Curriculum 2000: a broader view


Priestley M (2003) Curriculum 2000: a broader view. Cambridge Journal of Education, 33 (2), pp. 237-255.

Curriculum 2000 was heralded as a long overdue reform of the post-sixteen curriculum in England. In particular, critics of the traditional A level school curriculum had long complained of the narrow focus of these qualifications. The initiative therefore sought to improve the breadth of study experienced by students, through the added inclusion of Key Skills to the curriculum and the institution of an additional tier of assessment in Year 12; this latter reform would, it was hoped, allow students to follow broader courses of study in Year 12 before specialising in Year 13. Curriculum 2000 also sought to bring together the academic and vocational tracks, through encouraging mix-and-match qualifications. In practice its first two years have been characterised by implementation problems, as examination boards, schools, teachers and students have struggled to come to terms with the new system. Recently these problems have received the full glare of publicity, contributing to a ministerial resignation, as the media has spotlighted the grading crisis of 2002. This paper examines the policy context of the reform before drawing on research findings to address a particular issue of relevance: whether Curriculum 2000 succeeds in its stated aim of increasing breadth of study.

Curriculum; Curriculum planning Great Britain; Curriculum evaluation Great Britain; Education, Secondary Great Britain Curricula; Vocational education Great Britain

Cambridge Journal of Education: Volume 33, Issue 2

Publication date31/07/2003
PublisherTaylor & Francis