and on screening and testing, and facilitated closer liaison between the various agencies and departments' having an interest in pupils' language. development. .Other responses included similar references to integrated advisory teams.

5. One-third of the authorities said that they had asked schools to formulate language policies, often as a follow-up to an in-service course, or in conjunction with school-based work being carried out by advisers. In some cases, secondary schools might be invited to 'consider the feasibility of a language policy for the whole school'; in others, each subject department might be requested to produce its own statement on the contribution it could make towards pupils' language development. A quarter of the responses indicated that the authority encouraged primary schools to


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appoint teachers with a specific responsibility in this field; such teachers acted as consultants to the rest of the staff, and might be in a position to ensure overall co-ordination in the approach to language throughout the school. One-sixth of the authorities reported that some secondary schools had designated teachers with particular expertise in the development of language, often with a view to promoting an approach to language across the curriculum. Two-fifths described guidelines or reports which were produced, in some cases at district level, to assist teachers, especially primary teachers, in implementing a coherent policy towards language development in their schools. One authority's guidelines for secondary schools contained 'an outline of the main ideas connected with a language policy, and indications of where help could be found'.

6. Almost half the responses described working parties or study groups of many kinds, mostly established as a consequence of the Bullock Report (and often developing out of the conferences described in paragraph 1 above). The level at which these groups were established varied from those which were commissioned by the Education Committee to produce a report on a particular topic (such as the committee of advisers set up 'to devise strategies in order that the Bullock Report's main recommendations be implemented in schools'), to those which were set up among a group of schools, or within an individual school, to examine a local problem or to recommend a policy for language development in the light of local circumstances. Among the subjects most frequently discussed by these groups were language across the curriculum and the development of arrangements for liaison between those responsible for language and English in primary and secondary schools, to try to ensure that pupils' experience of language teaching developed consistently; a few authorities described the work 'of groups examining, for example, the readability levels of textbooks. Such working parties were also involved in the preparation of the guidelines or reports on language teaching referred to in paragraph 5 above.



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C2. What steps have the authority taken to help schools enable young people to achieve the degree of literacy required to satisfy their adult needs, including the skills needed for their work?

1. A number of authorities prefaced their response to this question with a statement explaining that in their view pupils' adult needs in respect of literacy should not be interpreted solely from a utilitarian viewpoint, but should be seen as covering a range of uses of spoken and written language, from the communication skills required in applying for a job to the appreciation and enjoyment of literature. Many went on to say that the steps they had taken to implement such a broad approach to language development had already been described under question C1, and that by promoting the recommendations of the Bullock Report they had encouraged schools to develop pupils' language skills in the widest sense. Some responses said that language development, as one of the primary concerns of education, was a matter for the whole school, and reported ways (such as in-service courses for teachers of subjects other than English) in which an approach to language was encouraged across the curriculum. A few authorities required schools to prepare policy statements on their objectives in the field of literacy for adult life (see also question C1), and one reported that it offered guidelines to its schools in order to help them decide on the best ways to enable school-leavers to achieve an appropriate degree of literacy.

2. Many of the examples of work being carried out which authorities cited in fact dealt with attempts to relate schools' programmes for language development to pupils' language needs (and in particular the needs of the less able) for various kinds of employment. One-eighth of the responses referred to meetings of teachers organised to examine this matter, and two-fifths described steps of various kinds which were being taken jointly with employers in order to discover the language skills which pupils were likely to require in their subsequent jobs. Most commonly, these steps involved working parties of teachers and employers meeting to exchange views 'in order that both sides may gain a more realistic understanding of what the school can teach and what industry needs' as one authority expressed it, and sometimes to formulate objectives for the levels of literacy to. be attained by those leaving school. In a number of cases, a common literacy test for school leavers had been produced; one authority reported that it was preparing a certificate in English for non-examination pupils. Other authorities maintained that public examinations already available were a sufficient indication to employers of pupils' attainments in the field of literacy, sometimes referring to the value of CSE mode 3 courses, or to the


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City and Guilds of London Institute Foundation Courses with an emphasis on communication skills.

3. Several ways were described in which pupils might be prepared for the language requirements of their future employment. This was said to be one of the most valuable aspects of periods of work experience (see question F5); but with i n the schools, as one authority explained, 'some of the drama work involved simulations and role playing, aimed at familiarising pupils with work situations', while skills needed in writing a formal application for a job were sometimes emphasised during careers lessons.

4. Many authorities placed emphasis on special provision for pupils with learning difficulties in the fourth and fifth years of secondary education, and two-fifths specified arrangements to provide such pupils with remedial language tuition. Most of these replies described steps taken to encourage the provision of remedial facilities within schools, whether through the employment of teachers for whom this was the principal responsibility, or (according to about half these authorities) through the establishment of a peripatetic or reading advisory team. In one authority the remedial service and the schools' psychological service 'had co-operated in attempting to set realistic standards of literacy to be achieved', and other authorities mentioned similar co-operation. A few responses mentioned special remedial units which could provide, generally on a part-time basis, for pupils with particularly severe learning difficulties. Provision of language facilities for children whose mother tongue is not English, which was described by some authorities in this context, is dealt with more fully under question B8.

5. One-fifth of the authorities said that there were links between schools and colleges of further education in their area over the provision of suitable courses in the field of language for school leavers. The CG LI Foundation Courses have already been mentioned. In particular, a number of the responses listed links between the adult literacy programme and work to improve the level of literacy of less able school leavers, based either in schools or in a local college. Thus in one response teachers engaged in the adult literacy project were reported to have 'participated in in-service training courses run for teachers in secondary schools'. A few authorities described courses covering literacy which colleges of further education were providing for unemployed school-leavers.

6. Underlying much of this activity, according to two-fifths of the authorities, was a programme of in-service training. Some of the topics covered by


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these courses for teachers, such as the development of literacy throughout the curriculum, have been described under question C1, but many authorities also referred to in-service provision designed, for example, to improve the remedial provision within schools, or to enable teachers to develop their pupils' reading skills at all levels.






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C3. What steps have the authority taken to make teachers aware of the range of curriculum materials available, so that they may select those which will best meet the needs of their pupils?

1. Three-quarters of the authorities reported that they maintained permanent reference collections of materials in the fields of language development, reading and English studies. Such collections might cover not only books, but also audio-visual aids (for example tape recordings for use in drama lessons) and items such as language games for primary school children. A few authorities said that the bulk of their collection was, as one response expressed it, 'weighted to the primary school and to slower readers in the secondary school'. Reference collections were often housed in general teachers' centres or in local institutions of higher education, but many were located in specialist centres concerned either with English language and literature generally or with a particular aspect such as reading. One-third of the responses described specialist centres of this kind. One-fifth stated that materials from the collections in centres of all types were available for loan to teachers for use in the classroom or for private study. Several authorities provided mobile reference collections, so that teachers who were not close to a permanent collection might have an opportunity to study new materials; one authority said that it was proposing to disperse centrally-situated collections in order to assist local curriculum developments. A few replies described resource collections which were jointly maintained by neighbouring authorities.

2. About three-fifths of the responses stated that courses of in-service training played a part in encouraging a wider knowledge among teachers of curriculum materials in fields related to language. Sometimes courses were concerned specifically with the consideration and evaluation of materials (for example, techniques of assessing the readability levels of text books), but courses dealing with particular areas of language work were also usually accompanied by exhibitions of materials connected with the topic under discussion. Such exhibitions, referred to by over half the authorities, were also held, outside the framework of in-service courses, in teachers' centres and specialist centres, and were often a feature of meetings organised principally for the purpose of disseminating information about new materials (which educational publishing companies frequently played a part in arranging). A number of responses made it clear that 'head teachers are encouraged to allow staff leave of absence to visit major exhibitions'.


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3. Two-fifths of the responses mentioned the role of advisers in disseminating information about new language materials, particularly during their day-to-day visits to schools, but also, in a few cases, by arranging for teachers 'to visit neighbouring schools where they might see unfamiliar curriculum materials being successfully used'. The staff of specialist centres were sometimes said to have a' similar consultancy function (for example, in one authority they were helping teachers to analyse the language content of books). Advisers were also generally responsible for producing the documents which two-fifths of authorities reported circulating to schools in order to inform teachers about curriculum materials; information of this kind usually took the form of reviews of materials, catalogues of the items available in language resource centres, or lists of books and other items (such as reading schemes) recommended for nonspecialist teachers of English. One authority described the preparation of a list of fiction titles based on a survey of pupils' preferences and teachers' recommendations.

4. Library services were given prominence in one-third of the replies to this question; their activities in the field of disseminating information about language and literature were varied, but particular functions were lending books (and sometimes other materials) to teachers, and advising them, for example through special courses, on the choice of books for their pupils. Exhibitions of new books were often said to be mounted by the library service in conjunction with the education department. A typical example of the work of a schools library service was cited by one authority: collections of books were taken to every school, and 'the books which teachers found to be most effective from these collections were then left in the schools to build up the school library selection'.

5. Working parties established to evaluate language materials for use in the classroom were mentioned in some responses, while others said that steps were taken (generally through the work of advisers) to encourage teachers to carry out their own evaluation; one.authority provided funds to support schools trying out particular text books. A few authorities described working parties or workshops to enable teachers to produce classroom materials of their own.


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MATHEMATICS

C4. What steps have the authority taken to promote the development in their schools of consistent policies for mathematics teaching?

1. Almost all authorities reported that they regarded it as important to ensure some degree of consistency in the mathematics teaching through out their schools, although a number emphasised that they interpreted this in terms of a consistent approach to pupils' progressive mathematical experience, which should not be achieved at the expense of individual teachers' initiative. More than half the authorities said that they provided, or were about to provide, guidelines or policy documents of various kinds for mathematics teachers. Many such guidelines were submitted with replies; these varied considerably in the amount of detail contained (a few being specifications for a more-or-less complete syllabus, others merely lists of essential topics to be covered). In a number of cases they had been developed by groups of schools at district level. Some authorities stressed that their use was optional. A number of responses referred to the production of material to supplement guidelines; in one area, for example, a group of teachers was 'producing monographs for teachers in first schools, with emphasis on extension material for more able pupils'.

2. The principal purpose of guidelines was in general to assist nonspecialist teachers, and most authorities restricted their scope to the primary curriculum. Some, however, provided similar guidelines for nonspecialist teachers in the lower forms of secondary schools or for areas of particular difficulty such as a suitable syllabus for less able older pupils. Several authorities maintained that examination syllabuses or published schemes such as the School Mathematics Project in themselves imposed a a degree of consistency on secondary curricula; and that a similar function was performed for the primary curriculum in some areas by standard assessments of numeracy.

3. The second major factor used to promote a consistent approach was in-service training. Over three-fifths of the authorities specifically referred to this as a key means of disseminating information about their policies for the provision of mathematics, including good practice in mathematics teaching, and courses were often said to be organised to help schools implement the recommendations contained in agreed documents. In secondary schools, courses for heads of department were often seen as the most valuable way of transmitting ideas to the classroom; in primary


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schools, courses for head teachers or mathematics specialists served a similar purpose.

4. Advisory services were again described as playing a central part in inservice provision as providers and co-ordinators of programmes, and their influence for consistency was seen by several authorities as continuing in the day-to-day work of visiting schools and talking to teachers. Advisers were regarded as catalysts, for example in helping to organise working parties of teachers to examine and report on common curricular issues, or in convening seminars and meetings of teachers to discuss methods and approaches: over half the responses emphasised the importance of such activities. One authority had enlarged the scope of its advisory service by seconding 'practising teachers to support the adviser with responsibilities for mathematics'.

5. Half the authorities referred to formal arrangements for discussing consistent policies within groups of schools, and especially between a secondary school and its contributory primary schools. As with other subjects, however, a few authorities commented that such consistency was hard to achieve where the operation of parental choice meant that a secondary school could take pupils from a very large number of primary schools. Liaison between primary and secondary schools was in some cases helped by the maintenance of detailed records of primary pupils' achievements in mathematics, to form a basis on which secondary schools could build. One authority'S comments on this work were representative: 'initiatives taken by groups and linked pairs of schools have produced evidence of a growing awareness of the need for attention to curriculum continuity'.

6. Some authorities also touched on the question of encouraging internal consistency within individual schools. In secondary schools this was largely seen as a matter for heads of department, but a number of authorities said that for primary schools they had a policy of training or appointing, where possible, a specialist teacher with overall responsibility for the school's mathematics provision, who could also provide assistance to non-specialist members of staff.


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C5. What steps have the authority taken to help schools enable young people to achieve the mathematical skills required to satisfy their adult needs, in particular their vocational needs?

1. Most authorities agreed on the importance of relating pupils' mathematical experience to the requirements of adult life, and generally interpreted the latter as the broad skills needed for employment, although a few of the responses emphasised that it was not the function of schools to provide vocational courses. Others maintained that the teaching of mathematical skills, as 'one of the fundamental aims of education, ... would naturally include those skills required to satisfy ... adult and vocational needs'. Authorities referred to skills which were not necessarily directly related to employment in answers to other questions (such as C6).

2. Over two-thirds of the authorities described arrangements for the joint consideration, with representatives from industry and commerce, of employers' requirements and of the extent to which mathematics curricula were successful in preparing pupils for working life. Of these authorities, the great majority had established formal arrangements for liaison (for instance working parties or advisory committees) throughout their area, often supplemented by local arrangements; the remainder encouraged the organisation of joint discussions at district level and at the level of individual schools and firms, sometimes with the assistance of the careers service. Such liaison was intended to help employers to understand the aims of secondary schools' work in mathematics, as well as to increase teachers' knowledge of the future demands on their pupils from employment and adult life. An example of the work being carried out in this field was given by the authority stating that a joint working party of teachers and representatives of the engineering industry, having 'produced a document outlining a common core of basic skills', was now going on to 'to develop methods of testing which would be acceptable to both schools and potential employers'.

3. Several authorities reported that increasing liaison in this field was significantly influencing the practices of schools and employers. For example, following consultations with industry, some authorities had pointed out to schools the importance of ensuring that pupils continued to be familiar with Imperial as well as metric units, as the former were still extensively used. A number of the liaison groups for mathematics had examined tests given by local employers to applicants for jobs, and as a result these had in some cases been revised to take account of developments in mathematics teaching over recent years.


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4. A quarter of the responses described ways in which information about industry's requirements had been disseminated to secondary schools. This had been done chiefly through the circulation of reports, including some prepared by external bodies such as the Engineering Industry Training Board and the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education at the University of Nottingham. The mathematics adviser in one authority had 'made a county-wide survey of the mathematical needs of industry and commerce, which resulted in a discussion document being sent to all secondary schools'. One-sixth of authorities referred to in-service courses which dealt, in whole or part, with the relationship between the mathematics curriculum and the requirements of adult life; others cited a variety of meetings to enable teachers to discuss similar issues.

5. In respect of abler pupils there was fairly general reference to the importance of the public examination system as a determinant of the approach to mathematics adopted. Mathematics for those not taking these examinations was described as being approached more flexibly. The guidelines on the mathematics curriculum issued by some authorities (see question C4) sometimes made specific provision for the latter, and a number of authorities had devised or were devising, usually in consultation with representatives of industry and commerce, tests or certificate courses in mathematics for school leavers which might replace or supplement employers' tests for job applicants (see paragraphs 2 and 3 above). One-sixth of the authorities reported that they encouraged schools to provide courses in basic arithmetic or 'everyday mathematics' for the less able pupils; CSE mode 3 courses were often mentioned in this context. One response specifically' stated that 'pupils not being examined normally followed a course with aims and objectives which were almost entirely vocationally based'; and one or two mentioned special provision through the remedial services.

6. Some responses outlined ways of helping schools to provide mathematics courses which would offer pupils a broad understanding of the uses of mathematics in certain areas of modern society. Assistance with provision of facilities for education in the use of computers was one of the most commonly mentioned approaches of this kind: a number of authorities said that they had installed computer terminals in many of the secondary schools in their area, and that secondary schools were 'encouraged to run courses in computing, although [these] courses were not vocationally based'. However, the number of references to such provision was comparatively small.


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C6. What is the authority's policy with regard to the dropping of mathematics before the age of 16?

1. Two-fifths of the authorities said that they had a stated policy that all pupils should study mathematics in some form up to the age of 16. The remainder reported that they had adopted no formal policy, but almost universally described the dropping of mathematics or a related subject before this age as a rare occurrence and one which, if reported by advisers or officers as happening with any frequency in a particular school, the authority would wish to investigate. Many of these responses contained statements to the effect that 'any school not generally accepting such an attitude would be required to justify [its policy] to the authority'.

2. Authorities frequently commented on the need to provide less able pupils with courses appropriate to their requirements. This was clearly an area for concern, and one-sixth reported that for such pupils mathematics was sometimes replaced by arithmetic or studies involving practical numeracy, such as money management (see question C5).





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C7. What steps have the authority taken to make teachers aware of the range of curriculum materials available, so that they may select those which will best meet the needs of their pupils?

1. In-service training was stated by two-thirds of the authorities to have a key role in informing mathematics teachers about curriculum materials. Some courses were devoted entirely to the consideration of new materials, particularly where a national project was being taken up across the authority's area. More usually, reference to the available materials was included within a course arranged primarily to examine a particular topic in the field of mathematical education. Displays of materials were also frequently organised in association with courses of this type, in order to give teachers opportunity to study the items at leisure. According to three-fifths of the authorities, similar exhibitions were often arranged separately at teachers' centres or specialist subject centres, sometimes with the assistance of educational publishers, and one authority staged 'major displays during the maths fortnights that were organised in alternate years' in two towns. Publishing companies were also said to play a considerable part in dissemination, by providing speakers and supplementary exhibitions at (or associated with) meetings of mathematics teachers. Some authorities referred to co-operation with officers of the Schools Council in the dissemination of information about Schools Council mathematical projects, and one response mentioned as being of particular value 'sessions in individual schools where the material in use in the school had been reviewed and supplementary material considered'.

2. In addition to general teachers' centres, more than a quarter of the authorities referred to the establishment of specialist centres for mathematics resources. The nature of this specialist provision ranged from centres which were completely separate from other institutions, to those which formed part of an establishment of higher education, or were housed within a larger teachers' centre. Specialist centres, in common with general teachers' centres, were reported as containing wide-ranging reference collections which mathematics teachers could examine before choosing materials to use in the classroom, and in one authority the staff of such centres 'regularly took a selection of [their stock] into schools, discussed relative merits and often demonstrated use'. Over a quarter of the responses also described loan services of various kinds, usually based on teachers' centres or specialist centres, which enabled teachers to borrow textbooks, audio-visual materials and other equipment for use or trial in the classroom.


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3. Almost half the authorities remarked that the provision of guidance on suitable materials was one of the ways in which their mathematics advisers assisted teachers during their day-to-day work in schools. One authority described this role in the following terms: 'within limits the mathematics adviser acts as a central source identifying useful materials ... and making this information available either incidentally, where he perceives a particular need, or more directly in response to a request from a school'. As part of this function, advisers in some cases arranged for teachers to visit other schools, so that they had an opportunity to see materials being used in other classrooms and to discuss their value. Advisers, or in some authorities the staff of teachers' or mathematics centres, were usually responsible for preparing bulletins or news-sheets about new materials, which over a quarter of the responses indicated were circulated to schools. These publications took many forms: they might be published on a regular basis or in response to specific needs; sometimes they formed part of a general bulletin for mathematics teachers. Content varied from a simple list of new acquisitions in a resource centre, to appraisals and reviews of materials.

4. Some authorities reported that they were active in encouraging the evaluation of new mathematical materials, generally through the organisation of working parties or workshops for teachers. As one authority put it: 'the volume of new publications overpowers many teachers', and the work of groups evaluating new materials helped 'to provide a less formidable task for colleagues'. Workshops were also mentioned as a means of producing new materials for particular purposes: materials related to numerical subjects for the less able and mathematics for mixed ability teaching groups were among those specified.

5. A few of the responses referred to links between a number of authorities in the field of mathematical education; these had been developed to allow many of the activities described above to be organised and carried out at regional level, and to facilitate a wider exchange of information.


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MODERN LANGUAGES

C8. What is the authority's policy in relation to French in primary schools? To what extent is the present position in the authority's area in accord with that policy?

1. Because of the different circumstances prevailing in England and Wales, the responses to this question from Welsh authorities are dealt with separately in paragraph 7; the remainder of the summary refers only to replies from English authorities.

2. Almost a third of the English responses indicated that the authority discouraged all its primary schools from offering French, and the explanations which were given for this were common to most of these authorities. The over-riding reason was said to be the shortage of suitably trained teachers, and many authorities pointed out that staff mobility added to the uncertainties of attempting to provide a continuous programme of French in primary schools. A second major consideration In some authorities was that the operation of parental choice meant that secondary schools, receiving pupils from many primary schools, would have to provide for two categories of pupil: those who had and those who had not studied French at primary school. One sixth of the responses referred to the National Foundation for Educational Research report 'Primary French in the Balance', which was said to have confirmed the doubts of some authorities about the long-term value of French in the primary school. Comments such as 'In the light of experience, both domestic and national, ... further activity is not being supported' were common, although they were balanced by views to the effect that 'given appropriate conditions, the early teaching of a modern language can confer real linguistic and other benefits on young children'. The provision of primary French was generally said to be dependent on adequate back-up arrangements, and the responses suggested that very few schools offered French in situations where the authority did not provide positive support for the subject.

3. Half the authorities reported that they took steps to support the teaching of French in certain primary schools, although the extent of such support varied. In many cases it applied only to schools in areas which had been incorporated into an authority at the time of local government reorganisation, and which had previously developed a strong tradition of primary French. Another approach specified by some authorities was to encourage primary schools in selected areas to provide French courses as an experiment; but only a few said that French was supported in most of the primary


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schools throughout the authority's area. As a result, in most areas only a small proportion of schools offered the subject.

4. Many of the responses specified in some detail the conditions which the authority considered to be essential to the teaching of French in particular primary schools; moreover, there was great similarity between the conditions listed by different authorities. Continuity with receiving schools was regarded as an important matter, and this generally meant that authorities said that French was most useful when taught in all the primary schools within the catchment area of a particular secondary school, and when a common syllabus was used: many authorities referred to support for the Nuffield course 'En Avant', with emphasis on the spoken language, suggesting that study along these lines should begin with pupils in the third year of junior school. A few authorities mentioned follow-up arrangements; for example, in one authority 'the progress of the children was monitored as they moved into and through the secondary school'. The minimum amount of time which should be devoted to French was stated by several authorities to be in the region of two hours per week, preferably distributed in short daily sessions. Teachers should be appropriately qualified, and a number of authorities referred to in-service courses which supported staff engaged in teaching primary French. It was said by some authorities that, where possible, children should be taught by their class teacher, sometimes with assistance from peripatetic teachers of French; or that no teacher should teach French to more than two classes. In some cases special resources were made available, such as funds for the purchase of course material and tape recorders; two authorities described locally developed course material designed to aid continuity between primary and secondary schools in this field. One authority was hoping 'to initiate a research study into the effects of French teaching at the primary stage on the overall language development of younger children'.

5. One-fifth of the responses indicated that the authority had no policy on primary school French. This was left to the discretion of individual head teachers, and schools wishing to offer French generally had to provide for this from existing resources, and without special guidance from the authority.

6. Three-tenths of the responses contained references to the provision of French (or, very occasionally, German) in middle schools. The authorities making such references generally indicated that their policy was for all middle schools to offer French, although one authority said that in some 8-12 age range schools the study of a modern language was deferred


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until pupils transferred to a high school, when extra resources were devoted to the subject. The age at which middle school pupils began to study French depended to some extent on the age range of the school: the ages quoted ranged from 8 to 11, although 9 appeared to be the age recommended by most authorities. Most replies indicated that the authority regarded the appointment of a specialist teacher of French in the middle school as desirable, but many emphasised the difficulty of recruiting suitably qualified teachers.

7. The situation in Wales was different in several respects from that in England. Thus in no Welsh authority was there a policy of encouraging the teaching of French at primary level, though a few examples of individual schools where the subject was taught were quoted. Half the Welsh authorities indicated that, in areas with bilingual primary education, there was a specific policy to discourage the teaching of primary French. In most other areas of Wales, provision was made for pupils who wished to be taught Welsh at the primary stage, and in some schools the subject was compulsory.





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C9. What is the authority's policy for the provision of courses in the various modern languages in secondary schools? To what extent is the present position in the authority's area in accord with that policy?

C10. What steps have the authority taken to help schools decide which modern languages should be taught to which groups of pupils between the ages of 11 and 16, and what should be the minimum length of language courses?

1. Many authorities chose to answer questions C9 and C10 together: a single summary of responses to both questions is therefore provided in order to give an overall impression of authorities' policies for the provision of modern language courses.

2. Two-fifths of the responses indicated that the authority had not formulated a specific policy on the provision of particular languages; moreover, a very wide variety of approaches to the pattern of language provision which they sought to encourage was exhibited by those authorities which had such a policy, and there was an equally wide variation in the actual provision which authorities described. Of those stating a policy, half said that their objective was for each secondary school to offer at least one modern language; the remainder attempted to provide at least two modern languages in each school. For example, one authority reported that all schools with at least four forms of entry were likely to offer a second modern language to the linguistically able. In some authorities a few schools were said to offer three or even four modern languages, while in others the difficulties referred to below meant that some schools were unable to provide a single modern language course. There were also said to be considerable differences in the levels of provision, even within the area of a single authority. Many of the problems encountered by authorities in trying to maintain what they considered to be a desirable level of language provision arose from a shortage of suitable teachers; these problems were especially severe in secondary modern and newly-reorganised comprehensive schools which were attempting to offer a modern language course for the first time.

3. Authorities described a number of ways in which they sought to provide schools with advice about which languages to offer to which pupils. The guidance given by the advisory service in routine contacts with head teachers and heads of department was mentioned in two-fifths of the replies,


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while a number of other authorities explained that development in this field was restricted by the absence of a specialist modern languages adviser. Several authorities reported that their advisers were concerned to encourage schools to broaden the provision of modern languages (for example by offering French and German in alternate years as the first language). On the other hand, one authority said that in most schools the policy for modern languages was well-established, and staffing difficulties meant that it was rarely possible to persuade a school to change this. Another authority, however, had encouraged broader provision by appointing 'non- French specialists to head of department positions in a number of schools where more than one foreign language was taught', and one reply mentioned a course provided in co-operation with a local polytechnic in order to improve the supply of teachers of German. A quarter of the responses referred to the provision of in-service courses, for head teachers or heads of department, which dealt largely or exclusively with curriculum design in relation to modern language provision. Many authorities described meetings or conferences for teachers, often taking as their basis HM Inspectorate's publication 'Modern Languages in Comprehensive Schools'*. One-third of the authorities referred to meetings of this kind, or to working parties of teachers which had been established to consider the provision of modern languages in secondary schools. Among the matters discussed by one such group, meeting termly, were provision for less able pupils, the use of audio-visual equipment, examinations and in-service training. One authority reported that a 'foundation syllabus for years 1-3 of secondary education was currently being discussed with teachers of the borough', and similar initiatives were mentioned elsewhere; they were intended to encourage a co-ordinated approach to modern language teaching, and so to ease problems such as the transfer of pupils between schools within the authority's area. A number of responses commented that the decision on which languages to offer rested ultimately with the head teacher and the modern language staff.

4. Only a few authorities said that they required all secondary schools to offer French as the first modern language; a quarter however said that, while they had not made this a requirement, in practice all schools did offer French as the first modern language, while a further two-fifths reported that this was the case in the majority of schools. One-fifth said that in some of their schools German was the first modern language (sometimes as an alternative to French), and one-tenth described a similar position for Spanish. Concern was expressed at the overwhelming dominance of

*No 3 in the series 'Matters for Discussion', published by HMSO.


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French, which authorities ascribed partly to tradition and partly to a shortage of teachers of other languages.

5. Half the replies indicated that all, or almost all, pupils in the authority's secondary schools* commenced the study of a first modern language. An exception was generally made for the least able pupils, although a few authorities gave it as their view that 'all pupils should at some stage be given the opportunity of beginning to learn a foreign language', The majority of authorities indicating the duration of a first modern language course said that they preferred it to last for a minimum of three years, although a few specified either two or four years; some authorities pointed out that for pupils taking a public examination in the first modern language the course would last five years, and one commented that languages were not a popular choice among pupils when deciding on their subject options for the fourth and fifth years. A number of authorities stated that in practice many pupils dropped the first modern language after studying it for only a very short time, and one said that it had asked schools to consider whether it might be desirable, for some pupils, to replace the first language with a second language in the third year. A few responses expressed concern at the domination of the curriculum of all pupils by syllabuses determined by examinations which only the more able would take, and reported that, in the words of one authority, schools were recommended 'to consider in detail the aims and objectives of language courses and to introduce some measure of differentiation between courses for the less able, average and more able pupils'. Some authorities described arrangements for linguistically less able pupils to take CSE mode 3 courses in, for example, European studies. A small number said that they were developing a course leading to a certificate of proficiency in a modern language for pupils who might not otherwise take an examination in the subject, with the aim, as one response put it, of providing 'motivation for those pupils who will not continue with the study of a language after three years' and of emphasising 'the skills which are most appropriate to them, eg comprehension and speaking'. One authority reported that it encouraged schools to introduce courses leading to a Certificate of Extended Education in languages for those pupils for whom an academic A level course was considered unsuitable.

6. In one-third of authorities most schools were said to offer German as the second modern language (although only in a small number of responses was this described as a requirement), while a further quarter of the replies indicated that German was offered by some schools Half the responses

*For information about provision in middle schools, see question C8.


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reported that some schools offered Spanish as the second modern language, although one authority said that two schools which had formerly done so had replaced Spanish with German in response to the wishes of parents. Over a third of the replies mentioned that Russian was taught in some schools, and over a quarter mentioned Italian, but in both cases the number of schools offering these languages was said to be very small, and such provision often took the form of sixth form courses for beginners.

7. Authorities specifying when pupils should commence study of a second language were evenly divided between those recommending the second year and those recommending the third year of secondary education, although a few mentioned the fourth year. As a result, a second modern language course leading to a public examination would generally last four or three years. Almost all authorities said that only pupils showing evidence of linguistic ability should be encouraged to take a second language. A few authorities quoted the proportion of a year group usually taking a second language: the figures given ranged between 10 per cent and 30 per cent, although some reported that many pupils dropped out of these courses.

8. Several ways of improving the quality of modern language teaching, in addition to those specified in paragraph 3 above, were mentioned; some authorities said that they had provided many of their schools with language laboratories; others placed great emphasis on the value of links with continental schools. Foreign language assistants were also mentioned, although a few authorities reported that recruitment of the latter had been curtailed in recent years as an economy measure.

9. The responses from Welsh authorities made it clear that the majority of pupils in Wales were offered Welsh for all or part of their secondary career. This meant that the number of foreign languages offered in Welsh schools was sometimes restricted.



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C11. What steps have the authority taken to promote the coordination of provision for modern language courses in sixth forms and colleges of further education to ensure that pupils have courses in a wide variety of languages available to them?

1. Almost one-third of the responses contained statements to the effect that 'no steps had been taken by the authority to promote the co-ordination of provision for modern language courses at the 16+ lever. Other authorities maintained that each sixth form and college in their area already offered the main modern languages. One authority stated that it was not convinced of the need to encourage diversity of modern language provision in a rural area, and that it was more important to provide support for viable teaching groups. Another authority, describing the difficulties of coordination, commented that 'pupils could not, in general, be said to have a wide range of languages available to them'. The overall impression conveyed by the responses was that there was a heavy emphasis on French and, to a lesser extent, German in sixth form studies, with comparatively little Spanish, Italian and Russian; and that, on the whole, there were few systematic arrangements for the co-ordination of provision throughout an authority's area.

2. Several problems which authorities had encountered in attempting to co-ordinate the provision of modern languages in sixth forms and colleges were cited. The major difficulties appeared to occur in the more rural authorities over arrangements for travel between institutions, and over the co-ordination of timetables among a group of institutions (pupils were sometimes said to be reluctant to undertake such travel). Problems were also said to arise from the different conditions of service applying to teachers in schools and colleges of further education and from the fact that the dwindling numbers of pupils opting to study a language in the sixth form, combined in some areas with falling rolls, meant that elaborate arrangements would have to be operated for the benefit of a few. One authority said that the absence of a specialist adviser for modern languages made it difficult to co-ordinate provision (see also questions C9, C10 and C12).

3. Nevertheless, a quarter of the responses indicated that consideration was being given to the co-ordination of provision of modern language courses for 16-19 year olds, generally in the context of a review of the totality of provision for this age group (this, and other items discussed in this paragraph, are dealt with more fully under questions B7 and F9). One-tenth of


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the replies mentioned arrangements already operating for the co-ordination of modern language provision in all institutions in a particular area, including colleges of further education: such arrangements were generally based on joint committees representing the institutions concerned. In the northern area of one authority 'the sixth form college and the college of further education, functioning jointly as the junior College, co-ordinated their language courses closely'. A further quarter of the authorities described arrangements for co-ordinating modern language teaching in school sixth forms - again, usually as part of the overall co-ordination of sixth form provision. These arrangements, often applying only in certain districts of an authority, took two main forms. In most cases, joint academic coordinating committees (or similar bodies), consisting of representatives of the schools in a particular locality, met to consider the courses offered in each school and to examine the possibilities for co-ordination; a few authorities however referred to arrangements for the provision of minority languages in a centrally-located institution, to ensure 'that A-level subjects which might disappear from [the authority's] schools had some degree of protection' .

4. Many authorities referred to informal arrangements for co-operation over the provision of language courses between institutions in a particular area, and a few said that this was an aspect which was encouraged during in-service courses: for example, two- neighbouring schools might agree that each would offer a different minority language; in one area 'a member of staff was shared for the teaching of Russian' by two schools. One authority said that it attempted to meet demands for particular languages as they arose, by making ad hoc arrangements; and a number stated in the context of this question that they provided pupils and parents with information on all the courses available for 16-19 year aids in a particular area, so enabling an informed choice of subject and course to be made (see also question F7).

5. One-tenth of authorities reported that they wished to encourage the growth of language courses for this age group other than those directed towards GCE examinations; one asserted that variety in respect of types of course was more important than the range of languages offered. Less traditional modern language courses were more commonly said to be offered in colleges of further education (particularly in association with commercial or business studies) than in schools.


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C12. What steps have the authority taken to make teachers aware of the range of curriculum materials available, so that they may select those which will best meet the needs of their pupils?

1. Slightly over a third of the authorities referred to the importance of the work of advisers in providing modern language teachers with information about available materials; one authority said that the lack of a specialist language adviser had 'limited the help which could be offered' in such activities as organising meetings of teachers, and this was implicit in other comments. It was said that during their routine visits to schools, advisers would assess and discuss requirements in the field of modern language materials with the head of department and other members of staff; they might also be involved in, for example, the organisation of activities to evaluate new materials. Thus one authority reported that 'the senior adviser for modern languages occasionally purchased sets of materials, not hitherto in use in the county, which were offered to schools willing to experiment and report on their efficacy or otherwise'. One-tenth of the responses mentioned working parties or other arrangements, generally co-ordinated by advisers, established with the purpose of producing new curricular materials; several authorities encouraged schools to produce materials to suit their own requirements and 'to remedy deficiencies in commercially published courses', and a few added comments to the effect that the authority 'attached great importance to educational visits and exchanges abroad for both pupils and teachers [as being] invaluable as a source of teaching material and for in-service education'. Outside agencies such as a local radio station or a local university were sometimes described as offering assistance in the production of modern language materials. A number of authorities said that where possible advisers encouraged teachers to visit other schools to observe new materials being used in the classroom and to discuss them with other teachers.

2. Two-thirds of the authorities mentioned in-service training (occasionally organised in conjunction with other authorities) as one of the methods adopted to communicate information about curriculum materials to modern language teachers. Sometimes courses dealt specifically with a topic related to resources, as in the authority reporting that subjects covered included 'the study of which materials are appropriate for various teaching situations, and how they may be used effectively'. Many authorities however pointed out that a good deal of the information about resources which teachers obtained from in-service courses was derived from the displays accompanying many courses primarily concerned with aspects of modern


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language teaching rather than with curricular materials as such. Displays were also arranged to illustrate meetings organised (often with the assistance of educational publishing companies) to inform teachers about new materials, and teachers' centres were frequently said to mount exhibitions of modern language resources. In all, over half the responses contained references to displays of this kind.

3. Over a quarter of the authorities said that they had established modern language resource centres, sometimes as free-standing institutions but often as part of a general teachers' centre or within a maintained institution of higher education. Such a centre in one authority 'carried samples of the full range of modern language courses and teaching materials, ... supplied information to teachers of modern languages ... and organised courses and teachers' workshops on a variety of aspects of the teaching of modern languages'. These specialist centres, and also general teachers' centres, were said by a quarter of the authorities to maintain loan services for materials such as textbooks, video-tapes and French and German films. Thus one authority was in the course of creating a German language collection 'to help meet the difficult problem of acquainting teachers with a wide range of books ... published in German and ... difficult to inspect in this country'. A few authorities referred to assistance from the library service in this area; one, on the other hand, in contrast to those authorities specifying some centralisation of resource materials, said that it preferred to allocate most equipment and resources direct to schools.

4. A quarter of the responses described arrangements for distributing information about modern language materials to schools. These arrangements took various forms: for example, one authority said that occasional circular letters drew teachers' attention to particularly valuable material, while another said that 'information and evaluation of material currently in use in the authority's schools has been collated and exchanged by ... modern language departments'. A more common approach was for a modern languages newsletter to be published regularly, containing reviews or information about new materials. In a few areas, Schools Council Information Centres were said to provide valuable guidance on the use of Schools Council materials, and some authorities referred to the assistance their teachers had received from the Centre for Information on Language Teaching.


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SCIENCE

C13. What is the authority's policy for the provision of science in primary schools? To what extent is the present position in the authority's area in accord with that policy?

1. Authorities described their general approach to the provision of primary school science in varying terms: a few said that they required schools to offer science courses, half said that science was encouraged, while the remainder stated that they regarded the provision of science as a matter for head teachers to determine in the light of available staffing and material resources. One-fifth of the responses stated that primary schools were advised to teach science as an integral part of other, more general, areas of work such as environmental studies (which, as one authority put it, were, 'with their interdisciplinary approach ... often less daunting [than pure science] to the teacher with no background in science at all', although strictly they were 'no less rigorous'). A number of authorities viewed the principal function of primary science as a process of familiarising pupils with the practice 'of scientific observation rather than as a formal approach to the acquisition of scientific knowledge. Two-fifths of the replies referred to the employment of national curricular projects, particularly the Schools Council's 'Science 5-13' project and, less commonly, the Nuffield junior Science project. Some authorities regarded such projects as providing the conceptual basis for the courses they encouraged in schools, in particular through related in-service training; the science and mathematics centre in one city had, 'over the years, arranged courses to acquaint the city's teachers with the "Science 5-13" materials and serviced working parties of teachers who have prepared work cards on these materials'. Other authorities provided specific funds for the purchase of materials related to the projects, or reported that 'a special allocation from the curriculum support fund was designated for primary science' generally. A few authorities had produced their own schemes of work for primary science; these also were generally supported by in-service courses.

2. One-fifth of authorities referred to the importance of adequate training if teachers were to feel confident in teaching science, and a number commented that subjects such as nature study and environmental studies received more attention than the physical sciences in primary schools. In-service training was regarded as playing a crucial role in the development of primary science, both by adding to the breadth and depth of teachers' scientific knowledge, and by emphasising the importance of science within the primary curriculum, especially in the case of courses


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for head teachers. Two-thirds of the replies described in-service provision which was related to these requirements. For example, one authority, having for several years offered courses for teachers with little or no background knowledge of science, was developing, in conjunction with a local college of higher education, a two year course leading to a Certificate in Primary Science.

3. A quarter of the authorities singled out the assistance provided by the advisory service to primary school teachers in this subject area, in the classroom and through in-service courses, although one authority commented, describing the local situation, that 'it is quite obvious that one adviser covering maths and science cannot possibly provide adequate support for primary school science'. One-seventh had a policy of encouraging the appointment of a teacher with some specialist knowledge who would act as a science consultant for the other members of staff. One authority quoted a study carried out in conjunction with the area training organisation, indicating that such appointments might lead to a noticeable improvement in the quality of primary science teaching; a more general observation was that inevitably a great deal depended on the qualifications and experience of the particular teachers appointed to these posts.

4. Authorities reported a variety of ways in which they supported their primary schools' science provision. Some referred to handbooks or guidelines to assist teachers preparing a course; a few had established a special centre for primary science resources, while several said that field centres and environmental studies centres were a valuable resource in themselves; one-sixth referred to special steps taken to provide schools with suitable teaching materials and equipment (for example, one authority had seconded teachers to produce materials in connection with its own primary science course). A number of authorities said that they provided a 'practical area' in all new primary school buildings; a few encouraged co-operation with the staff of secondary schools or colleges of further education over the use of resources.

5. Some of the replies made a separate reference to the provision for science in middle schools. The appointment of a specialist science teacher and the provision of laboratory facilities were both said to be much more common in such schools, and several authorities made statements such as the following: 'a more detailed and specialised approach is encouraged in the last two years of the middle school curriculum to give pupils an understanding of the scientific approach and some ability in basic science skills'.


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6. The replies to this question conveyed a very strong impression that authorities attached importance to the place of science in the primary curriculum, but that in many cases they considered that the scope of present classroom practice did not match this importance, and were in consequence making efforts to improve the quality of facilities and to increase the relatively small number of teachers with appropriate training.





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C14. What is the authority's policy for the provision of science courses for pupils up to the age of sixteen in secondary schools? To what extent is the present position in the authority's area in accord with that policy?

1. Two-fifths of the responses indicated that the authority concerned had a specific policy of encouraging its secondary schools to require all (or almost all) pupils to study one or more science subjects up to the age of sixteen, sometimes as part of a common core of subjects. The remainder generally expected that systems of options would make it possible for any pupils who so desired, and who had the appropriate ability, to continue with science throughout their school career, although one-fifth maintained that decisions in this matter were the responsibility of each school. Within this overall picture there were variations in the pattern of provision which authorities sought to encourage. The following comment was however typical: 'schools are encouraged to think out individually the best ways of teaching the science subjects, and to select the most suitable elements of the Nuffield and other courses, and to adapt them to their own use'.

2. Science in some form was generally expected to be compulsory for all pupils during the first three years of secondary education; about half the authorities reported that they encouraged schools to offer a general or integrated science course for at least part of this phase of education, and that most schools in fact offered such a course. A number explained that they considered this approach to be the most suitable one for schools with a comprehensive intake. The most commonly. specified foundation for these courses was the Nuffield Combined Science Project. Most authorities preferred the general science approach to give way to or combine with a separate subject approach to physics, chemistry and biology in the third year (except, sometimes, for the less able pupils). The reason given for this preference was usually that it enabled pupils to sample the individual sciences in preparation for making a decision about the options they would subsequently follow.

3. In respect of the fourth and fifth secondary years, most authorities reported that they expected schools to offer a range of science courses adapted to the requirements of different categories of pupils. They generally tried to make it possible for schools to provide both GCE and CSE courses in physics, chemistry and biology; and some encouraged schools to offer additional subjects such as geology, rural science or technology, according to the availability of resources and the qualifications and specialisms of the teaching staff. One authority reported that 'in order to help young teachers


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new to examination teaching, selected groups of the authority's best and most experienced science teachers had prepared up-to-date interpretations of current syllabuses expressed as detailed schemes of work'. CSE mode 2 and 3 examination courses were said to be valuable in stimulating the interest of less academic pupils. Many authorities referred to the importance of devising science courses for the less able, particularly those who would not be taking examinations, and often suggested to their schools that a general science course was the most appropriate form of provision for these pupils. A few said that they encouraged schools to offer integrated science courses for all fourth and fifth year pupils, or at least to make it possible for pupils to take an examination in general science rather than in the separate subjects if they wished. The Schools Council Integrated Science Project was sometimes mentioned as the basis of courses for these older pupils. Some of the authorities said that they emphasised to teachers the need to ensure that science courses had a firm base in practical applications: teachers were encouraged to show pupils the relationship between work in the laboratory and industrial processes (see questions F2 and F8); one authority specifically mentioned encouraging its schools to attempt to integrate science teaching with craft courses.

4. A quarter of the responses indicated that the authority regarded its policies for science teaching as being embodied in the facilities which it provided or planned to provide in schools. This was normally expressed in terms of an assumption about the number of pupils who would choose to study one or more sciences in the fourth and fifth years, as the basis for a calculation of the laboratory space, staffing (including technical assistance) and equipment required.

5. Most authorities stated that in practice the majority of, and in some cases almost all, pupils in their area studied some form of science to the age of sixteen. An exception was often made for 'children whose motivation is generally poor and whose presence in laboratories might cause special problems for teachers'. In many instances, however, it was not yet possible for all schools to offer what the authority considered to be the most appropriate science courses. Some comprehensive schools did not offer general science to all pupils in the first years of secondary education, or offered such courses for a shorter period than the authority recommended. Although one authority maintained that re-organisation had enabled it, 'through its advice to schools, to influence and enhance science provision in the general curriculum', newly-reorganised and especially smaller comprehensive schools were not always able to provide a full range of GCE science courses, and some option systems were said to prevent pupils from studying


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physics, chemistry and biology together. A few responses referred to the desirability of encouraging girls to study the physical sciences during the fourth and fifth years, and one authority reported that in fact girls were increasingly opting for these subjects. Another observed that 'the extent to which science courses are taken up by girls in all-girls schools is still of a much higher proportion than in mixed ... schools, and research, monitoring and improvement in attitude and teaching approaches is a continuing advisory challenge'.

6. Authorities said that their advisory services were mainly tackling these problems through programmes of in-service training; some courses were designed to help teachers provide for the needs of particular categories of pupils, such as the very able, The provision of resources was another vitally important factor, and a number at authorities had embarked upon programmes designed to improve the science facilities of their secondary schools so that they achieved the level of provision which the authority regarded as fully satisfactory.





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C15. What steps have the authority taken to help schools plan science options so that pupils can satisfy course requirements in higher and further education?

1. A number of authorities reported that they took no specific steps in this field, typically because the secondary schools in their area were at present able to offer 'a sufficiently broad range of courses so that no child was denied the opportunity to study a suitable science course which was a prerequisite for future study in higher or further education'. One-fifth said that the organisation of options was largely the responsibility of the head teacher and science and careers staff, although some of these authorities noted that the assistance of advisers was available if requested by any school. More generally, most responses described the provision of guidance in the construction of option systems as one of the regular duties of members of the advisory and/or careers services. Two-fifths of all authorities specified the work of the advisory service in this connection, and one-fifth mentioned in addition the work of the careers service,

2. Advisers were expected to maintain a general knowledge of the requirements of higher and further education, and to work with head teachers and heads of department on the design of option systems which would balance the need to enable pupils to progress to a further stage of science against the problem of avoiding premature foreclosure of their subject options. Careers officers were usually expected to work closely with schools' careers staff (see question F4) and a particular function was to provide detailed information about the course requirements of higher and further education institutions which careers teachers might then feed into discussions about option systems within the school. Some authorities accepted a degree of overlap between the functions of the two services: the work of subject and careers teachers in designing option systems was linked with the advice offered to pupils 'to ensure that they were aware of the implications of their choice' of options. Similarly, one authority encouraged head teachers to nominate a member of staff with responsibility for ensuring consultation between subject departments over pupils' option choices.

3. Over a quarter of the authorities reported that they organised in-service courses (or participated in courses organised jointly with local branches of national subject bodies or local science teachers' organisations) which provided guidance to head teachers and other senior teachers on matters related to the construction of option systems. These courses (which were not always concerned solely with science) were sometimes said to stress the importance of relating the options offered in school to the courses


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available in higher and further education. Other authorities arranged meetings, especially meetings of heads of department, at which current practice in science options could be discussed and ideas exchanged. For example, one response described meetings, 'based on the formulation of aims and objectives for the science education of children between the ages of 12 and 16', which had taken account of 'the course requirements in higher and further education'.

4. A few authorities said that in practice the course requirements of colleges of further education were less well understood by many schools than those of universities and polytechnics. One-fifth of the responses described arrangements, applying over the whole or part of the authority's area, which brought the staffs of secondary schools and colleges of further education together in order to facilitate an overall understanding and the planning of courses in each sector. Slightly under half of these authorities referred to formal joint planning committees whose main purpose was normally to co-ordinate provision of courses for the 16-19 age group (see questions B7 and F9) but which also provided a convenient forum for the discussion of the relationship between school and further education provision.

5. Only one authority reported that it required head teachers 'to examine their curriculum in years 4 and 5 to ensure that they were offering adequate options in science at both 0 and CSE level, or that arrangements might be made with neighbouring schools to enable a group of schools to offer adequate science options to the pupils in that group of schools'. A few authorities had identified, mainly through special. surveys, 'those schools which were least able to satisfy the course requirements in higher and further education by reason of their small size, restricted laboratory provision and limited staffing levels', and had established a programme to improve the facilities in these schools, including the provision of additional equipment to assist suitable courses.


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C16. What steps have the authority taken to make teachers aware of the range of curriculum materials available, so that they may select those which will best meet the needs of their pupils?

1. In-service courses were by far the most frequently mentioned channel for communicating information about available materials for science teaching, and were specified in over four-fifths of the responses. Authorities often arranged courses about national curriculum projects, but courses for special categories of science teacher - such as the newly-appointed or primary science teachers - were also described. One authority commented that 'the most effective courses were those held on a countywide basis, as these enabled teachers from a variety of schools to meet and discuss mutual problems'. Authorities co-operated with a range of bodies in order to supplement their advisory services with the specialist skills or facilities required for many of these courses. Collaboration with a local university or polytechnic was common: for example, two authorities said that they contributed small grants towards a chemistry centre in a nearby polytechnic, in return for its availability as a resource for their teachers. Co-operation between authorities, especially in the context of a regional science or technology body such as a SATRO (Science and Technology Regional Organisation), was also quoted by several authorities as a valuable means of providing courses. Local subject teachers' associations and branches of national bodies such as the Association for Science Education (ASE) were closely associated with the provision of in-service training, and secondments to national courses or attendance at such events as the annual meeting of the ASE were regarded as valuable opportunities for teachers to learn about, examine and discuss with others the suitability of curriculum materials in relation to particular topics.

2. One of the main ways in which in-service courses were said to make science teachers aware of resource materials was through accompanying displays of available items. One-third of the replies stated that exhibitions of this kind were also organised independently by teachers' centres or specialist subject centres, and linked them in some cases with meetings arranged (either by the authority itself or with the assistance of an educational publishing company) specifically to inform teachers about new books or laboratory equipment.

3. Half the authorities described the day-to-day work of advisers in schools as an important means of disseminating information about developments in materials for science teaching, and providing guidance


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on the most suitable equipment for particular circumstances. It was usually the advisers who were responsible for preparing the bulletins or news-sheets including information about new materials, which a quarter of the responses indicated were circulated to schools on a regular or occasional basis.

4. One authority received from the science departments of each of its schools an annual report specifying any proposed changes in their course structure. This meant that 'advice or appropriate materials could be given at an early stage, and plans made for any financial assistance required'. Other authorities had special funds for the purchase of science equipment, for example 'as an incentive to use new materials and to introduce new science courses' in schools, and several said that they received valuable assistance through their membership of the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Equipment (CLEAPSE).

5. Specialist science resource centres were referred to by one-fifth of the authorities. The staffs of these were often able to support the work of advisers by offering specialist advice on particular topics (such as the provision of science courses for less able pupils), as well as through their own in-service work. A quarter of the responses outlined schemes for the loan of books, audio-visual aids or laboratory equipment to individual schools on request; these loan services were generally based on the specialist or general teachers' centres, which also frequently housed reference collections of materials.

6. A few authorities described working groups which were organised by advisers or through teachers' centres in order to encourage teachers to examine their requirements and produce new materials. One authority in particular stressed the importance of the local development of classroom materials, and reported that it was currently consulting a major local industry with a view to devising items which would better relate the school science curriculum to industrial applications and practices. A number of other authorities had established similar working groups for the purpose of evaluating commercially-produced materials; one authority said that it 'had always sought to be involved in trials of new curriculum materials' and that it had 'supported such trials by central finance and by support for teachers on training courses'.


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C17. What steps have the authority taken to promote the coordination of provision for science courses in sixth forms and colleges of further education to ensure that pupils have a wide variety of courses available to them?

1. One-third of the authorities reported that they took no steps to coordinate science provision in sixth forms and further education. The explanation most commonly given was that all or almost all of the institutions providing courses for 16-19 year olds in the authority's area were able to offer what the authority considered to be a sufficiently wide range of science courses. This range was usually referred to in terms of the availability of A level courses in the three main science subjects (physics, chemistry and biology): indeed, one authority did not consider that 'a proliferation of science A levels [other than these] was necessary or even desirable'. Some authorities spoke of constraints upon the co-ordination of provision, particularly the physical difficulties of organising travel between any institutions not in close proximity.

2. The remaining two-thirds of authorities described forms of co-ordination with varying degrees of formality. Very few of these arrangements however, applied uniformly across an authority's area: they were generally organised at district level, or were encouraged among groups of neighbouring institutions by advisers or officers. Nor were they usually confined to cooperation in the provision of science subjects, and as a result authorities frequently referred to their replies to other questions.

3. Some of the responses mentioned arrangements to ensure that the provision of science courses was co-ordinated between sixth forms, often as part of an exercise to rationalise sixth form provision as a whole within a group of schools. The responsibility for allocating courses to particular schools in these cases sometimes rested with a committee of head teachers (or other senior teachers) and advisers and officers of the authority (see question 87). Other responses referred to formal machinery for the coordination of courses in all institutions catering for 16-19 year olds in a particular area, including colleges of further education. (This is dealt with more fully under question F9.) Such co-ordination was often carried out through the agency of a joint academic co-ordinating committee consisting, as with the committees concerned solely with school provision, of representatives of the institutions concerned, together with advisers and officers. Some authorities saw the importance of formal co-ordination of course provision in science chiefly in terms of the efficient use of resources which might be wasted through duplication of courses. A few explained that they


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expected the courses offered in colleges of further education to have a stronger applied science element than those available in schools. One authority reported that provision was made in a centrally-situated institution for a number of science-related subjects which would not otherwise be offered by anyone school or college, and another stated that 'where two sixth form colleges served a given area, each had been encouraged to develop its own special interests' such as an A level Engineering Science course or Nuffield Physical Science.

4. Over a quarter of the responses described less formal methods of co-operation between schools and colleges over the provision of science courses, generally undertaken with the intention of widening the scope of pupils' choice. Thus one authority reported that a polytechnic made its computer facilities available to local schools, and several referred to linked courses which gave pupils access to the expertise and equipment of local colleges of further education (see question F7). Some authorities said that they encouraged colleges and schools to assist each other wherever possible, and referred to the role of advisers and in-service training in bringing institutions together for this purpose. One response mentioned the appointment of 'two members of staff to the college of agriculture to be specifically responsible for secondary school link courses'. Many authorities attached importance to informal meetings between the science staffs of neighbouring schools and colleges, and the point was made that the increased awareness of the courses offered by other institutions gained through such meetings was an essential step towards the co-ordination of provision.

5. Where a variety of science courses was available to pupils after the age of 16, a number of authorities emphasised the value they placed on providing pupils and their parents with adequate information on the full range of courses offered locally, and said that they took steps to facilitate the transfer of students between institutions (see question F7). One authority however warned that 'too much encouragement towards greater use of colleges of further education ... risked exacerbating the problems of schools trying to provide an adequate range of courses with falling pupil numbers'. Almost a quarter of the responses indicated that the authority was currently reviewing the provision of science courses for 16-19 year olds, generally in the context of a review of overall provision for this age group.


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RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

C18. In what ways do the authority maintain their knowledge of the arrangements for religious education (including arrangements for withdrawal) in the county schools of their area?

1. Some two-thirds of authorities reported that their main channel for information about arrangements for religious education was the local advisory service. Of the authorities citing this, approximately half referred to the existing (or, in a handful of cases, planned) appointment of specialist advisers or advisory teachers for religious education, sometimes in conjunction with diocesan authorities. Most of the remainder indicated that religious education was one of the responsibilities specifically assigned to advisers with more broadly-based duties, for example humanities or senior secondary advisers. The advisory services were said to obtain their information about practice through their day-to-day activities in visiting schools (for example, one authority described a detailed rota for main and supplementary visits to every school); and, less directly, through their work with teachers in subject panels or study groups, at conferences and courses, and at teachers' centres (whether confined to religious education or embracing wider subject areas). In some areas the advisers made periodic reports to the authority. One reply remarked, however, that 'in quantitative terms the knowledge is likely to be limited'. Some authorities said that the lack of a specialist adviser 'hampered' their knowledge and that such an appointment would be 'a desirable future development'; this lack was attributed by one authority specifically to 'restrictions on expenditure'.

2. Authorities also drew on a number of other sources to supplement their information. About one-fifth of them described systematic methods of collecting details of provision of religious education in their county schools. In some areas this was undertaken on a regular basis, often associated with the collection of data on the curriculum and organisation of the school as a whole, including aspects such as timetabling, examinations, or staffing (see also question A2). More commonly, the authorities had conducted, or were considering conducting, occasional surveys of specific aspects of religious education, for instance the arrangements for corporate worship, or the distribution and qualifications of specialist teachers.

3. A variety of more indirect means of obtaining information was mentioned in a quarter of the replies. Where the organisation of the general advisory service was aligned to the structure of primary and secondary school


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phases or to groups of schools in the same district, the information available to the authority about those phases or groups often indicated the part played by religious education in the schools. One authority said that each school had 'a pastoral adviser who reports to the chief education officer on the school curriculum as a whole, including the place of religious education'. Head teachers' reports to governing bodies frequently dealt with religious education in this way, and local conferences of head teachers or heads of department on a range of matters of common interest might also include discussion of religious education. Some authorities referred, in the context of this question, to the inclusion of arrangements for religious education in the information leaflets provided by schools for parents, following DES Circular 15/77: such leaflets might also describe withdrawal arrangements (see below). Others mentioned the role of a standing advisory council on religious education, or other arrangements for liaison between church authorities and the education service (including contacts with local branches and regional officers of the Christian Education Movement).

4. Very few authorities described systematic procedures for the collection of statistics of withdrawal from religious education or corporate worship, the general impression of most authorities being that requests for withdrawal were rare since (as one reply said) 'the development of religious education in schools has led to an educational rather than a denominational approach to the subject'. A number commented that withdrawal arrangements were delegated to the schools themselves, and that individual cases would be brought to the authority's attention only where unusual or difficult circumstances arose. Some said that a broad indication of withdrawal arrangements could if necessary be gained from the more general sources of information described above. In a few cases where significant numbers of pupils were involved, special measures were taken to provide alternative instruction: examples quoted by different authorities included arrangements for those of the Islamic faith, for Roman Catholics or for Jehovah's Witnesses.


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C19. What help is made available by the authority to teachers in primary and secondary schools to assist them in implementing the agreed syllabus?

1. A number of replies to the questions on religious education described the challenge facing schools in seeking to provide effective religious education in circumstances where commitment to Christianity seemed to be waning, and where in some areas other faiths were becoming more common with the growth of multi-ethnic communities. One authority said that this was 'a stimulus to the introduction of aspects of world religions in all schools', both to contribute to racial harmony and to assist in developing general religious (including Christian) understanding. Another commented that 'a shortage of well qualified teachers remains the single greatest threat to the future of religious education in our schools'. There was also criticism of inadequate coverage of this field in initial training, particularly for nonspecialist primary teachers. One authority specifically mentioned the problems arising where 'teachers have elected for conscientious reasons to dissociate themselves from religious education'.

2. Induction and in-service training featured in three-quarters of the replies as a means of channelling practical help to teachers - both specialist and non-specialist=- who were involved in implementing the agreed syllabus. Some was said to be school-based, notably for primary non-specialists; other training was often organised in the form of short courses, seminars and conferences. The standing advisory council for religious education, local teacher training institutions (especially voluntary colleges), other higher education establishments and church bodies were variously associated with the planning and provision of both kinds of training: for example, one authority reported a Certificate in Advanced Professional Studies course at a local polytechnic 'for religious education consultants in primary schools'. Another described a pattern ranging between one year or one term secondments, half-week or weekend residential courses, one day events, and evening courses or workshop sessions.

3. More than a quarter of the authorities referred to the role of a religious education teachers' or resource centre, either self-standing or for example part of a humanities centre. These were usually mentioned both for their in-service training activities and as sources of expert advice for individual teachers and schools. Some of these centres had been established on a regional basis shared by neighbouring authorities, or in conjunction with a nearby higher education institution or diocesan authorities. Among the centres specifically mentioned by more than one authority were those at


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Westhill College and at the West London Institute of Higher Education. Elsewhere, a resource centre, 'a joint one with religious groups of all kinds', had been established 'in a wing of a church' and contained 'facilities for making teaching materials'. Often the centres housed reference collections, displayed samples of teaching materials for inspection and loan, or produced catalogues of available or recommended books and materials, In some instances a centre ran courses attended by parents and clergy as well as teachers. One authority's strategy was to establish 'certain secondary schools as centres of excellence or development in religious education'; in those schools the aim was 'to build up the subject department in all its aspects and in so doing provide a good training ground for future heads of department'.

4. Over a third of the replies mentioned the assistance given by advisers or advisory teachers, most commonly in the course of day-to-day visits to schools and through the organisation and co-ordination of in-service training opportunities. Some authorities which had no specialist adviser placed great emphasis on the other forms of assistance described in this summary. In a few areas a specialist religious education teacher had been seconded to the advisory service to help schools implement a newly-introduced agreed syllabus. The advisory service was often also concerned, together with other bodies, in producing written guidance or suggestions disseminated through handbooks for teachers: about one-sixth of the authorities reported action of this kind, frequently intended for primary or non-specialist secondary teachers, and covering topics such as the treatment of world religions. Half a dozen authorities described the circulation to schools of religious education bulletins or newsletters, usually once a term and carrying accounts of classroom work and reviews of new books or materials. One-seventh of the replies indicated arrangements to supply additional resource materials: examples were loans from the 'Schools Museum Service and the County Film Library', and 'travelling book displays for primary and middle schools'. A few authorities mentioned funds 'provided for specific ventures and projects' in religious education or 'for the purchase of R E resources for 7-11 year aids'; Schools Council materials were frequently said to be used.

5. A seventh of the replies reported the establishment of local working parties or advisory committees (usually consisting of teachers, advisers, LEA officers, and sometimes church representatives), to provide a forum for the exchange of views or to produce written guidance. In some cases these were associated with the preparation of material to supplement an existing agreed syllabus (eg to take account of new approaches to the


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Bible, or of the growth of a multi-faith society); in others, with steps to devise a completely new syllabus (see question C20). One-fifth of the authorities pointed to the activities of local workshops or study groups, largely composed of teachers, engaged upon such topics as the school assembly, CSE syllabuses, or religious education for the less able. Groups of this kind had sometimes been set up to pursue issues raised in larger gatherings such as the annual conference for secondary teachers mounted by one authority, or the twice-termly religious education forum in another.

6. Several authorities drew attention to the role of a standing advisory council in underpinning much of the work recorded above. One in eight commented on the value of links with regional or national organisations: apart from the churches themselves, the body most commonly mentioned was the Christian Education Movement, whose literature was often distributed to schools and whose regional officers arranged local activities for teachers and for pupils. Some replies described close links between teachers of religious education and those working in related fields, such as moral and health education, and education for multi-racial understanding. Others commented that those concerned with religious education in voluntary aided schools, while outside the scope of the authority's responsibilities under this question, nonetheless enjoyed close links with and contributed to work in county schools.


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C20. What arrangements have the authority established for periodical review of the agreed syllabus?

1. Over two-fifths of the authorities indicated that they had not established any systematic arrangements for periodical review of the agreed syllabus. About one in five of the replies falling within this category intimated, however, that consideration was being given to the possibility of setting up such arrangements. A further one-seventh said that standing arrangements were not in their view necessary, since their current agreed syllabus had been introduced only recently. For example, one authority, which had published a new agreed syllabus in 1977, remarked that the task 'had taken some nine years' which was a 'measure of the complexity of the process and ... of care and consultation which are essential"; the same authority said that 'the practical problems of organising periodic reviews in accordance with the Fifth Schedule of the Education Act 1944 are considerable', but added that it was considering means of keeping the resource material in the new syllabus up to date. Other authorities made similar points: one 'considered that it was more valuable to concentrate on producing supplements rather than undertaking a total review of the existing syllabuses at this time'; another commented that while the agreed syllabus covered the essential elements, it was necessary from time to time 'to review the development and methodology of the subject and details of content as appropriate to the location of the school'.

2. Many of the replies did not clearly distinguish between routine arrangements for keeping the existing syllabus under regular review, and the more substantial steps taken at longer intervals to revise and replace the whole syllabus once the need for this had become widely recognised. Thus, while one-fifth of all the authorities reported either. that the possibility of devising a new syllabus was under consideration or that one was already being prepared, many of these replies were confined to the consultative machinery through which the new syllabus would be constructed and approved; few mentioned why it had been decided at that juncture to revise the syllabus, or how routine review arrangements had contributed to that decision. One of the authorities which did deal with the latter aspects described a sequence of events over twelve years, starting with a decision of their standing advisory council on religious education to examine the implications of research findings on pupils' attitudes to religious education. Teacher working parties were set up to plan new approaches, and the initial outcome was a series of suggestions for primary and secondary teachers, which were distributed by the authority to schools as supplements to the agreed syllabus. In due course, teachers indicated increasingly


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at courses and other gatherings that they thought the time was ripe for a more radical review. The advisory council then established a working party to develop 'a theory of religious education' including a series of guidelines. The working party's findings were being evaluated in a three-stage pilot programme in primary and secondary schools, in the light of which the authority hoped to be able to convene a statutory conference to prepare and recommend a new syllabus. In another authority a review had been prompted by an approach from local churches; and Welsh authorities reported that they were at different stages in reviewing and revising the agreed syllabus, several in the light of a draft new syllabus produced by the Christian Education Movement in Wales.

3. A further two-fifths of all authorities referred to other arrangements for keeping the syllabus under review. These arrangements were of two kinds. One was the operation of a local working party, panel or committee of teachers and advisers (sometimes also including LEA officers and church representatives): these were often the bodies which, between major revisions of the syllabus, were engaged in preparing material to supplement or update the existing syllabus, or to provide practical guidance to the non-specialist classroom teacher (see question C19). The other main method was the involvement of a standing advisory council on religious education, meetings of which were often convened at least once a year to keep the syllabus under review. One authority described the membership of its standing council as including representatives from a college of education and the local branch of the Christian Education Movement, as well as from the authority, the churches, and teachers' organisations; and in other areas the membership of the council was identical to that of the agreed syllabus conference convened under the Fifth Schedule of the 1944 Act, so that the same body was in effect responsible both for reviewing the existing syllabus and for recommending the adoption of a new one or of a supplement to it. A handful of replies briefly mentioned the role of local education authority advisers in connection with review arrangements; a few others said they had decided to defer any review until a religious education adviser could be appointed.

4. A number of authorities mentioned that, on the occasion of adopting the existing syllabus, it had been agreed that there should be a review after a specified time, generally 4 or 5 years. In other instances no time limit was quoted, and some authorities indicated that syllabuses had remained in operation for periods of up to 15 years or more without revision.


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5. Some replies drew attention to the effects of local government boundary changes, through which the new authorities had sometimes inherited a mixture of agreed syllabuses operating in different parts of their areas. A few appeared to regard this as posing no difficulty, at least in the short term; others were considering taking steps to rationalise the position as soon as circumstances permitted. In addition, some authorities had chosen, on grounds unconnected with local government reorganisation, to adopt a syllabus prepared by another authority. Altogether just under a quarter of the replies referred to the use, for one or other of the reasons listed above, of a syllabus originally devised for some other area. A small number of authorities said that several different syllabuses were used in their area, and that none had been formally adopted as an agreed syllabus for part or the whole of the authority, the choice being left to the discretion of the schools.





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Section D: Transition between schools


1. The two questions in this section enquired about the steps authorities take to promote smooth transition between schools as pupils grow older (D1) or as their families move house (D2).

2. Many replies place great emphasis on encouraging curriculum continuity between primary and secondary schools, while recognising that some problems may be an inevitable consequence of individual schools having responsibility for curricular content and teaching methods. Some authorities promote guidelines on particular aspects of the primary curriculum to encourage a common approach among schools,' others stress the role of advisers in forging links between schools, although few advisers appear to have specific responsibility for curriculum continuity throughout the area. Most rely on direct ad hoc contacts between teachers in the different schools to promote smooth transition through visits, staff exchanges, and - less commonly - meetings of head teachers or the allocation of special liaison responsibilities to individual teachers,

3. The majority of authorities require or expect educational records to be transferred between the schools concerned. Detailed practices vary, however, particularly in relation to the amount of information transmitted. A minority of authorities use special standardised transfer report forms (see section E).


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D1. What steps have the authority taken to promote smooth transition from school to school as pupils get older? Replies should refer specifically to:

(i) Arrangements for curriculum continuity;
(ii) Action to encourage contacts between the teachers in the schools from and to which pupils normally move;
(iii) Action to encourage or require the transfer of records of individual children's educational progress as children move from school to school.
(i) Arrangements for curriculum continuity

1. Comparatively few authorities saw serious problems in pupils' transition between nursery and infant schools, or between infant and junior schools, especially where these occupied the same site (although communication difficulties could sometimes arise even then). Contacts between the staffs of such schools were generally said to be frequent, with a consequent awareness of the curricular objectives of each other's schools (see section (ii) below), and several authorities made comments to the effect that 'linked infant and junior schools are as far as possible encouraged to use the same schemes of work, particularly in regard to reading and mathematics'. In areas where infant and junior schools were usually separate, joint inservice training, including school-based courses, was sometimes mentioned as a means of strengthening links between schools.

2. Almost all authorities devoted most of their response to this question to consideration of their arrangements to promote smooth transition between primary and secondary schools, and many commented that increasing importance was being attached to this area. Several authorities referred to arrangements for encouraging curriculum continuity between middle and upper schools; these appeared to be more close-knit than those between primary and secondary schools, with particular emphasis on the establishment of joint committees of teachers to consider particular areas of the curriculum. Similarly, where sixth form colleges had been set up, subject committees were sometimes constituted to review whether the examination courses offered in schools were compatible with those available in the college. This function was performed in a number of cases by the academic boards or co-ordinating committees responsible for 16-19 education in a particular area (see question F9).

3. Several authorities made the point that arrangements for curriculum continuity were easier to operate where secondary schools received all or


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almost all their pupils from a relatively small number of primary schools in their catchment area. Elsewhere, the operation of parental choice might mean that, for instance, 'over 40 primary schools can be represented in the intake to one secondary school', or 'over three-quarters of the intake to a secondary school come from one-third of the contributory primary schools'.

4. An example of what was possible where a catchment area or a 'pyramid' system of admissions to comprehensive schools operated was given by one authority. There 'the headteachers (or their representatives) of contributory primary/junior schools discuss and agree a basic minimum body of experience, knowledge and skills in all areas of the curriculum' (including languages, mathematics, environmental studies, and the creative arts); they would then meet the head of the relevant department in the comprehensive school, together with subject teachers, to consider the agreed aims, and to modify them as necessary. Elsewhere, about two-fifths of the authorities mentioned working parties or discussion groups which, although their organisation was often less formal than that of the above example, had a similar objective in bringing together teachers from primary and secondary schools to consider the treatment of particular subjects in both phases of education, and to improve the coordination of their curricula. Such groups were usually, though not always, based on a particular comprehensive school's catchment area, and several authorities stated that discussions were often concerned principally with language and number. Other subjects cited in this connection included geography, art, music and physical education.

5. About one-third of the responses referred to guidelines which had been developed to support particular aspects of the primary curriculum. These encouraged a common general approach throughout the schools in an area, and were said to make it possible for secondary schools to plan their curricula in the knowledge that most new pupils would have followed broadly similar primary courses. Some authorities maintained that various assessment procedures had much the same effect as guidelines, so far as improving the possibility of curriculum continuity was concerned. Others said that some schools exchanged schemes of work in order to ensure that, as one authority put it, 'teachers in one school are at least aware of the requirements and approach of the others'.

6. A number of authorities described other methods of avoiding disparity between the general approach of the primary school and that adopted in the first year of the secondary school. These included the employment in secondary schools of teachers with experience of primary education, and


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attempts to ensure that secondary pupils were taught by their class teacher for several different subjects. A few responses described isolated experiments in moving primary teachers with their pupils into the secondary school for a time; one authority, for example, was monitoring a scheme in which primary teachers were substantially responsible for the education of their former pupils in the first year of secondary schooling.

7. More than one-third of the responses mentioned the role of advisers in encouraging curriculum continuity. For instance, one authority reported that 'the advisory service is stimulating and sustaining the growing awareness in schools of the need for a more structured approach to the forging of close links between schools. It is doing this by promoting in-service training courses for specialist teachers dealing with curriculum content in which curriculum continuity is a regular built-in element; by promoting school-based courses, pyramid courses and curriculum study groups; and by regular discussions with headteachers, heads of departments and heads of year'. One-fifth of the authorities expressed the view that by giving advisers a pastoral responsibility for schools across the whole age range in a given catchment area, they were making it easier to deal with problems of transition; but only a handful of responses referred to the allocation to a particular adviser of specific responsibility for curriculum continuity throughout the authority's area. Advisers were often reported to be closely involved in the in-service training related to curriculum continuity which almost two-fifths of the authorities provided; many of the initiatives described took the form of 'joint courses embracing relevant staff in both the primary and secondary sector'. A few authorities also said that local subject associations took an interest in encouraging continuity in their fields.

8. Several responses mentioned that secondary reorganisation had offered a suitable opportunity for consideration of curriculum continuity. Other authorities described procedures for evaluating the success of existing arrangements; examples included discussions, special surveys, and the secondment of a teacher to carry out a study of continuity in a particular area.

9. A few authorities reported that they did not 'attempt to impose uniformity , .. because of the varying local circumstances within the authority's area'. One, for example, commented that 'the problems arising from transfer from school to school as pupils get older are inevitable whilst schools have their current degree of autonomy over syllabuses, teaching methods and indeed the general curriculum ...'.


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(ii) Action to encourage contacts between the teachers in the schools from and to which pupils normally move.

10. A good many authorities dealt with parts i and ii of this question together, on the grounds that contact between teachers was one of the principal means for promoting curriculum continuity. Most responses dwelt on existing practice in respect of contacts between teachers, rather than on the steps taken to encourage such contacts, but it was apparent that in the majority of cases the advisory service played the leading part. The variety of arrangements is illustrated below. There were also references to joint courses designed to achieve the same purpose: for instance, one authority reported that 'school-based "link" courses have ... been set up, on the initiative of advisers, at which staff from contributory lower schools meet regularly together with representatives of the receiving middle school, each school taking its turn as host and explaining its policy and methods'.

11. A number of authorities made comments to the effect that 'the pressures on staff time in the face of other priorities inhibit liaison development'; recognising this, one authority had 'recently ... made some additional staff appointments to secondary schools to facilitate the regular release of staff into feeder primary schools', and another said that it tried to make supply teachers available to secondary schools for a similar purpose.

12. The following response typified authorities' perceptions of the need for different forms of contact between school staffs. 'The advisory service encourages and, where necessary, initiates meetings between the staffs of linked schools. These meetings operate at two levels. Groups of teachers meet to discuss transfer arrangements and problems in general. In addition,


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individual teachers visit linked schools to discuss specific aspects of transfer, and the effect of transfer upon individual pupils. The authority have supported the establishment of posts in schools which carry responsibility for liaison. Encouragement is also given to arrangements which involve the visit by a group of pupils to their next school, and also to parent meetings at which transfer is explained and discussed.'

13. About one-third of the authorities said that in some of the schools in their area responsibility for liaison over transition arrangements had been specifically allocated to a particular teacher. Where a three-tier (middle school) system operated in one authority's area, this responsibility had been built in to the designated structure of teaching posts. In another authority, the joint Consultative Panel of the teachers' associations and the Education Committee had adopted a resolution requiring all head teachers and principals to promote co-operation with other institutions over 'the continuing education of individual pupils, especially in matters affecting the curriculum and pastoral care'.

14. Visits or exchanges between teachers in schools of different phases were described in almost two-thirds of the responses. The typical contact was between the primary class teacher and the head of the first year (or of lower school) in a secondary school, with the object of discussing the curriculum in each school as well as the strengths and weaknesses of individual pupils. Heads of departments such as English or mathematics in the secondary school would sometimes take part in these visits. One authority also stated that 'teachers in charge of remedial work are very keen to visit primary schools to identify children with particular difficulties and to be aware of methods and materials that have been used successfully with them'. On the other hand, exchanges which enabled secondary teachers to teach primary school pupils who were about to transfer were sometimes said to be difficult to arrange, although one authority reported that they often took place on a regular (and timetabled) basis and helped pupils to get to know their future teachers. More generally, a similar purpose was served by the visits pupils made to their future schools, mentioned in one-third of the responses.

15. Meetings between the head teachers in a locality were referred to by two-fifths of the authorities. These meetings were generally held regularly, and provided an opportunity for consideration of both transition arrangements and curricular matters. Meetings between other members of staff of schools of different phases were also described in about two-fifths of the replies. Some were organised fairly formally, with a view to promoting


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discussion between teachers with responsibilities for particular subject areas; others, such as attendance at the staff meetings of other schools, were less systematically arranged. Many authorities also mentioned the opportunities for informal contacts presented by social events arranged jointly by several schools, often through parent-teacher associations.

(iii) Action to encourage or require the transfer of records of individual children's educational progress as children move from school to school.

16. Almost nine-tenths of·authorities stated that they required or expected schools to transfer records of their pupils' educational progress when the children moved to a new school, although practice varied depending on whether the move was within or outside an authority's boundaries (see questions D2, E1, and E3). This was often facilitated by the production of a standard record card which schools were required or encouraged to use. About one-seventh of the authorities referred to common record systems devised by catchment area groups of schools; where these did not provide a complete coverage of the authority's area, some responses mentioned cards which had been produced by the authority to assist schools not participating in group schemes.

17. About one-tenth of the authorities considered that it was not necessary to take any steps to require the transfer of records, as this was in any case common procedure; but these authorities generally took steps to encourage what they regarded as good practice in this field. For example, a number of responses referred to handbooks or other documents which had been prepared in order to provide guidance on the transfer of records. One authority had issued a circular which advised that 'when a pupil moves from one stage of education to another ... the records should be brought


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up to date at the half term before transfer is due, and sent to the new school immediately after the half term holiday .. .'. Several replies made it clear that arranging for the transfer of effective records was one of the principal responsibilities of the liaison teachers referred to in sub-section (ii) above.

18. Many authorities said that schools often provided, or were encouraged to provide, information in addition to that sought on the record card. The nature of this information varied: what were regarded as 'additional' non-recorded items by some authorities were in other areas the subject of entries on standard cards (see question E1). Replies to question D1 commonly referred to the inclusion of samples of pupils' work when records were transferred. Some authorities stressed the value of primary school head teachers making personal contact with pupils' future schools, in order to supplement the evidence of the record card.

19. A number of authorities linked the transfer of records with the assessment of children's educational progress, particularly based on methods devised by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). For example, one authority reported that 'so that information supplied to each secondary school from several junior schools is standardised and as objective as possible, the authority has combined with the N FER to produce transitional assessment modules which are worked by all children in the final spring [term] of junior education. There are 10 mathematics modules and 6 English [ones], designed to assess attainment at three levels. The results are summarised on a profile form to facilitate quick first appraisal, but the actual modules are also available to the secondary teachers'.

20. Some responses referred to the limitations or inadequacies of the information conveyed on record cards which, as one authority said, would not by themselves 'guarantee effective transmission of the relevant or appropriate information needed on a particular pupil'. Another authority had carried out a survey in which two-thirds of the secondary school head teachers had expressed 'some degree of reservation about the effectiveness of what was passed on to them; lack of standardised information, well-intentioned but inaccurate subjective information, lack of subject coverage' were some of the complaints. A third authority felt that 'some of what is recorded on pupils' personal files in their early stages of education is of a transitory nature and best forgotten. Some is designed for internal use while other reports are susceptible to misinterpretation unless properly edited'. For these and similar reasons, about one-sixth of the authorities were engaged in a process of designing or redesigning (or were just about


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to introduce) a record card or guidance on record transfer which aimed to provide schools with essential information about new pupils in an acceptable form.






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D2. What steps have the authority taken to promote smooth transition from one school to another in the authority's area when parents move house? Replies should refer specifically to action related to records of individual children's educational progress.

1. About a sixth of the authorities - mainly urban ones - prefaced their replies by indicating that, when parents moved house within their areas, efforts were made to enable the children to remain if practicable at their existing schools, especially at the secondary stage. As one reply said, 'this is very often possible, most often educationally desirable, and pupils and parents wish it to happen'.

2. Where a move to a new school became necessary, almost nine-tenths of the authorities said that they either required (in the great majority of cases) or at least encouraged the transfer of records in some form between the schools involved. One-tenth of the replies mentioned the use of special 'transfer forms' for this purpose. There were variations in the nature and amount of information transmitted, depending partly on the content of the basic records in the former school and also on any supplementary detail which the school considered appropriate to forward. One authority, for example, explained that 'at primary level most schools will have used the same standardised screening tests and will have this information at a minimum to communicate; in many cases this will only be the basis of a more detailed record of progress and attainment. Secondary schools are less likely to use standardised screening tests but in all cases have well-established internal assessment procedures, the results of which will in some form be recorded: Additional material transmitted which other authorities mentioned included samples of the pupil's work, or copies of school reports.

3. Various administrative arrangements were employed to ensure that information was transmitted between schools. In some cases, the responsibility rested with the former school, while in others the initiative was left to the new school. (The latter was particularly common when the new school had not yet been determined, especially if the move took place at the end of the summer term or crossed local authority boundaries.) Most commonly, information was conveyed directly from the one school to the other, but occasionally it was routed through an officer of the authority, usually when the identity of a pupil's new school was uncertain.

4. Almost a third of the replies referred specifically to contact between the head teachers or other staff of the two schools involved when a pupil


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transferred. This was generally through informal meetings, telephone conversations or correspondence, which were regarded as supplementing (in a few cases, replacing) the information on standard record forms. Information given might include details of the curriculum followed in the former school, and notes on any special needs of the pupil. The role of informal direct liaison of this kind was emphasised particularly by the smaller, more compact authorities. A number of replies also mentioned ways of involving the parents - and often the pupil too - in the transfer process, for instance through an interview with the head of the receiving school. Usually the purpose was 'to discuss [the pupil's] progress to date, and his settling in to the new school', but sometimes interviews with the heads of the former school and of potential receiving schools, especially at the secondary stage, were seen as means of assisting the parents to choose a suitable new school (or a particular course within it).

5. The work of education welfare officers (and sometimes advisers or other support services) in easing transfers was reported by one-eighth of the authorities. Sometimes this involved, in the words of one authority, 'steps to trace the whereabouts of children who have moved, so that receiving head-teachers may be put in touch with the children's former schools'; in a few cases it was 'the education welfare department's responsibility to arrange for the transfer of records of educational progress', and one authority reporting this added that 'each school completes a weekly admissions and leavers form which informs the authority of any transfers which have taken place'.

6. A handful of replies mentioned that discontinuities in education following transfer were minimised by action to encourage greater consistency of curricular provision between schools at the same stage. One authority referred to the contribution made in this context by its consortium system of secondary schools; another described the setting up, for a group of neighbouring secondary schools, of a head teachers' council to co-ordinate curricula; and a third authority mentioned the role of its primary school curriculum guidelines on literacy and numeracy in promoting consistency. A few other authorities indicated that general arrangements to promote smooth transition were currently under review, usually by working parties concerned with arrangements for assessment methods and school record procedures.


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Section E: School records

1. The questions in section E dealt with arrangements for the keeping and use of records of the educational progress of individual pupils.

2. The replies to question E1 indicated that most authorities require schools to keep some form of records (more in the case of primary than of secondary schools), and to a lesser extent stipulate the use of standard forms (and again more commonly for primary than for secondary schools); a few encourage rather than require record-keeping. The analysis of sample standard record cards submitted by two-thirds of the authorities demonstrates that the great majority provide for appraisal of pupils' performance in literacy and numeracy, for records of test and examination results, for assessments of pupils' behaviour and personality, and for significant medical information; somewhat fewer seek information on family background. The cards vary widely in the degree of detail and styles of recording information.

3. E2 asked for the reasons for negative answers to E1. Only a minority of those authorities to whom this question applied had given specific consideration to record-keeping arrangements; many do not impose requirements because they consider that such matters are best left to the discretion of schools and are satisfied with their schools' practices. Nonetheless a number give general guidance to schools through the advisory service or in-service training of teachers.

4. Arrangements for access to the contents of records were the subject of E3. A number of authorities do not give general guidance on questions of access, preferring to leave this to schools' discretion. Descriptions of practice suggest that up to half give parents access to records either on request or at the head teacher's discretion; and about the same number provide information derived from records for the careers service, employers, and further and higher education institutions, usually at schools' discretion. Several replies drew attention to the need for care in recording and allowing access to sensitive information.


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E1. Do the authority require schools to keep records of educational progress of each individual child and to keep such records in a standard form? (Where standard forms are used please attach copies)

1. Most authorities required their schools to keep some form of individual record of the educational progress of each pupil, but by no means all asked for this to be in a standard form.

2. Nine-tenths of the authorities indicated that they required primary schools to keep such records, and the great majority of them stipulated that records should be standardised. Four-fifths of the authorities required secondary schools to keep records, and about half of these authorities stipulated that records should be standardised.

3. The reasons advanced by authorities not requiring standard forms are reported in greater detail under question E2. In response to question E1, however, one-eighth of the authorities, while not requiring schools to use a standard form, said that they made one available for optional use by schools. One authority, for example, explained that its 'schools are expected to keep records on individual children ... in whatever form they consider most appropriate to their particular circumstances and requirements, although in practice most primary schools use the authority's standard Infant and jMI cards'. Another authority reported that, because of the variations in size of and ability range within its secondary schools. a universal standard form had been judged impracticable; but a local working party of teachers had devised a basic form which secondary schools could use and build upon if they wished. In a third authority, schools had been offered a choice of standard record folders in two sizes, into which could be inserted any relevant reports, correspondence or other material. This authority also encouraged groups of primary and secondary schools to reach local agreement about the transfer of information, and thus about the use of-the standard folders.

4. Rather under a tenth of the replies to this question referred specifically to the use of standard record cards for the transfer of selected information between schools, usually when pupils moved from the primary to the secondary stage. One authority, for instance, described its transfer report form as 'a composite document which allows for detailed observations and assessment ratings to be given on numeracy and literacy, and also covers the pupil's social development'.


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5. A few authorities (well under one-tenth of the total) said that they encouraged - as distinct from required - their schools to keep records: as one put it, 'the authority has not instructed schools to keep records ... but they are expected and encouraged to do so. There are few schools that do not keep some kind of written record'. A few other authorities indicated that record-keeping was neither required nor specifically encouraged by the authority.

6. The inclusion of supplementary information (usually in non-standard form), in addition to the main categories covered by standard record cards, was mentioned in over a fifth of the replies, but most did not specify the kind of additional information involved. A number of authorities however referred to the use of folders or wallets on the lines already illustrated at the end of paragraph 3 above. One which was planning to introduce a new system of this kind listed some recommendations made to its primary schools about contents: these included records of yearly attainment in reading and number, referrals to the school psychological service, teachers' comments, correspondence between the child's parents or guardian and the school, and medical records. The same authority added that 'some schools will include specimens of children's work, while others working an end-on scheme with junior or secondary schools will wish to record the stage of a course reached'.


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ANALYSIS OF SAMPLE RECORD CARDS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION E1

7. Altogether 70 authorities submitted samples of standard school record cards in response to question E1. Some authorities sent more than one type of card, so that the total number of cards received was 80. Of those 80 cards, 44 related to the primary school stage only, and 7 to the secondary stage only; 16 were combined (usually cumulative) records covering the whole school career; and 13 were separate transfer record summary forms, mainly for use at the transition from primary to secondary education.

8. It is not easy to summarise briefly the nature and content of these record cards, In the first place, they varied widely in the terms used to describe the categories of information to be entered. Secondly, for any particular category of information, there was considerable variation in the scope and degree of detail for which the card provided. Thirdly, there were wide differences in the way in which information was requested, notably in the amount of subjective judgement invited and in the range between open-ended and close-ended or multiple-choice questions used to elicit information. Finally, an analysis of the format of blank record cards does not, of itself, give a clear guide to the amount, quality or reliability of the information which might be entered in practice on an individual card, or to the use to which it might be put. With these reservations in mind, the analysis undertaken for the purpose of this report has been confined to a selection of key features of common interest. Because an element of judgement is involved in operating this classification, the figures quoted below should be treated with caution.

9. Most authorities submitting sample cards made provision on them for assessments of pupils' performance or potential in a range of subject areas, although there was much variety in the forms of assessment specified. About four-fifths provided for assessment in the general field of literacy (including reading standards and other aspects of English), and a similar proportion in numeracy (or arithmetic or mathematics). Other areas of performance, such as science, art and crafts, languages or physical education, featured less commonly: about two-fifths of the authorities specified assessment in this group. Most authorities, however, sought information in the form of test results. In records covering the primary stage and in transfer forms, these were typically standardised tests of aspects of general intelligence (such as verbal reasoning) or of more specific competence (such as reading ability); while at the secondary stage they tended to be internal school or public examination results: altogether four-fifths of authorities sought material of this kind.


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10. Three-quarters provided for assessments of pupils' behaviour and personality, including social skills and attitudes. Again, there were variations in the nature and extent of the assessments: in some cases a general comment was invited in respect of each pupil, while in others an entry on the record card was required only when a pupil was known to be experiencing some particular difficulty needing special care. Information on the family background (and in some cases home environment or parental attitudes to the school) was sought by nearly three-fifths of the authorities: here, too, items could range from factual statements of parental occupation and numbers of siblings to more detailed entries about domestic circumstances, although the latter were often confined to aspects which might materially affect a pupil's progress or the the school's contacts with his parents (such as belonging to a single parent family), or to relevant information from official sources (such as social service departments or the courts).

11. Medical information was sought by seven-tenths of the authorities. This normally related to specific handicaps or disabilities, including not only the categories used for special education purposes but also more minor aspects such as colour blindness or the wearing of spectacles. Cases of illness involving significant absence from school were also noted. About seven-tenths of the authorities also provided for entries of other significant information not categorised above. This was frequently covered by an open-ended question such as 'any other comments relevant to the child's progress?'

12. The sample cards displayed different styles of recording information. The majority of authorities - some three-fifths - invited entries mainly in response to open-ended questions, of the kind 'comment on the pupil's strengths and weaknesses in ... [subject area]', A minority - about one-fifth - employed mainly multiple-choice questions, commonly involving either a clearly laid-down assessment scale (for example, a five-point scale from 'excellent' to 'poor'), or a defined subdivision of performance in particular aspects of a subject (for example, separate dimensions of numeracy, such as notation, spatial concepts etc). In the remaining one-fifth the entries were roughly evenly-balanced between open-ended and multiple-choice questions. There was a tendency to use multiple-choice questions in relation to assessments of academic performance (either in addition to, or replacing, standard test results) and open-ended questions for less easily quantifiable information such as that described in paragraph 10 above; but this distinction was by no means universally applied.


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13. In the case of two-fifths of the authorities, guidelines for teachers on how to complete the forms were provided. These were either printed on the cards themselves, or supplied as separate documents.


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E2. If the answer to part of the previous question is negative, is this the result of specific consideration of the subject by the authority 7 If so, what were the main considerations leading to the authority's decision? And what guidance do the authority offer schools on keeping and using records of the educational progress of individual children?

1. About three-fifths of the authorities responded in substantive terms (though sometimes briefly) to this question; the remainder generally concluded that no reply was necessary, in view of their positive answers to question E1.

2. Of those authorities giving a substantive reply to E2, only about one-fifth indicated clearly whether it was as a result of their specific consideration of the subject that they did not require schools to keep records in a standard form. The great majority of these confirmed that they had indeed specifically considered the matter, often in the light of recommendations by working parties of teachers and advisers. Only two declared that the matter had not been specifically discussed by the authority itself, and one of these explained that this was largely because a working party of head teachers had 'failed to agree on any standard procedure'.

3. Some of the authorities supplying a substantive reply to E2 (including some of those counted in paragraph 2 above) explained why they did not require schools to keep records in a standard form. One-sixth* indicated that they were satisfied with the existing situation and saw no need to change it. For example, one authority had recently reviewed the practices of all its schools and .concluded that 'a uniformly high standard of record keeping exists in the authority's schools'; accordingly 'no action ... is intended beyond guidance to individual schools, whose record-keeping practice might be extended by consideration of the approaches undertaken by the majority of schools'. One-tenth explained that a variety of different record-keeping arrangements had been taken over from former authorities as a result of local government reorganisation. As one reply put it, 'the authority inherited such a diversity of schools with their different ages of transfer that standardisation would have been difficult. Furthermore, many schools had already devised their own system in conjunction with neighbouring schools ... on the reorganisation of secondary education, and these systems were acceptable to all directly concerned', Some of the authorities in this category were among the one-fifth which reported that arrangements for school records were currently under review in their area:

*The figures quoted in paragraph 3 onwards are proportions of the group of authorities which responded in substantive terms to E2: see paragraph 1 above.


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one reply, for instance, described in some detail the activities of two working parties of teachers, advisers and educational psychologists, one on an early screening programme intended to yield a 'checklist' form of record, and the other on assessment procedures (in English, mathematics, and social and emotional growth) leading to newly-designed record sheets.

4. A feature of many of the replies was the view that 'schools prefer to decide on their own form of recording', or that 'schools within a locality can best settle the precise form of individual record to suit their needs. This attitude is mainly based on the conviction that the individual class teacher will fill in and use a child's record better if he is personally involved in devising what will most aptly assist him as a teacher in educating the individual child'. In contrast, other authorities considered that, in the words of one, 'many heads wish to have some guidance about the basic information which needs to be recorded'; and for that reason they produced basic record cards which could be used if schools so chose and could be supplemented by additional information at teachers' discretion.

5. Various forms of guidance or advice to schools were mentioned in the substantive replies to E2. Over a quarter said that they emphasised the need for keeping adequate records, for instance through the issue of general 'notes for guidance' sent to schools. About a quarter indicated that guidance was provided through the work of the advisory service or through in-service training: one authority, for example, referred to the inclusion of this topic in its regular series of courses for newly-appointed heads of primary schools, its conferences for secondary heads and senior staff, and its school-based training geared to specific problems at local level. Help from advisers was said by several of these authorities to/be related to particular subject areas, and given orally to individual teachers as the need arose. One-fifth of the replies drew attention to written instructions in handbooks for teachers, which sometimes accompanied the optional record cards made available in some areas. Typical of the one-seventh which welcomed experiments by individual schools was the authority which was 'anxious to encourage local initiative in devising record-keeping procedures to suit the circumstances of particular schools or as pilot schemes from which other schools may benefit in due course'.


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E3. What guidance do the authority give schools on the extent to which the information in school records should be made available to teachers within the school, to parents, to institutions of further and higher education, to the careers service, to employers, or to schools in other local areas when parents move house?

1. Some three-tenths of the authorities indicated that they had formulated no overall policy, or gave no general guidance to their schools, on the extent to which the information in school records should be made available to other parties. Many of them regarded this as a matter for the discretion of head teachers in the light of local circumstances, particularly where no standard record card was in operation throughout the area and where there were variations in record-keeping methods, the nature of the information recorded, and the uses to which it was put in schools with different internal organisation. A typical observation was that 'it has not been found necessary to codify existing good practices followed by schools into a formal comprehensive statement of guidance ... [but] limited guidance as required on occasion has been given ... [in] discussion between individual schools and education officers and advisers'. In some authorities the question of access to records was under consideration as part of a review of record-keeping arrangements generally (see question E2).

2. Many of the replies counted in paragraph 1 above, however, went on to describe common practice in their area; and in other replies it was not readily apparent whether the statements were intended to summarise the authority's specific policy or guidance, or to represent common local practice. Both strands are therefore combined in the following summary.

3. Slightly over one-tenth of the authorities said that records would be made available only to staff at the school in question, and not to parents or others. In the words of one, 'matters of professional judgement, and information provided by other services such as health, social services and the school psychological service, should be regarded j3S confidential and not disclosed to parents' (see also paragraphs 7 and 8 below). Or, as another said, 'schools prepare records to serve the professional purposes of ... teachers and officers: these contain confidential information for restricted use'. But according to a number of authorities other ways of informing parents had been devised: in one, the newly-revised primary record card contained 'a section open to parental inspection [which could] form the basis of discussions between parents and teachers', while in another separately-maintained 'assessment files' performed a similar function.


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4. On the other hand, almost a quarter of the replies indicated that records would be made available to parents automatically on request. One authority, for example, said that its new primary record card was 'designated as open to the teachers and parents of the child concerned'; and a similar response from another authority added that 'any discussion of the contents of the card will usually be in the presence of the headteacher or other senior member of staff, so that a proper explanation of entries can be given to the parent'. A similar proportion of replies stated that parents would be given to access to records at the discretion of the head teacher. One authority's notes of guidance to schools on its standard record system expressed the hope that 'all parental requests for access to record cards will be favourably considered'. Another authority took the view that access should be encouraged if it was clearly in the interests of the child; while in some circumstances 'the release of certain information would be considered to act against the child's interest', in others 'the withholding of information from a parent can only be justified if there is a clear reason'. In a third example, an authority had decided that, if a head teacher concluded that disclosure was not in the ch ild's interest, the final decision would rest with the Director of Education.

5. Almost half of the authorities said that records, or relevant extracts from them or separate reports based on them, would normally be made available to the careers service. Sometimes this was supplemented or replaced by other information, as in the authority where, in addition to allowing the careers service access to records if required, secondary schools provided separate subject reports on pupils (based on school records), and pupils themselves completed careers service questionnaires - which included space for comments from parents. In over half the authorities, school records - or much more commonly, extracts from them or testimonials based on them - would be made available on request to other parties such as employers and institutions of further and higher education, usually at the discretion of the head teacher. A number of replies pointed out that certain confidential information of the kind described in paragraph 3 above would not normally be given to external parties.

6. Arrangements for transfer of recorded information to schools in other areas when parents moved house were mentioned in the replies to questions D1 and D2. In response to question E3, some two-fifths of the authorities reported that complete records, or copies of them, would be transferred to schools outside their area on the occasion of a move. A further one-eighth referred to the use of a separate transfer report form, summarising relevant information from the main record, in these circumstances. A few indicated


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that records were not made available when the move was to a non-maintained school.

7. Guidance on access to medical and related information was specifically mentioned in just over one-tenth of the replies. Medical information on pupils' disabilities or other aspects of health, relevant to their educational needs and progress, was commonly referred to in these replies (see also paragraph 3 above), and was sometimes treated differently from other records, as in the authority which reported that it 'is separately and securely maintained ... and is not to be included on the new record card'. Similar considerations were often said to apply to sensitive information derived from other sources such as the police and the social services: details of 'non-accidental injury' or of children 'at risk' were particularly mentioned.

8. More generally, several authorities drew attention to the need for care in recording sensitive information, in relation to prospective use and access to it. As one reply put it, 'in general, information which a school considers to be sensitive in nature - concerning a pupil's family or home circumstances for example - will not be recorded, unless that information is received by the school in writing from a parent or from some other authoritative source'. Another authority emphasised that 'these are records of a child's educational progress, and only such information as affects that educational progress is to be included. The information will be factual, and teachers are advised to avoid speculation or opinion which cannot be substantiated in any comments which they make'.


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Section F: Preparation for working life

1. Under this section were grouped ten questions on the development of curricula aimed at preparing pupils for adult and working life; on careers education; on industrial experience for pupils and teachers; and on the promotion of links between schools and further education colleges, and between schools and industry.

2. Many authorities see preparation for adult life as a task permeating most of the 'traditional' curriculum subjects (F1); a minority encourage distinct 'general studies' courses with the same objective in mind. In-service training and the role of the advisory service feature less prominently here than elsewhere, although advisers make a particular contribution in some aspects of curriculum development (F2).

3. Careers education receives variable treatment. Most authorities advise their schools to provide careers education in the third, fourth and fifth secondary years, though fewer report using the careers and advisory services as sources of help to teachers (F3). One-third recommend secondary schools to appoint a careers teacher, but fewer give guidance on his status and role, and fewer still have designated an adviser with special responsibility for careers education (F4).

4. Questions F5 and F6 dealt respectively with work experience for pupils and industrial experience for teachers. Most authorities leave it to individual schools to make their own arrangements for work experience; under half give schools written guidance, although others rely on the careers service to help individual schools with arrangements. Work observation appears to be less common than work experience. On the other hand the majority of authorities report arrangements under various schemes to offer teachers some experience of industry, through secondments, visits and exchanges; and there is some evidence of expansion in this area.


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5. A wide variety of approaches to the promotion of links between schools and further education colleges emerges from the responses to questions F7 and F9. The great majority of authorities generally encourage linked courses between schools and colleges in their areas, but in most cases the planning of these is left to the institutions themselves and there are comparatively few attempts to establish permanent machinery for coordination. A similar picture is painted by the replies covering coordination arrangements for curricular provision for the 16-19 age group as a whole: a minority of authorities report existing formal machinery or the encouragement of informal cooperation, although a number have 16-19 provision as a whole under review and there are signs that new measures are at an early stage of development.

6. Much emphasis is placed, in the replies to F8 and FlO, on the activities of the careers and advisory services in promoting links between schools and local employers and trades unions, to further mutual understanding of needs and opportunities and of the implications for curricular provision. Systematic liaison arrangements appear however to be rare, and reliance is placed largely on a range of informal channels of contact.

7. A particular feature of the responses to this section is the widespread view that the varied activities described offer complementary ways of promoting preparation for adult and working life.




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F1. What steps have the authority taken to help schools promote the development in their pupils of a basic understanding of contemporary economic, social and political life: and what attention is given to the roles of industry, commerce and the trades unions in our society?

1. Many authorities explained that important aspects of provision in this field were more fully treated elsewhere in their response to section F, particularly the role of the careers service and careers teachers (F4), work experience schemes (F5), industrial experience schemes for teachers (F6) and liaison between schools and industry (FS). While touching on these as appropriate, the summary of responses to the present question is concerned principally with curricular provision for the development of pupils' understanding of economic, social and political life, and with the support provided to schools working in this field.

2. Three-fifths of the authorities said that the issues underlying this question could largely be incorporated into more or less 'traditional' subjects of the secondary curriculum. Many subjects were specified in this connection, notably history, geography, economics, commercial studies, social studies, moral education and home economics. Among the examples described by authorities were history courses examining the origins and development of trade unionism, geography courses which considered the structure of a particular local industry, and, in one authority, home economics courses which covered such aspects of consumer protection as trades descriptions and weights and measures. Few replies indicated the extent to which approaches of the kind mentioned above were reflected in practice in schools, although some described reports prepared by working parties in order to suggest how teachers might give a fuller understanding of various aspects of contemporary life within the confines of individual subject areas.

3. A quarter of the responses (among them some of those mentioned. above) referred to encouragement for 'general studies' courses of various types which had been specifically designed to cover all or part of the area included in the question. Many CSE mode 3 courses of this type were listed, and one authority said that 'secondary schools were recommended to include in their fourth year options schemes the syllabus "British Industrial Society", which was available either as an O level or a CSE. In some schools this syllabus was used as part of the "core" element of fourth and fifth year courses'. Another authority stated that the possibility of involving industrialists in the construction of CSE mode 3 syllabuses was being actively explored. Other courses, not linked with examinations, were also described,


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particularly for senior pupils. For example, one authority referred to 'a large programme of sixth form introduction to the interdependence between the making of wealth and the public use of wealth', which was about to start with the assistance of the Industrial Society. Some courses were said to be even wider in scope; one authority reported that in some schools a typical syllabus for broad programmes of social education or social, personal and careers education could include 'such topics as family, friendships, relationships, responsibilities to others, the community, budgeting, poverty, the role of politics in social change and the role and purpose of trades unions'.

4. Several authorities made particular mention of political education, usually expressing an awareness of the need for caution in introducing this as a separate subject, and reporting teachers' anxiety to avoid possible charges of political bias. However, some felt that there were 'political elements in a number of syllabuses (for example in history) and in studies and visits concerning local government and civic affairs'. One authority taking·this view described a CSE mode 3 course in European studies at one of its schools; the aims of this course included 'enabling students to understand the importance and significance of economic and political institutions in Western and Eastern Europe and to comprehend the basic political philosophies which have influenced European parties and types of government'; it also concerned itself with 'industry and resources, working conditions, trades unions, incomes and standards of living in Europe'.

5. Rather under one-third of the authorities mentioned that they participated in, or encouraged schools to participate in, national schemes and projects. Understanding British Industry and ProjectTrident were frequently referred to (see question F5 and F6), and several authorities said that they considered the Challenge of Industry conferences for sixth formers, together with other initiatives of the Industrial Society, to be especially valuable. Several Schools Council projects were also mentioned: Geography for the Young School Leaver, History 13-16, the Humanities Curriculum Project, and the Schools Council Industry Project (SCIP). One authority, which was one of the five areas in which SCIP was being developed, said that 'the pilot work and materials emerging from this project would be disseminated throughout the authority and might well offer a model of ways in which the school curriculum could embody awareness of the role and importance of industrial society'.

6. Less than one-tenth of the responses indicated that the authority had designated an adviser with particular responsibility for all or part of the area


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covered by this question, and these advisers generally had other responsibilities in a related subject area (for example, the humanities, youth and community work, careers education). Only one authority reported that it had appointed an adviser for political education. Careers officers were also said by one-sixth of authorities to help teachers plan appropriate courses in this area, and in particular to offer valuable guidance on courses related to industry (see question F2). Several authorities observed that it was important for teachers to have a thorough understanding of the roles of industry, commerce and trades unions if they were to make a significant contribution to their pupils' knowledge of these topics, and many authorities commented that they made opportunities for industrial experience available to teachers (see question F6).

7. In-service training related to the issues raised by this question was mentioned in two-fifths of the replies, whether as a support to curricular initiatives of the type described in paragraph 3 above, or in the form of suggestions for widening the scope of various subjects to include a broader consideration of certain features of contemporary life. One-sixth of the authorities referred to working parties which were currently examining this area, most commonly with a view to strengthening the links between schools and industry, but sometimes in order to produce classroom materials; a similar number described conferences of teachers, industrialists and trades unionists which had offered an opportunity for discussion of some of the curricular issues involved (see question FS). Over a quarter of the authorities reported that resource materials or discussion papers had been produced to support work on various aspects of contemporary life, such as politics or economics. A quarter said that they encouraged schools to invite employers and trades unionists to talk about their work and to answer pupils' questions in an attempt to provide a background to the classroom study of contemporary issues.


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F2. What steps have the authority taken to help schools design curricula which their pupils will see to be relevant to their career aspirations and prospects?

1. Several authorities stressed in their replies, although for differing reasons, that the relevance of curricula should not be interpreted in too narrow a sense. Thus one authority remarked that 'it does not follow that curriculum material which is operationally relevant and which is seen by pupils to be relevant will be so regarded by many parents and employers: and went on to express its concern that 'the educational value of many secondary subjects should receive due emphasis, whether or not those subjects are in high demand from employers'. Another authority felt that whether a curriculum was seen by pupils to be relevant to their career aspirations and prospects 'could be a poor criterion and one which might distort the curriculum towards an undue concern with apparently marketable skills'. The same authority went on to state its belief, echoed in other responses, that 'each individual school must develop its own approach to making the curriculum appear and be relevant to its pupils, and must do so in response to the interests and abilities of each individual and, often, to the potential employment situation for those pupils; ... it is in the liaison between schools and employers that an authority can best assist this process'.

2. It was important, in the view of some authorities, to look at the curriculum as a whole when assessing its relevance to pupils' future needs, and to avoid undue emphasis on a few elements. Others considered that to a large extent the balance and relevance of curricula were determined by factors not wholly within the control of individual schools, such as the requirements of employers and 'the examination system and the responsiveness of examining boards to initiatives of schools in promoting alternative syllabuses and modes of examination'. Many responses consequently attached particular importance to the guidance offered to pupils in their third year, when they were choosing the options they would follow in subsequent years, and referred to the assistance of advisers and careers officers at this stage (see paragraphs 5 and 6 below).

3. Although some authorities voiced their conviction of a need for caution over the provision of courses with a vocational content for pupils under the age of sixteen, almost one-third of the replies contained statements that industrially-oriented courses were encouraged in schools. For example, one authority said that 'courses are organised in many schools, particularly in relation to the less able pupils, which are very directly vocational. The


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vocational interest is used as the medium for the teaching of other basic subjects - thus typing is used to create motivation and interest in English, whilst more technical subjects, like motor-vehicle engineering, provide motivation for the study of physics. Courses in child-care, seamanship and printing have created employment opportunities for pupils who might not have gained these openings purely on academic ability'. Other responses revealed a similar awareness of the limited employment prospects of many non-examination pupils, and of the importance of devising suitable courses for them. A handful of authorities made particular mention of the work of special schools in preparing their pupils (often through work experience schemes - see also question F5) for subsequent employment.

4. Some replies stressed the importance of relevance in certain areas of the curriculum: for example, one authority said that it encouraged an emphasis on the technological applications of science, and a number of authorities said that CSE mode 3 courses were often seen by pupils to have a direct relevance to their future careers. One described the work which had been carried out in devising Certificate of Extended Education syllabuses under the headings of management, law, economics and finance; a more broadly based syllabus entitled 'People, Industry and Production' was now under consideration, with a view to possible use and adaptation 'as a core experience for various age-groups and abilities'. Several references were also made to the value of linked courses as a means of introducing pupils to the applications of school subjects (see question F7).

5. Over two-thirds of the authorities said that help with the design of curricula relevant to pupils' careers was offered to schools by the advisory service, the careers service or both. Advisers generally worked with senior teachers in planning overall curricula and helped subject teachers to review the relevance of their courses, both by discussing their work within the school and by organising in-service courses which considered these topics. For example, one authority referred to a short course arranged by the modern language adviser 'on orienting language teaching in schools towards business careers'. Another authority reported that: 'a series of "Application in Industry Courses" has been held for various subject teachers so that they see at first hand the use of their particular subject in industry. Each course starts with a discussion between teachers and a number of employers, followed by visits to a variety of employers' premises, and a session in the relevant subject department at the Technical College.' Almost half the responses mentioned in-service training of some kind.

6. The assistance provided by careers officers was usually said to relate closely to the work of careers teachers within the school, in respect of


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courses of careers education, arrangements for work experience and the counselling of individual pupils (see questions F4 and F5). Careers officers also helped with some in-service courses, and were reported in a few cases to have prepared literature to assist pupils and teachers in various ways: one authority, for example, said that the careers service had 'produced a booklet indicating the vocational significance of the educational choices which young people make'.

7. Advisers and/or careers officers participated in the seminars or working parties of teachers which were reported in over one-fifth of the responses to be currently considering aspects of the curriculum in relation to pupils' employment prospects. Sometimes local careers associations were also said to be studying this field. Similar initiatives involving liaison with employers (and, less frequently, trades unions) were mentioned by over a quarter of the authorities, and are dealt with more fully under question F8. Some of these education-industry groups were engaged on the production of materials for use in the classroom: thus in one authority a pilot scheme of school-industry liaison aimed 'to provide a systematic body of material to enrich the teaching of English, mathematics, science and craft in secondary schools, suitable for pupils aged about 13, to enable them to appreciate the relevance of these subjects to modern industrial society before they are required to choose specialist subjects'.


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F3. What guidance do the authority offer schools on the age at which children should begin careers education and on the duration of such courses?

1. Over two-thirds of the authorities reported that they advised secondary schools to begin careers education in the third year and to continue this at least until the end of the fifth year; a few of these authorities, however, said that some of their schools did not in fact commence careers work until the fourth year. Most of the remaining authorities stated that, although their advisers and careers officers offered assistance to schools as necessary, general guidance in this matter was not provided; within this group some said that in practice schools in their area commenced careers education in the third year, while others reported that many schools did not begin careers work until the fourth year. In a few responses careers education was said to be generally encouraged from the first year of secondary schooling, through relevant subjects. About one-third of the replies indicated that schools were encouraged to continue careers work into the sixth form.

2. Under one-sixth of the answers to this question mentioned that schools were advised to timetable careers work, and some of these said that not all schools complied with this advice. One of the authorities referring to its policy in this area stated that its schools were 'recommended to aim for a minimum of one period a week through the third, fourth and fifth years', but added that it was generally felt by experienced careers teachers that a system of block timetabling for careers periods was more satisfactory, as it enabled 'advantage to be taken of visits and other extra-mural activities, work experience to be better prepared and followed up and projects [to be] undertaken on local industries'.

3. Several responses described the way in which careers work was designed to meet the needs of particular age groups. The pattern was generally said to begin with relatively informal guidance in the third year, related particularly to the careers implications of options. Individual counselling by careers officers was often introduced in the fourth year, and played a more important role in the fifth year; careers education during these two years was sometimes described as being more structured, including features such as work experience (see question F5). There appeared to be less encouragement of general careers education in the sixth form, where the emphasis was said to be on specific guidance for individual pupils. A number of authorities reported that the Schools Council's Careers Education and Guidance Project provided a valuable structure for programmes of careers education, and one such authority described successive phases of careers education in the following manner:


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'the emphasis at third year stage is on self-awareness and the creation of opportunities for pupils to practise decision-making. At fourth year stage, pupils are helped to understand how work affects their lives in school and how it could affect them as workers. The fifth year stage focuses upon ways of helping pupils with the problems of transition from school to work. The sixth helps with the task of choosing between the various alternatives in education and work.'

4. A few authorities pointed out that subjects other than specific careers education could be helpful in encouraging pupils to think about their future work, and one authority saw advantage in including careers teaching as an integral part of a social studies or social education programme, in that this made it possible 'to build up a group of teachers interested in careers work, thus eliminating the unfortunate but traditional isolation of the careers teacher'. Several responses indicated that 'in many cases the more academic groups are given less direct teaching in this area than other pupils'.

5. One-third of the authorities specifically referred to the advice offered to schools by the careers service on the careers programmes suited to the varying needs of pupils. Much of this guidance was conveyed during careers officers' regular visits to schools (for further details of this role see question F4); the careers service was also said to be involved in many of the in-service training courses which one-tenth of the authorities reported in connection with this question. One-eighth of the replies referred to the role of advisers in offering guidance in this area. Statements of policy or guideline documents on careers matters were mentioned by one-fifth of the authorities as one of the means adopted in order to help schools plan suitable programmes of careers education; many of these documents were illustrated by examples of local practice. In a few replies seminars or meetings, often arranged under the auspices of the local careers association (see question F4), were also mentioned as another way of informing careers teachers about successful initiatives.


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F4. What guidance do the authority offer schools on the role and appointment of careers teachers and links with the careers service?

1. The nature of the guidance offered to schools over the appointment of careers teachers appeared to vary considerably: thus one authority had allocated an additional member of staff to each secondary school for careers work, while another had issued a policy statement declaring that 'each school should designate, as far as practicable, at least two members of the teaching staff as careers teachers (so far as is possible one of each sex in mixed schools)'. Over one-third of the authorities specifically reported that all secondary schools were recommended to appoint (or had without specific recommendation appointed) a careers teacher. However, few of these authorities stated that such appointments entailed full-time careers work: as one reply said, 'they vary considerably in the amount of time allowed for the careers programme and how far responsibility for careers is combined with other major responsibilities'. A few others indicated that in some schools there was no one teacher with overall responsibility for careers work. A tenth of all authorities maintained that decisions on the appointment of careers teachers were primarily the responsibility of the governing body and head teacher. One authority stated that it had 'no standard policy concerning grading, job description, time allowed for careers education teaching and administration', and that teachers filling these posts were 'not required to have any specific qualifications or training for careers work'.

2. Several authorities said that they made recommendations about the status of appointment appropriate for a careers teacher. Thus one considered that 'careers teachers ("co-ordinators") should have the status of a head of a major department', and 'written advice had been given to schools on this point [and] meetings had taken place with heads to emphasise it'. In another authority careers teachers usually held 'a senior position at scale 3 level or above'. The reason generally given for the importance attached to the status of the careers teacher was that it was essential that he or she should be in a position to co-ordinate work related to careers, and to encourage relevant curriculum development, in other departments of the school. For similar reasons, many authorities also said that careers teachers should have had considerable experience of general teaching, and one authority referred to a working party on careers education which was currently 'identifying the experience and qualifications that should be associated with an occupant of a careers teacher post'.


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3. According to a quarter of the responses, advisers offered guidance to governing bodies interviewing applicants for careers teacher posts; one-tenth ascribed a similar function to the careers service. One purpose was to clarify the role of careers teacher, both for the members of the governing body and for the applicant; for example, one authority reported that its careers guidance inspector, attending such interviews, emphasised that the post of careers teacher was an educational position 'with a large element of classroom teaching, and not purely pastoral or organisational, as is sometimes assumed'.

4. Over a quarter of the authorities said that they provided guidelines for schools on the role of the careers teacher; others implied that specific guidance was given, though not necessarily in written form (through the advisory service, for example). Some authorities contrasted the role of the careers teacher with that of the careers officer, and two responses are quoted below to illustrate the different emphases (in relation to aspects such as vocational guidance and links with employers) within broadly similar descriptions of these roles which were typical of replies detailing the responsibilities of the two jobs.

5. One authority stated: 'it is recommended to heads that the role of the careers teacher should include the following:

a. the organisation and development of careers work in the school;
b. planning and teaching a careers education course;
c. liaising with the careers service and other appropriate agencies;
d. responsibility for links with industry, commerce, trades unions and further/higher education establishments;
e. making arrangements within the school for pupils to undertake work experience and work observation;
f. involvement in curriculum development within the school (with particular reference to its vocational implication).
The guidance offered to schools on their links with the careers service is that:
a. the careers service has a major responsibility for vocational guidance and the placement of pupils in employment, and will liaise with careers teachers about pupils requiring placement;
b. careers officers will assist careers teachers by taking part in group talks/discussions with pupils at appropriate points within the careers education courses and provide individual vocational guidance for pupils as and when necessary from the fourth year onwards;

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c. careers officers are available to assist schools to establish links with industry and commerce.'
6. In contrast, another authority's view was that while 'the primary role of the careers teacher is to teach those aspects of social and personal education which are particularly relevant to future career or job choice', careers teachers also had responsibility for interviewing individual pupils to monitor their progress in deciding on their futures, and for referring to the careers officer cases 'where individual choice presents a problem', A further role of the careers teacher was 'to provide a system of access to careers information for pupils throughout the school'. The authority went on to describe the relationship between school and careers service as follows:

"The link with the careers service is promoted as a resource external to the school which can make a vital contribution on the school's programme in two main areas:-

(i) All activities in which a number of schools will have a common interest and where an external agency can offer co-ordination and economy. For example: the organisation of area based events (such as conventions and exhibitions), links with employer organisations, the supply of careers literature, in-service training for careers teachers, curriculum development and placing in employment.
(ii) Individual guidance in some depth for pupils experiencing difficulty with individual decision making.'
7. As indicated above and in a number of other replies, the careers service was expected to provide substantial support to careers teachers. Although a few authorities said that links between the careers service and schools were largely informal, almost one-third of the responses contained references to regular meetings between careers teachers and careers officers. Local careers associations (which often included representatives of industry and specialist subject teachers in their membership) were often said to provide a forum for the discussion of matters of common interest. Over one-fifth of the authorities specifically mentioned the regular visits of careers officers to secondary schools (in some cases specified as occurring on one or two days a week), which enabled the careers service to offer informal advice to careers teachers on, for example, the design of careers programmes (see questions F2 and F3). A few authorities stated that the careers service acted 'as a resource agency to supplement a school's own careers education and information resources'.

8. The careers service and/or careers associations were often said to be closely involved in in-service training for careers teachers, referred to by


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over two-fifths of the authorities. These courses were generally organised by the authority itself or by a group of neighbouring authorities, but sometimes included longer term secondments to external institutions. They offered careers teachers an opportunity to consider the nature of their role, as well as to learn specific skills (in connection especially with counselling) and to increase their understanding of the work of particular industries. Visits to industrial premises, which were also regarded as promoting such understanding, are referred to in greater detail under question F6.

9. A number of authorities stated that they had appointed an adviser for careers education; such a post usually carried responsibility for coordinating in-service training for careers teachers and for liaison between schools and the careers service. One of these authorities reported additional support through the secondment each year of an experienced careers teacher to advise newly-appointed careers teachers on materials and methods.


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F5. What steps have the authority taken to promote the development of work experience and work observation where appropriate in relation to school courses, and the use of work experience and work observation to illustrate the nature and needs of an industrial society?

1. Some authorities took the view that 'most schools would see work experience as directed primarily towards assisting the transition to work and choice of career and thus related most closely to courses in careers education'; others, however, emphasised the more general educative function of work experience as a means of increasing pupils' understanding and awareness of the nature of working life. A number of the latter authorities said that they advised schools that work experience should form an integral . part of the normal curriculum for older pupils, and that it could be used to illuminate subjects such as science and social studies as well as careers education.

2. Over one-fifth of the responses described a scheme of work experience which was co-ordinated centrally, usually by the careers service, and operated in schools across the authority's area. In contrast, two-thirds of the authorities indicated that they did not co-ordinate schemes but' left schools to make individual arrangements for their pupils' work experience, subject to approval by the authority, who often provided detailed guidance. Indeed, two-fifths of the responses referred to documents which had been issued to schools in order to assist them in the organisation of work experience. These documents ranged from factual material such as circulars informing head teachers about the legal and insurance aspects of work experience, and lists (compiled by the careers service) of employers willing to co-operate over the provision of places for work experience, to comprehensive guidelines on the incorporation of work experience into a programme of careers education, or into the curriculum generally.

3. Several replies stressed the importance attached to a structured programme in connection with work experience. For almost one-fifth of the authorities, such a programme was developed through co-operation-or proposed co-operation - with Project Trident; but other ways of encouraging schools to make work experience part of a coherent educational programme were also described. For example, one authority with a fairly centralised system of work experience reported that participating schools had 'to operate arrangements which involve at least three-periods of contrasting experience, each lasting a week with strong classroom work in preparation and follow up'. Another authority gave details of the planning


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of work experience programmes: 'schemes should include provision within the school curriculum for preparation before the pupils take part in work experience and for following up and discussing the experience gained. It is the intention also that employers should be made fully aware of the aims of the scheme and should be invited to plan their part in co-operation with the schools. The authority regards it as important that the schools should supervise the progress of pupils while they are out of school, by making arrangements for teachers to visit the places where they are working and to keep in touch with the individuals in the organisations who are co-operating in the scheme. In all of this the careers service of the authority has an important part to play both in advising schools and in linking up with employers.'

4. Over half the authorities referred to the assistance offered to schools by the careers service (or, in some cases, by advisers) in the planning and organisation of work experience, and especially in making contact with suitable employers. A few responses mentioned the appointment of an officer with overall responsibility for co-ordination of this kind; and a handful said that in-service training presented an opportunity to encourage work experience and to provide information about the ways in which it had been successfully approached.

5. Many authorities indicated that only a proportion of the secondary schools in their area participated in work experience schemes, although the number of pupils involved was generally not given. In most cases it was reported that 'schools have tended to offer work experience much more to pupils of lower academic ability who do not have heavy examination commitments'. Several authorities said that particular efforts had been made to arrange work experience for pupils at special schools. One response did, however, indicate that it was often difficult to find industrial placements for the less able pupils, and another had created an industrial training unit for ESN(M) pupils and others 'likely to stumble at the step from school to industry'. Its aim was 'not to provide vocational training, but to accustom children to the demands of industry, to inculcate acceptable working habits and attitudes and to allow an assessment to be made of areas of strength and weakness with regard to successful placement'.

6. Although several authorities said that there had been a considerable expansion of work experience schemes in their area in recent years, and particularly since the passing of the Education (Work Experience) Act 1973 and the issue of DES Circular 7/74 (Welsh Office Circular 135/74), such observations were balanced by statements in other responses suggesting


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that the amount of work experience had not increased, and .in some cases had declined. Varied explanations were offered: in some rural authorities there was said to be insufficient industry to support a large programme of work experience, while in some urban authorities the general lack of employment opportunities had repercussions for such programmes. While recognising the pressures on firms' time, a few authorities said that they had found it difficult to persuade employers to offer work experience placements (although others reported that they had not encountered this difficulty). A number of authorities alluded to problems with insurance cover for pupils involved in industrial placements; some had at least partially overcome these by themselves meeting the cost of personal accident insurance. Similarly, while one authority said that the growth of work experience programmes had been limited by its requirement that additional costs incurred should be met by pupils or from normal capitation, other authorities met costs such as travelling expenses from central funds. One of the most intractable problems was said to be that of finding sufficient staff time to ensure that schemes were well-planned and structured, Although few went so far as the authority which maintained that 'careers teachers in schools seldom have the time or the resources to be involved in work experience schemes', it was apparent that the amount of time required for thorough preparation, administration and follow-up of work experience was a major constraint.

7. Work observation was mentioned by one-third of the authorities. Comparatively few gave details of its organisation, although some responses described work observation as an integral part of most schools' programmes of careers education for all pupils. It appeared that in most cases visits were arranged on the initiative of individual schools, but a few authorities stated that programmes were co-ordinated by the careers service, and stressed the importance of adequate preparation and follow-up. Pupils taking GCE or CSE examinations were said to be more likely to be offered short periods of work observation rather than work experience as such; these often took place during the Easter vacation in the pupils' fifth year, One authority gave details of an annual one-week residential 'work appreciation' course for about 50 sixth formers: 'the pupils spend the week studying a particular industry or organisation in a structured programme drawn up by the employers. Such study is linked to discussion groups at which careers officers and careers teachers act as tutors',


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F6. What arrangements do the authority have to enable teachers to obtain personal experience and wider understanding of industry?

1. The attachment of teachers to firms for varying periods was the most commonly reported means of helping them to gain experience and understanding of industry. Half of the replies mentioned some degree of participation in the Confederation of British Industry's 'Introduction to Industry' schemes for teachers, or similar local arrangements. Teachers were attached for periods of up to three weeks, usually to a local firm, in order to build up a picture of the working environment which school leavers would enter, to assess the educational attainments and skills which employers sought in new entrants, and more generally to foster better understanding and communication between schools and industry. Many authorities stressed that these schemes were not restricted to teachers with specific responsibilities for careers education, but were available to all interested staff; others saw particular value in including heads or other senior teachers. The schemes were not confined to manufacturing industry: several authorities listed such diverse sectors as banking, insurance, hotel and catering, mail-order, wholesale grocery distribution, retailing, and printing. Almost one-tenth of the replies also mentioned arrangements for disseminating throughout the schools the experiences of the teachers concerned, frequently by means of widely-circulated written reports, but sometimes including, for example, panel discussions at teachers' centres as part of in-service training courses, or the 'evaluation meeting' described by one authority where 'teachers, industrialists and representatives of [the authority] discuss the achievements of the scheme'.

2. Some authorities expressed reservations about such schemes: in the words of one, 'the period of industrial experience is too short to allow a teacher to gain anything but a superficial understanding of industry. On the other hand, the release of a key teacher for a fortnight can seriously disrupt the life of a school [while] a longer period would pose still greater difficulties for schools in releasing teachers, and probably also for firms in finding an active role for the teachers'. Difficulties in providing temporary replacements for such teachers were cited in a number of replies, and one referred to problems in releasing teachers' at a time convenient to [industrial] employers'; on the other hand, a few authorities mentioned special arrangements for supply teachers to cover such absences.

3. Two-fifths of the replies described other arrangements for teachers to spend a period in industry. Among those, the teacher fellowships recently


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introduced by the Institutions of Electrical and 'of Mechanical Engineers were mentioned by about a dozen authorities, most of whom planned to release one or two teachers per annum for this purpose. As one authority said, these fellowships allowed 'teachers to spend a term on secondment working with a team of engineers on an engineering project. A grant is made to the teacher's school to assist specific curriculum development after the completion of the fellowship'. A handful of replies referred to developing collaboration with the Understanding British Industry project: in one case this involved a scheme whereby 'five teachers are to be seconded to local firms for a year. This project is largely financed by the firms themselves who will make a major contribution to the cost of the replacement teachers'. Elsewhere, local arrangements were made with major industries, as in the authority reporting that 'companies from the chemical and allied fields have been encouraged to invite science teachers to spend periods with them, to enable the teachers to gain knowledge of the new techniques and equipment currently in use in industry'.

4. Many of the replies recorded in the preceding paragraphs indicated the numbers of teachers involved, particularly in the CBI scheme. These varied considerably. In some cases the numbers were very small, as in the authority reporting that 'only a handful of teachers have availed themselves of the opportunity' to participate in the CBI scheme. More commonly, figures in a range from ten to thirty teachers per annum were quoted. A few replies mentioned numbers in the region of fifty in the current year, and one said that in 1977 the CBI scheme was unable to accommodate the demand from almost one hundred teachers. Two authorities referred to substantial numbers participating in locally-devised schemes: two hundred in the current year in one case, and over 1,100 since 1966 in the other. A few indicated a recent decline in local demand; these were, however, balanced by others reporting an actual or expected growth. Many replies mentioned reciprocal arrangements. whereby staff of industrial firms spent periods in the schools, in order to observe at first hand the teaching methods used and the courses being followed by pupils (see also questions F8 and F10).

5. Arrangements for teachers to make shorter visits to local firms featured in a quarter of the replies. One authority organising ad hoc one-or two-day visits in the summer term described a system at teacher groups, arranged on a subject basis, to identify specific areas of enquiry in advance of the visits; another mentioned the role of mathematics/industry working parties in organising visits for mathematics teachers. A quarter of the authorities referred to other forms of school/industry liaison, not necessarily


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involving visits to firms. For example, in one authority working groups of teachers and employers, established on a subject basis, were engaged in curriculum development exercises; in another speakers from industrial training boards were invited to address meetings of careers teachers; in a third trade union representatives spoke to groups of teachers and pupils; and in a fourth collaboration with the British Institute of Management had led to direct links between head teachers of a dozen schools and senior managers of a dozen local firms. One-eighth of the replies mentioned courses or conferences bringing together representatives of industry and schools; in. some cases these were linked with teacher in-service training arrangements. Several authorities referred to links developed through Science and Technology Regional Organisations (SATRO), whose activities included arranging teachers' visits to firms, producing a directory of companies willing to assist schools with resource materials, and maintaining a loan collection of teaching packs about industry. The role of local Rotary Clubs in fostering liaison was cited in more than one reply.

6. The part played by the careers service and by local careers teacher associations again featured in many replies. A few authorities mentioned in this respect that they had designated an officer or a member of the advisory team with particular responsibility for co-ordination in these fields.

7. A few authorities, while mentioning some of the arrangements described above, noted in their replies to this or other questions in section F that a number of school teachers in their areas possessed previous experience of working in industry. In one, for instance, recent appointments had included 'a civil engineer to teach mathematics, and a mechanical engineer to teach technical studies'. While there were variations reported in the extent to which use was made of teachers' backgrounds in other employment, another authority, for example, remarked that most of its schools were 'in a position to draw on a pool of industrial and commercial experience to support curriculum work'.


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F7. What steps have the local authority taken to promote the development of links between schools and colleges of further education either to encourage the establishment of linked courses where suitable or to facilitate transfer to further education courses after school?

1. Three-quarters of the authorities said that they encouraged or supported linked courses in at least part of their area, although comparatively few indicated that they provided specific guidance about the organisation of such courses. Some authorities had established special posts, within their administrative or advisory staff, carrying responsibility for liaison over linked courses; or had distributed documents such as the regular bulletin issued by one authority which gave 'information about linked courses available and information about how to establish further links.' Another authority had set up a linked course committee to consider 'applications for courses in order to monitor and develop them as seemed desirable'.

2. In most cases, however, the planning of linked courses appeared to be left to local arrangements. Over a quarter of the replies referred to the committees set up in certain areas to co-ordinate provision between schools and colleges of further education (see question F9), and reported that these encouraged consideration of linked courses. In some authorities, other formal connections between schools and colleges, such as the presence of school representatives on college governing bodies and vice versa, or the appointment of school liaison officers in colleges, were said to facilitate the organisation of linked courses.

3. Linked courses, where they had been introduced, were generally stated to form part of the provision for fifth year pupils, although a few authorities reported that pupils were able to take advantage of them from the fourth year onwards. Most linked courses mentioned by authorities were, as one response put it, 'generally of a pre-vocational nature', but a number appeared to have broader educational objectives; thus while subjects such as building, catering, commercial studies, hairdressing, motor engineering and seamanship were specified, some authorities also referred to courses of a more widely-ranging kind, for example in sciences, technology, computer studies and sociology. About one-eighth of the authorities stated that they made provision for pupils from special schools to participate in linked courses. In general, no quantification was given of the proportion of pupils in an authority's area taking part in links with further education.


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4. Many responses stressed the importance of planning linked courses as an integral part of a pupil's curriculum; thus one authority said that 'at the planning stage the school, the college and the advisory staff try to ensure that:

(a) clear educational objectives are stated;
(b) conventional FE-designed syllabuses for linked courses are avoided;
(c) the school, rather than the college, is responsible for planning public examinations;
(d) no course runs for more than two years without a detailed review taking place'.
5. A number of authorities expected that 'the advent of many City and Guilds Foundation Courses in schools would involve links or association with local colleges'; other examination courses, especially CSE mode 3, were also mentioned, but a variety of linked courses not leading to an examination was described. For example, several authorities referred to 'courses of the "sampler" or "taster" variety ... designed in the main to make pupils aware of career and further education opportunities available to them', and others described 'bridging courses' which, in one case, 'aimed at offering certain fifth form pupils an integrated curriculum of continued general education and of vocational appreciation and orientation, involving attendance for two days per week at further education college'.

6. Although some authorities said that linked courses had developed considerably in recent years, especially since the raising of the school-leaving age, about one-fifth said that the development of such courses had lately been restricted, or even that their number had declined: 'sampler' or 'taster' courses were particularly mentioned in this connection. The principal reason cited was the constraint upon local authority expenditure; although authorities referred to the effects of economic stringency in their replies to other questions, this factor was given much more prominence in connection with linked courses than in response to any other question. An additional reason given was the growing need to use further education facilities to provide courses for the young unemployed. Other difficulties mentioned were the complexities of timetabling when several institutions were involved; the problems of transport between institutions in some areas; the reluctance of some institutions to release pupils to participate in linked courses at a time when falling rolls were already causing difficulties; and parental doubts about the value of these courses as compared with those in more traditional school subjects. A few authorities however stated either that they had resisted pressure to reduce the number of linked


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courses, or that they attached a high priority to their reinstatement at the earliest opportunity.

7. Various methods of financing linked courses were described, in the context of the need to make the most economic use of staffing and accommodation resources available in the school and further education sectors as a whole. Some authorities allocated funds within the further education budget to provide staff for linked courses, while others said that economic constraints had made it necessary to charge at least part of the cost of linked courses to individual schools. For example, one authority referred to a 'scheme .. , in operation in some parts of the county whereby, to facilitate linked courses, schools have given up a proportion of their staffing allowance which has been transferred in cash terms to the college to enable the college to run courses for the schools' pupils'. Others mentioned arrangements to finance the travelling costs involved.

8. The most commonly reported means of facilitating transfer to further education courses after school was the issue of a booklet describing the courses available to students after the age of 16. Some two-fifths of the authorities mentioned a document of this sort, which was generally said to contain information about the courses offered in school sixth forms as well as in colleges. Where joint co-ordinating committees for 16-19 provision (see question F9) had been set up, they were often required by the authority to make this information available to pupils and their parents; in other cases the careers service and/or the advisers helped to produce the relevant booklet. A few authorities with joint co-ordinating committees reported that they operated a common application system for all the sixth forms and colleges of further education in a particular area; this was said to encourage young people to consider carefully the mode of study they wished to pursue, as well as enabling them to choose from a wide variety of courses. A quarter of the responses included specific references to links between schools and colleges in the field of careers education. Examples of such co-operation were the joint mounting of careers conventions; meetings of staff from schools and colleges to discuss careers programmes; and college 'open days'. The provision of information about the courses available at 16 + was mentioned as one of the important functions of careers teachers and careers officers (see question F4). College staff were also frequently said to visit schools to talk to pupils about the nature of the courses available in further education.


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F8. What steps have the authority taken to promote contacts between the pupils and teachers in individual schools and local industry and commerce and the local trades unions, as a means of giving pupils a better understanding of the world of work and of helping teachers to relate school curricula to opportunities open to their pupils?

1. Several authorities commented that contacts between schools and industry arose from many of the activities already described in the responses to other questions ,in section F. For example, the links developed through the organisation of programmes of work experience (question F5) or through periods spent in industry by teachers (question F6) were often built upon by schools. A number of authorities emphasised that 'the most useful contacts are probably those manufactured by the individual schools themselves with their immediate catchments'.

2. Three-fifths of the authorities said that a major part in facilitating informal links of this kind was played by the careers service or by specialist subject advisers. This was achieved largely through day-to-day contacts with employers and teachers; but in a number of cases specific guidance was issued (sometimes in the form of a regular bulletin), generally including a list of firms willing to establish links with schools. One authority described a directory of resources 'containing details of over 50 firms who are prepared to co-operate in many ways with schools, including access to their facilities, loan of equipment and the provision of speakers'. Other authorities mentioned the close involvement of the careers service in arranging for speakers from industry to talk to pupils about the nature of industrial employment and the economic contribution of industry and commerce. Many authorities referred to the value of employers' participation in careers conventions, generally organised by individual schools or groups of neighbouring schools with the assistance of the careers service. As well as offering pupils an opportunity to discuss possible careers with representatives of industry and commerce, conventions enabled teachers and industrialists to meet informally and to exchange views. A few authorities also said that the presence of representatives of trades unions and employers on the governing bodies of schools provided opportunities for contact and increased understanding between education and employment.

3. About a quarter of the responses contained references to other systematic arrangements for liaison operating in certain parts of the authority's area. For example, one authority had produced 'a pilot scheme whereby a number of schools are. developing links with representatives of both sides of


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industry. The aim is to assemble a panel of twelve industrial contacts to link with a school and for them to look at areas of common interest. As these links form, industrial contacts will be encouraged to spend at least one day each term in the school developing contacts with heads of departments and with staff responsible for curriculum development, in addition to observing school activities'. In other authorities, certain industries had been encouraged to 'adopt' a school, and discussions were held between industrialists and the staff of relevant subject departments (see also paragraph 5 below). Many authorities stated that some schools had invited representatives of firms to spend time observing lessons and talking to teachers and pupils, and stressed that such visits increased mutual understanding (see question F10).

4. Under one-fifth of the responses described comprehensive liaison machinery covering the whole of the authority's area. In most cases this took the form of an education-industry liaison committee established by the authority to encourage co-operation and joint activities in a variety of ways. For instance, one authority was setting up such a committee in order to 'promote regular contacts between schools and local sources of employment to ensure greater understanding and sympathy for the needs of individual young people and the demands that society makes of them'. Its objectives were:

'1. to agree a broad strategy and structure for a continuing dialogue between schools and employers;
2. to collate and disseminate examples of successful liaison between schools and industry;
3. to encourage the establishment of small groups of specialist subject teachers and representatives from local employers who are involved in activities relating to the subjects taught by teachers. Each group would be encouraged to develop new teaching material using industrial knowledge and experience to be incorporated into existing curricula;
4. to secure co-operation and involvement of both schools and firms in the fields of careers education and advice.'
Joint committees of this kind generally included representatives of the Education Committee, the administrative and advisory staff of the authority, the careers service and the teachers, and representatives of local firms and trade union organisations.


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5. Many of the links developed by such bodies (and also other links initiated on a smaller scale) led to joint studies of aspects of the curriculum often with a view to incorporating elements related to the work of industry into subject syllabuses, particularly in the fields of science, technology and mathematics. One-fifth of the authorities mentioned such work; one response, for example, said that teachers who were members of a working party set up by one of the Science and Technology Regional Organisations were 'meeting industrialists and trying to find examples of scientific topics being used in local factories in order to quote modern examples in illustrating principles'. Other instances included the production, by a joint working party on mathematics for engineering, of a document outlining suggested curricular topics; and a report by a working party concerned with the literacy needs of school leavers entering employment. A more unusual pilot venture was described by another authority, where 'school to work' courses had been established in selected secondary schools with the help of the careers service: 'these courses involve junior and middle management from industry acting as group leaders and, by simulating facets of industrial life, seek to give pupils a realistic appreciation of the demands of working life'.

6. Slightly under two-fifths of the authorities said that they encouraged schools to participate in various national schemes which had as a primary or as an incidental objective the bringing together of schools and industry; among examples cited were Understanding British Industry, Project Trident and the Schools Council Industry Project. One authority reported that a school's technology project 'is organised by a joint committee of the education authority and local industries, and its aim is to stimulate interest in science and technology in schools by encouraging the use of scientific principles and technical skills in seeking a solution to a defined problem. A feature of the ... scheme ... is that every school which enters a team' receives help from an "industrial mentor". The mentors are local industrialists, often of considerable standing, who because of their background and experience are able to give very real practical assistance to the team working on a project. The assistance takes the form of technical advice and ... the provision of materials which the team is unable to obtain or cannot afford to purchase. Many firms are very generous in the amount of time they allow the mentor to spend in the school and in the quantity of materials provided'.

7. Almost half the responses referred to meetings or conferences which were organised from time to time in order to bring teachers, employers and trades unionists together for discussion of matters of common interest. One


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authority, for example, reported that a conference of 'over a hundred teachers and engineering employers was recently held ... to examine the educational requirements of craft apprentices in engineering'. Such meetings were often said to be organised in co-operation with local Chambers of Commerce, which a number of authorities reported as encouraging their members to provide assistance to schools. In a few cases industries or firms had appointed school liaison officers who helped to co-ordinate and promote contacts. Conversely, one authority reported that it had seconded a senior teacher with a similar brief.

8. Several authorities commented that in practice limits to the cooperation between industry and schools were set by the fact that, however great their willingness to participate in such links, employers and trades unionists often found it very difficult to devote enough time to this work. On the other hand, some replies indicated ways in which this might be overcome through individual links, such as visits by parents and recent school leavers to talk about their work. Such arrangements were also seen as a useful means of introducing pupils to a 'shop floor' viewpoint. In contrast, the more general references to contacts with industry rarely distinguished in detail between the contributions made by representatives of management and of trades unions. The role of the latter was, however, mentioned by a few authorities in, for example, providing speakers 'on trades unions either within the context of the normal history lesson or within the careers/social education programme'.


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F9. In what ways do the authority encourage schools and FE colleges to co-ordinate their respective curricular provision to meet the needs of the 16-19 age group as a whole?

1. About one-fifth of the responses indicated that the authority took no specific steps to encourage co-operation between schools and colleges of further education over their provision for the 16-19 age group. The reason generally given was that the authority regarded the two sectors as catering for different categories of pupil; provision for the age group as a whole was accordingly achieved by offering different types of course in each sector. Thus one authority explained that 'in general, schools are discouraged from providing vocational courses, while colleges are discouraged from providing a wider range of academic 0 and A level courses, unless they have direct links with vocational studies'. Another authority making a similar point said however that it looked for 'school/college co-ordination on minority subjects'.

2. On the other hand, some authorities were of the opinion that 'any thorough-going division of functions ... between sixth forms and FE would eliminate the element of choice for pupils as to the setting in which they prefer to pursue post-sixteen studies ... This element of choice is seen by many as being in itself desirable'. Even an authority declaring that 'in general it will be appropriate for most pupils in the 16 to 18 age group who are continuing their education to pursue their studies in school', accepted that 'some young people, for a variety of reasons, may not be appropriately placed in schools', and went on to say that 'for this reason courses in many subjects available in schools were also available in the colleges', so that 'in practice students have freedom of choice at the age of 16'.

3. Slightly under a quarter of the authorities reported that they had established formal machinery for the co-ordination of courses between schools and colleges. Such machinery generally took the form of joint committees representing the staff of all the institutions catering for 16-19 year aids in a particular district, and was sometimes in existence in only a part of the authority's area. The joint advisory or consultative committees specified in response to this question were usually those described in general terms in paragraph 5 of the summary of replies to question B7. Three examples are quoted below as an illustration of the way in which the powers and constitution of such bodies varied in different authorities, while their remit remained broadly similar.


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4. One county authority had established 'area standing conferences of heads and principals of further education colleges in four major areas, each centred on the FE college. Every year, heads and principals produce proposals for courses to A level, 0 level and CSE for pupils and students in the 16-19 age range. Details of new course proposals are included and the area conference recommends what courses should take place. Conferences are attended by senior officers of the authority'.

5. Another county authority was in the process of establishing 'joint academic advisory boards (jAAB), generally on a district basis. The boards comprise the head teachers/principals of each school and college offering 16-19 full-time courses, a representative 11-16 school head teacher, the senior adviser for the district and the district education officer. The boards are able to co-opt further members according to need and the district education officer acts as chairman. It is intended that the boards should meet regularly to examine the provision and development of 16-19 full-time courses in schools and colleges maintained by the authority in the district and advise the Chief Education Officer. The boards are to make an annual report to the Chief Education Officer and to the governing bodies of schools and colleges participating'.

6. The same.authority went on to say that 'when the system becomes fully operational it is envisaged that before any new courses or subject developments are mounted or offered, the jAAB will be advised and their views sought. Clearly, the authority would wish to discourage new developments in particular institutions which are already well catered for elsewhere, and at the same time to seek progressively to reduce the number of centres offering subjects or courses which enjoy little pupil support, unless there are special circumstances which would justify the continuation of such provision. Such an approach will allow the concentration of minority provision in pre-determined locations set against an area/district plan'.

7. Elsewhere, a London borough had set up an advisory body to monitor the provision of education for the 16-19 age group in the whole of the authority's area. The advisory body, which was chaired by the Director of Education, included in its membership the principals of the authority's further education and sixth form colleges, representatives of high school headteachers and several officers of the authority, including the principal adviser and the principal careers officer. The advisory body had been established for:

'a. the general exchange of views on educational, social and organisational matters;

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b. the exchange of information on proposed new courses and the discontinuation of existing courses;
c. suggesting measures to ensure the wide use of resources including advice on the number of places to be available for the age group at each establishment and to foster the development of linked courses;
d. a continuing [review] of the provision for students with limited examination objectives, and for those who require non-examination courses;
e. the co-ordination of publicity and arrangements for the recruitment of students at all establishments catering for the 16 to 19 age group.'
8. A few responses described attempts which had been made to coordinate the timetables of several institutions so that it would be possible for pupils to follow courses in more than one establishment: this was said to be particularly desirable where minority subjects were not universally available but, as in the replies to question B7, it was apparent that transfer between institutions presented a number of difficulties. Some authorities stressed that their arrangements for co-ordinating overall provision between schools and colleges were still at a developmental stage, and that it was too soon to evaluate their success, while others referred to the reluctance of some institutions to participate actively in such arrangements. Two authorities said that the establishment of tertiary colleges had eased the co-ordination and rationalisation of provision for the 16-19 age group.

9. About one-eighth of the responses indicated that the authority encouraged contacts of a less formal nature between the staffs of schools and colleges. Meetings were held to consider such topics as policy on recruitment of students and the range of courses available, and advisers were generally present to offer guidance on co-ordination (see paragraph 10 below). A few authorities said that schools and further education institutions were represented on each other's governing bodies, and that this facilitated the exchange of information about course provision.

10. One-seventh of the authorities mentioned that the advisory service offered guidance to institutions wishing to co-ordinate their provision. One response reported discussions between the authority's inspector for the 16-19 age group in further and higher education and specialist inspectors with responsibilities in schools and further education for subjects such as art, modern languages and physical education, with a view to co-ordinating provision within the authority's area. Very few authorities referred to the


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appointment of an adviser or officer with special responsibility for the overall co-ordination of education for this age group; others mentioned in-service training, sometimes provided jointly for the staff of schools and colleges, as a means of encouraging consideration of the possibilities for co-operation.

11. About one-third of the responses said that the question of co-ordinating provision for the 16-19 age group as a whole was currently being examined, generally by working parties (already mentioned under question B7) which consisted of officers, advisers, teachers from schools and further education, and sometimes also elected members. In one authority the work of such a body was to be supplemented by the appointment of a research officer who would 'investigate the needs of those post-16 year aids who wish to enter further education but whose academic qualifications do not allow them to do so'; it was hoped that it would be possible 'to identify the different needs of the various groups making up this population with a view to providing the necessary remedial and/or bridge provision'.

12. The overall impression conveyed by the replies was that, where the desirability of steps to co-ordinate provision was acknowledged, the measures adopted were at a relatively early stage of development and would take a while to bear full fruit.


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F10. What steps have the authority taken to inform industry, commerce and the trades unions in their area about the work of their schools in order to promote understanding and to enable them to contribute constructively to the development of school curricula?

1. Most authorities pointed out that many of the activities and arrangements for liaison with industry described in answer to other questions in section F (particularly questions F6 and F8) permitted information to flow both ways, so that employers and trades unionists learned about the aims and methods of schools while teachers' understanding of industry and commerce was increased. Among the channels included by authorities in their responses to this question, but also mentioned in earlier summaries, were education-industry liaison committees, joint working groups looking at particular areas of the curriculum, and the contact generated by teachers' periods of industrial experience.

2. Several authorities said that their strongest link with employers, and their most effective channel for providing information about the work of schools, was the careers service. For example, one authority reported that 'careers officers devote one day a week to visiting industry as part of their normal work, and regard the discussion of developments in education as an important purpose of these visits'. In another authority, it was intended that careers officers and interested teachers should accompany the Chairman of the Education Committee in regular visits to local industries to discuss educational matters with senior managers. Other responses referred to the work of specialist subject advisers in establishing links with relevant .industries; thus one authority's advisers had held discussions with officers of Industrial Training Boards concerning, among other matters, mathematics in the curriculum. Another authority had appointed 'an industrial liaison officer, recruited from a prominent position in local industry, whose task has been to develop constructive links' between schools and industry. In all, rather under half the responses included specific references to the work of the careers or advisory services in this field.

3. About seven-tenths of the replies described various meetings between representatives of the education service, employers and trades unionists. Some of these were specifically designed for the exchange of information: thus one authority supported and encouraged termly meetings between head teachers and employers, while others mentioned joint conferences which had been organised to allow discussion of topics of mutual concern. In many responses the membership of joint committees (most frequently


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careers advisory committees, but also education-industry liaison groups and the authorities' Education sub-committees) was said to include representatives of employers and trades unions. Less formal links through Chambers of Commerce and Trade were also mentioned in many replies.

4. A number of authorities said that the involvement of industry in work on the curriculum in relation to particular subjects had encouraged a greater awareness among employers of the nature of schools' work. This was especially the case in mathematics. For example, a number of authorities reported that employers had participated with teachers in setting realistic goals in mathematics for the less able school leavers. Others had taken steps, such as the organisation of joint conferences or seminars, to inform those working in industry about recent developments in the mathematics curriculum. Curricular links in other fields were also described. One authority had recently introduced school courses in control technology, and stated that 'all the major industrial firms in the county were visited, before the syllabus was introduced, for the purpose of seeing if it was compatible with their own training schemes and whether it would provide a useful foundation for young people hoping to enter industry. Industrialists were enthusiastic about the course and, when it started in schools, welcomed parties of pupils and teachers on visits to study control processes in industry. The comments and exchange of views during these visits have been found valuable by both sides'.

5. Under one-fifth of the responses referred to the production of literature specifically designed to inform industry about the work of schools. This generally took the form of newsletters, commonly produced once or twice a year by the careers service, which contained information about such matters as careers work in schools and new developments in the curriculum and in examinations. One authority commented that publicity for educational developments provided through the local press was also valuable.

6. Many authorities expressed support for the initiatives of individual schools or groups of schools in informing industry about their work, sometimes contrasting such initiatives favourably with attempts to establish more formal links. Thus one authority said that joint conferences, while of value, appeared 'not to have been the most successful way of achieving the desired objectives. Of potentially greater value are the local links ... which afford employers the opportunity to influence particular schools' curricula by pointing to the actual requirements which obtain and the practical application of skills and knowledge learnt.'


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7. A number of examples of links at local level were given. Several authorities said that some schools had encouraged industrialists to spend time in school. observing lessons and talking to teachers. Often these visits formed part of an exchange, with teachers in their turn spending some time with firms, both to learn about industry and to explain their own objectives to employers (see question F6). A quarter of the authorities said that the governing bodies of schools included representatives of industry among their membership; this was seen by one authority as 'a particularly valuable way of promoting understanding and of enabling these representatives actively to contribute to the development of school curricula'. Open days for industry in some schools were reported by one-fifth of the authorities. For example, one response stated that schools had held 'an "Industry day" when top management have been invited to visit the classroom in the curriculum area of their choice. They have also had the opportunity to talk to different groups of children in each of the host schools. They have then met together for luncheon at one of the schools and in the afternoon the headteachers and deputy or careers teachers have joined in seminars with the industrialists, and a closer understanding of the requirements of industry has been achieved and the industrialists have had a clearer idea of the school curriculum'.

8. Although the replies to question F10 referred in general terms to liaison with both employers and trades unions, most of the examples given were of contacts with management. One of the few authorities drawing particular attention to links with trades unions in answer to this question described arrangements by individual schools designed to encourage the participation of union representatives in fifth year careers programmes and civics courses.

9. A few authorities referred to problems which hindered the development of steps to inform industry, commerce and trades unions about the work of schools. Chief among these, in the words of one authority, were the 'difficulties on both sides in finding the time necessary to make any serious contribution in the short term to bridging the gap between two very different worlds'.


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