Best Practice

Curriculum development and leadership: Lessons learned

A new book tells the story of the development of a primary school curriculum across an academy trust. What lessons did the authors learn? Claire Banks and Professor Mick Waters explain


Many primary school headteachers feel under significant pressure to “sort out” the curriculum. Ofsted’s renewed interest over the last few years has left many wondering how to respond.

The issue is complex with the need for attention to all subject disciplines and the fear of an inspector diving into a very shallow subject.

Where to insist on conformity or allow autonomy becomes a nagging question, especially as some subject leaders are passionate and expert exponents in their subjects while others feel they have “drawn the short straw” and are trying to help out.

No wonder some feel worried about finding an inspector with a snorkel asking questions about their work.

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