Policy paper

Framework for the national curriculum: a report by the expert panel for the national curriculum review

This report focuses on a number of recommendations to bring radical change to the national curriculum, and aims to generate public debate.


The National Curriculum is a critical part of the education system in England, and that it has a key role to play in securing the right of all children and young people to a broad and balanced education.

This report summarises the Expert Panel’s thinking on a range of fundamentally important issues, which are crucial to defining an overarching conception of the purposes, shape, size and structure of the curriculum. The report focuses in particular on a number of recommendations, some of which have the potential to result in radical change to the National Curriculum, beyond change to curriculum content.

It is hoped that the report will help to generate public discussion and constructive contributions to the Department’s review of the National Curriculum over the weeks and months to come.


  • Knowledge, Development and the Curriculum
  • Aims and Purposes of the Curriculum
  • The Structure of the School Curriculum (for primary and secondary)
  • Subjects in the Curriculum through the Key Stages of Schooling
  • The Structure of Key Stages
  • The Organisation of Programmes of Study
  • The Form of Programmes of Study and Attainment Targets
  • Assessment, Reporting, and Pupil Progression
  • Oral Language and its Development within the National Curriculum
  • Risks
  • Conclusions
  • Annexes

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