Letter: Diversity, choice and a misunderstanding of the history of education

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The Independent Online
Sir: John Patten (5 April) writes about the restrictive nature of 'masterplans' produced by earlier governments.

He deceives himself if he thinks that the present arrangements within the framework of the national curriculum provide real 'choice and diversity'. While there may now be choices on the administrative arrangements for state schools, the opportunities for choice on what is learnt in them become more restricted.

As an example, from this autumn the study of technology becomes compulsory at Key Stage 4, the two years up to GCSE. This is despite reports, by for example the Engineering Council, that have used phrases such as 'Blue Peter model-making' and 'Mickey Mouse technology' to describe the content of the national curriculum in this area.

Yours faithfully,


Maldon, Essex

5 April