Letter; Published in the Sunday Times ;8 December 2008

Sir, With the Tories not sure about the Rose primary curriculum reforms and opinion split elsewhere, there is no guarantee that the Rose recommendations will make it beyond the drawing board. His review is not the only show in town. Based at the University of Cambridge, supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and directed by Professor Robin Alexander, the Primary Review was launched in October 2006 and will complete its research this year. This review has already found that there is strong convergence in curriculum provision across all the 22 countries surveyed. England is in line with international trends in its provision of the following: first language, mathematics, science, information technology, history, geography, art and craft, music, physical education and sport and religious education. All of these areas of study are now standard in the primary curriculum of the vast majority of the countries in the survey. If this is the case, and there is such convergence, why are we alone in thinking that this must change when other countries higher in the international league tables are fine without a cross-curricular approach?

Patrick Watson


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