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Monday, 3 November 2014

An education system free from political interference

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws is calling for a new education body that would independently assess whether school standards are rising or falling over time. Mr Laws has said he wants to see an independent body take charge of setting what's in the curriculum and bar politicians from deciding which authors are read in English and which monarchs are studied in history.

While the body's leadership would be appointed by the Secretary of State for Education it would have operational independence from government. Liberal Democrats believe what children learn at school should not be subject to political whims. The government would set out which subjects are statutory but a new Educational Standards Authority would co-ordinate panels of experts for each subject area to propose and make changes to the national curriculum.

Commenting David Laws said: “Successive politicians from both Labour and the Tories have been unable to resist trying to force their own pet subjects upon teachers – whether that’s Ed Balls and blogging or Michael Gove and medieval kings. The truth is it teachers and subject experts who know best what should be taught in the classroom. What children learn in school should not be subject to the whims of politicians and Liberal Democrats stop politicians from meddling in the curriculum in the future.

“The debate on school standards has all too often been informed by political prejudice rather than real evidence. So we will also ask for independent reporting on standards in schools over time – so that politicians can be properly held to account on how well schools are performing.” Mr Laws added.