Most parents believe Michael Gove's school reforms will risk their children's education, survey says

Education Editor

Three out of four parents believe their children’s education is at risk from the onslaught of the Government’s school reform, according to a poll out today.

A survey of just over 1,000 parents carried out by the National Association of Head Teachers reveals 73 per cent believe introducing too much change too quickly damages their child’s education.

Schools are facing a range of changes in September, with a new national curriculum coming into force and the syllabus for new tougher exams being introduced into the classroom for the first time.

In addition, the past four years have seen radical changes to the structure of the education system, with a growth in the number of academies and the birth of free schools.

According to the parents’ poll, 62 per cent believe the introduction of new exams will either make no difference or make standards worse. In addition, 71 per cent believe academies and free schools will not raise standards.

Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the NAHT, said heads wanted reforms to be planned in advance and scheduled “sensibly” through a parliamentary term.

“By autumn this year, schools will have introduced new safeguarding advice in staff recruitment, ensured their practices comply with new freedom of information policies, made decisions on new pay policies, adopted new codes of practice for special needs pupils, introduced an entirely new curriculum, redesigned assessment and ensured every primary school is ready to offer free school meals to infants regardless of existing kitchen facilities,” he added.

“Many will also be building new classrooms to meet pupil demand or keeping up with Ofsted’s changing guidelines. Some of these new initiatives are sensible ideas, but all at the same time?”

A scheme aimed at introducing primary school pupils to the world of work will be launched at the conference in Birmingham today. Under the Primary Futures scheme, a range of employees such as chief executives, apprentices, archaeologists, zoologists and representatives of multi-national companies will be invited into schools.

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