New Curriculum Framework requires supports, time, resources

The Department of Education sent initial information regarding the new Primary Curriculum Framework to schools today. Following its official launch by Minister Foley next month, the Department will issue a circular providing further detail relating to the Primary Curriculum Framework to include information on, ‘Where To Start’ with the framework and on support for school leaders and teachers.

The INTO remains adamant that the suite of supports and resources contained within the NCCA document provided to Minister Foley, ‘Supporting Systemwide Primary Curriculum Change’, must be rolled out by the Department to give the new curriculum every chance to succeed.

Teachers and school leaders have to be given adequate time to familiarise themselves with the content and methodologies and to embed the new framework into the system. School-based, in person continuous professional development must be delivered by the Department alongside proper funding for classroom resources and school materials.

The Department must prioritise the reduction of mainstream class sizes to the EU average of 20 with further reductions in DEIS schools and special schools. The full restoration of middle-management structures in primary and special schools will also be vital to support the roll out of the curriculum framework.

It is clear that various other initiatives will have to be ‘parked’ for a number of years to ensure that the new curriculum becomes a success.