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Since the Enriched and Revised Curriculum projects had their genesis in Northern Ireland it is striking that the N.I. Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) have missed an important opportunity to improve their public confidence level.

It has taken OFSTED, their equivalent in England, to raise public concern about the damaging effects of curricular changes.


Inspectors warned that the changes had prompted confusion in some schools.

A “common feature” of less successful schools was that teachers were “left to interpret the curriculum as they saw fit”, meaning it “lacked coherence”.

Some 24 out of 84 schools introduced “integrated courses” covering all humanities subjects. A similar approach was taken in the teaching of citizenships and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education).

But Ofsted said inspectors “identified emerging problems with the courses”.

“These included the loss of subject content and subject skills development, lack of continuity from primary school, lack of rigour and challenge, uneven quality of teaching and artificial ‘links’ or themes”, said the report.

However in Northern Ireland evangelist educationalists who spend more time appearing on the media than in the classroom peddling claptrap suggest all is well.

Parents may disagree but there is no refund for a failed education.