Headlines: December 21st, 2001

A working party is being set up to discover how the teaching profession can best respond to the radical changes taking place in education. The key stakeholders who have been invited by Education Secretary Estelle Morris to take part include the teaching unions and employers, UNISON, OFSTED, the General Teaching Council, the National College for School Leadership and the Teacher Training Agency.The announcement earlier this month of the launch next September of ‘Curriculum Online’ makes clear the Government’s intention to transform learning in schools. The service will be the world’s first partnership between the Government, leading public/private broadcasters and innovative software producers to provide materials for every curriculum subject. It will bring new learning materials to teachers and pupils’ fingertips, enabling learning to become more flexible.

‘Curriculum Online’ will help teachers to spend more time teaching and motivating pupils so that they become ‘learning managers’. Learning will become more individualized allowing the more able to progress at a quicker pace while the less able are given greater support.

The working party will build on the work of the independent Teacher Workload Study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, published earlier this month. It will look at ways in which the skills and expertise of heads, teachers and classroom assistants can be deployed to respond to the development of new resources and to support rising standards. An issue of particular concern is the support head teachers need to allow them to lead change within their schools.