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A balanced and broadly based curriculum Q&A with Dr.Tony Eaude – NAPE 066

Towards a balanced and broadly-based curriculum was the theme of the National Association for Primary Education conference in March 2021. The keynote lecture was given by Dr. Tony Eaude.

This is a follow up Q&A taken from a subsequent Facebook live event.

Tony suggested four main arguments for a balanced and broadly-based primary curriculum:

  • that the law states that schools must offer this (as it does) and that Ofsted expect this (at least from 7 years old);
  • one based on how children create coherent, robust and flexible identities, enhancing their well-being and founded on a sense of agency;
  • one based on a conception of democratic citizenship in which children are increasingly enabled to deal with complex ideas right from the start; and
  • a social justice one that such a curriculum will open up opportunities from which many children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, will otherwise be excluded.

Questions & comments from our delegates

Retired Headteacher

  • Dr Eaude’s argument for a balanced and broadly based curriculum is compelling. Moving forwards, is it possible for schools to work with the current National Curriculum Framework to achieve this? 
  • Do Academies, rather than Local Authority schools, have the most potential and freedom to develop such curriculum experiences?
  • Where (in England) is curriculum innovation to be found at present?
  • What is the National Association of Primary Education’s role in this argument?

As a student in my final year of an undergraduate course, I am currently working on an assignment about my own educational philosophy which very much aligns with Dr. Eaude’s Schiller speech. Embarking into my NQT year in September I know the best way to change this is starting in my own classroom. However big questions arise with that:

  • What can I do beyond that? If there is not enough support or like-minded colleagues,
  • How can I reach out to ensure this way of teaching the curriculum is opened up on to all the children in the community?
  • Where can I find more support?

For more information about Dr. Tony Eaude please visit his website

More information about NAPE is available at

To find out more about Christian Schiller HMI please click on the link below

The Schiller Book, published by NAPE, ‘In His Own Words’, can be purchased for only £5.

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