Primary experts set out their vision

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A new pamphlet on primary education seeking to provide an alternative approach to the new national curriculum for England has been published by a group of campaigners.

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Campaigners want to highlight their concerns about the new primary curriculum

What is the future for primary education? has been printed with the support of funding from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and features contributions from a variety of early childhood campaigners and developmental specialists who are opposed to the new primary school curriculum.

Primary school teacher and co-ordinator of the charter Jess Edwards said, ‘The pamphlet was written in order to explore the impact of the recent Government reforms on the education of young children.’

‘We are concerned that good pedagogical practice and research is being ignored by the current government and that rather than "raising standards", initiatives such as the new primary curriculum will actually damage children's learning because it is over-crowded, based predominately on rote learning and not age appropriate.’ 

‘We wanted to examine why the changes were so damaging but we also wanted to point to an alternative set of principles that education should be based on.’

The pamphlet follows on from the Charter for Primary Education, created by the group in 2013 to generate debate about primary education. The text of the charter is included in the pamphlet.

The group was set up at the Lambeth Primary Schools Conference in 2012 to discuss the changes to the primary school curriculum, and has since been involved in a variety of conferences and protests against the changes, such as the Too Much Too Soon campaign.

Articles in the pamphlet include:

  • ‘The new primary curriculum for England: a disaster for children’s education?’ by Jess Edwards
  • ‘Testing, testing: the harm of the testing regime and alternatives’ by Hazel Danson
  • ‘Too much too soon: why we need age-appropriate education, not “schoolification”, in early childhood’ by Richard House
  • ‘Childhood and education in a competitive consumer culture’ by Sue Palmer
  • ‘It doesn’t have to be this way: international perspectives’ by Terry Wrigley

The pamphlet is distributed to teachers, parents, governors and other interested parties via the group’s website http://primarycharter.wordpress.com or can be obtained by emailing primarycharter@yahoo.co.uk