'Schools can – and should – become curriculum planners again'

If Ofsted uses its inspection evidence as wisely as its predecessors did 30 years ago, schools might stop looking to the government to be told what to do and instead at the evidence and academic research.


The speech by Ofsted's chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, at the Festival of Education at Wellington College on 23 June this year was especially welcome in opening up an important discussion on the school curriculum.


This will not be the first time that the inspectorate has played a pivotal role in curriculum development in England. Thirty years ago, Her Majesty's Inspectorate (HMI) published a series of 17 booklets on curriculum, affectionately known as "raspberry ripples" because of their red and pink covers.


They were an important bridge between Prime Minister Jim Callaghan’s 1976 speech at Ruskin College, which opened up the "secret garden" of the curriculum to public debate, and the national curriculum launch in 1988.


Read more