New national curriculum for England announced

On 11 September 2013 the Secretary of State for Education published the new national curriculum framework following a series of public consultations. The majority of the new national curriculum will come into force from September 2014.

The big news is that languages will be compulsory in primary schools for the first time at Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11). Contrary to original proposals, put out for consultation earlier in the year, for an approved list of 7 languages (which included Latin and Ancient Greek), primary schools will now be free to teach any language at KS2.

Languages at secondary school remain compulsory only to KS3 (ages 11-14). The new KS3 curriculum refers to grammar, written texts (including literature and poetry) and translation.

The curriculum will be implemented in all maintained state schools in England (i.e. not private schools or state-funded academies or free schools, all of which have freedoms to devise their own curricula). In practice most primary schools are maintained schools whereas an increasingly large proportion of secondary schools are not.

The new national curriculum framework is available at: