A ‘curriculum exchange’ could be the way forward, says AQA
The creation of a new organisation that would bring together leading education subject experts with key stakeholders like teachers to develop future subject content for GCSEs and A-levels, has been suggested by AQA.
Speaking at an event held by the think tank Policy Exchange which was attended by ministers, teachers and policy experts, AQA's Chief Executive Andrew Hall set out his idea for a small 'curriculum exchange' which could impartially develop content and serve as a centre for internationally benchmarking the English curriculum.
Instead of having a large permanent staff of subject experts, the 'curriculum exchange' would bring together relevant stakeholders and subject specialists for each piece of work.
Those involved would command widespread respect and represent the best in their field, in order to ensure that the proposals achieved broad consensus. In addition, any individual or organisation would be able to contribute their views through a formal consultation process.
"We should not ignore the reality that qualification reform is not something that is done once and then lasts forever. My experience tells me that new qualifications have something like a five-year lifespan, so we need to have a process for renewing core subject qualifications that does not require a herculean effort each time we need to do it."
"That's why we are suggesting a new body with just a small number of core staff that would be accountable to ministers and could draw on world class expertise to produce curriculum content that builds on consensus to meet the government policy steer," said Mr Hall.
A similar approach is taken in Australia where a statutory Board of Studies, including teachers, academies and government representatives, is responsible for setting core curriculum and providing guidance on assessment and grading.
Mr Hall added: "Essentially ministers would define the overall vision and objectives for the curriculum but the 'curriculum exchange' could, by bringing together expertise and research, propose the best, evidence-based content to achieve them."
Andrew Hall's presentation on the curriculum exchange