This pilot survey was carried out in order to further

validate the main theme of this dissertation; to determine

whether Scientific Management techniques are now part of the

Management of Education, particularly with reference to National

Curriculum Technology. It also helped formalise a variety of

opinions and experiences expressed by many teachers. One of the

aims of the survey was to analyse the responses to the questions

asked, so that general conclusions (a summary) could be made. The

respondents were asked questions verbally as part of a

questionnaire, used in the context of a survey.

The nature and form of the survey and interviews were

considered carefully. It was decided that a "structured"

interview whereby each respondent was asked the same questions in

exactly the same way, following in the same order, was not

suitable as this may not provide the opportunity to elicit

attitudes and opinions (essential to this dissertation). A

"completely unstructured" interview was also regarded as

unsuitable as this would only involve the interviewer engaging

the respondent in conversation, following up points of interest

as they develop. It would not be specific enough to determine the

respondents attitudes and opinions in relation specifically to

Scientific Management strategies. Unstructured interviews can be

regarded as unique events since the questions, the sequence and

emphasis given by the interviewer can vary considerably from one

interview to the next. This can lead to a considerable amount of

difficulty in comparing and measuring responses. Although they

allow for greater indepth questioning into areas of interest

previously uncovered by more rigidly structured interviews.

The most suitable form of interview for a subject of this

nature, given the restrictions on time, was "semi-structured" as

this allowed for a number of clear questions and interviewer

discretion with regard to eliciting opinions and attitudes of the

respondents. This approach was adopted as a variety of teachers

with different experience, backgrounds and subjects skills were

to be respondents.

It can be seen that the validity of interview data is

inversely related to the number of respondents to whom questions

can be asked. The more unstructured the interview, the more time

consuming it is and fewer interviews can be carried out. The aim

of this survey was not measurable, quantifiable data which can be

statistically manipulated to produce generalisations. The

underlying objective was to register the subjective meanings,

opinions, attitudes and working experience of the respondents

(teachers). It was realised that such data may not produce

standardised, qualitative, statistical results.

Instead of asking questions to all secondary school

teachers  involved with the teaching of the National

Curriculum, a small reliable sample were interviewed. Furthermore

teachers outside the new subject Technology were considered an

important part of the survey. It is acknowledged that the more

representative the sample population is, the more reliable the

data gathered. Consequently the source of ones sampling is

crucial to the reliability of ones results; since the sample is

only as good as the frame from which it is drawn.

The representative sample was not chosen in a random way in

order to reduce the risk of producing a non-representative

selection of respondents. An attempt was made to select teachers

from a variety of backgrounds and experience with different

subject skills, teaching aspects of the National Curriculum. The

target population were also selected according to teaching

experience and respondents were expected to have at least eight

years teaching experience, having taught, O'level, C.S.E, G.C.S.E

and National Curriculum syllabuses. Consideration was given to

the need to interview teachers of seniority (such as Heads of

Department) as well as main scale teachers. Teachers were

selected from a range of schools throughout the Education


The design of the survey was determined by the main themes

presented by Scientific Management / Taylorism, such as ; the

reduction of worker autonomy, deskilling, the role of management

and other relevant aspects. Questions were formulated in such a

way that they were clear and straightforward. Often questions

were explained in more detail by the interviewer so that

respondents understood exactly what was been asked.

The main problem to be faced by the respondents was

perceived identities of the interviewer (and the motives behind

the survey) which could affect the attitude and truthfulness of

the respondent and therefore access to quality data. Although it

is impossible to assume a neutral identity it was stressed that

all interview material would be confidential and only for use in

a dissertation (not for Salford Education Authority or any other

similar body or organisation)

During the interviews the questions were asked sensibly and

flowed naturally from one to the next, rather than sudden changes

of direction or discussion. It was realised that before the

interviews could begin that respondents needed to be 'warmed up'

and so a general discussion of Secondary Education and the

National Curriculum led into the questioning. All the interviews

were carried out in secondary schools across Salford and although

this is the workplace it did not seem to affect the quality of

the data. It was felt that tape recording would be intrusive and

so only written notes were taken.

Interviewers, like anybody else, have values, expectations,

opinions and attitudes. An attempt was made to disguise these so

that they were not communicated to the respondent. The

interviewer refrained from offering opinions and did not express

approval or disapproval of answers. Furthermore efforts were made

to establish a rapport with the respondent.


1. Before the National Curriculum did you feel that you had a

large amount of autonomy with regard to the material you taught ?

Most respondents suggested that their classroom autonomy had

suffered due to the National Curriculum. Choices regarding

coursework were now restricted

2. Before the National Curriculum was the choice regarding the

methods and strategies you used in the classroom a result of your

own discretion and professional judgement ?

Virtually all respondents had experienced a change in the

teaching methods they used and these had been brought about by

the National Curriculum

3. Do you feel that the National Curriculum was imposed ? Have

you had any say with reference to its structure ?

All respondents agreed that the National Curriculum had been


4. Do you feel the National Curriculum sets the tasks that you

have to complete with the pupils ? Do you feel that you have been

set tasks (ie. directions from higher authority) ?

There was some disagreement over the meaning of "tasks".

However, almost all the respondents agreed that the National

Curriculum, it's Attainment Targets, Levels and Programmes of

Study produced a strict guide for teachers to follow.

5. Is the National Curriculum the "backbone" of your subject ?

All teachers agreed that the National Curriculum was the

backbone of lower school teaching and that this situation will

expand into the upper school as the National Curriculum


6. Do you feel that the content of your subject has suffered from

a reduction in skills (in particular the subject matter the

pupils are taught) ?

Most respondents agreed that there had been a reduction in

skills, especially when referring to their specialisms. However,

some respondents suggested that more general "Technology" skills

had been introduced, although these had not replaced fully the

lost subject specific skills.

7. Do you feel the skills and knowledge you require to enable you

to teach your subject have been reduced ?

A majority of respondents agreed that the skills required to

teach their subjects had seen a reduction and that technology

teachers needed generalised, broader skills, covering as many of

the Attainment Targets and Levels as possible.

8. Has there been an increase in the amount of surveillance over

your work, since the Education Reform Act of 1988 ie. parents

evenings or record keeping ?

All respondents suggested that there had been an increase in

surveillance, although some were under the impression that the

"Records of Achievement" (ROA) were part of the National

Curriculum. Some respondents referred to the SAT pilot scheme as

increased surveillance.

9. Before the introduction of the National Curriculum was

teaching a more creative process ? Has this aspect been reduced

or increased ?

This provided a variety of answers. Respondents did not

clearly state their understanding of creativity. Most Technology

teachers regarded creativity as been linked closely to practical

work. Many referred to a decrease in creativity for both the

teacher and the pupil.

10. Do you regard yourself as part of a production process ? has

this increased with the National Curriculum ?

Most respondents agreed that a production line did exist and

that this situation had been formalised by the Attainment Targets

and Levels of Attainment.

11. Have you developed any new skills since working with the

National Curriculum ?

Respondents referred to very few new skills being introduced

by the National Curriculum. Recording and assessment was regarded

by a minority of respondents as new skills. Other respondents

suggested that the new skills in Technology were generalised,

simplified skills that encompassed the Attainment Targets.

12. Are you worried about your future prospects and job security

since the Education Reform Act of 1988 and the introduction of

the National Curriculum ? (ie. could any member of staff teach

your subject ? no need for specialist staff ? could one member of

staff deliver all the Attainment Targets and Levels in your

subject ?

All Technology teachers expressed concern for their future,

believing their jobs were insecure and that eventually fewer

Technology teachers would be needed to teach National Curriculum

Technology. Opposite views were expressed by Science and Maths

teachers who saw their positions as very secure.







1. Teacher A suggested the position of Business Studies had

changed, marginally. The basic concepts of the subject had always

been taught to the younger pupils. With the introduction of the

National Curriculum the time is now available to continue this.

However, he stressed that Business Studies teachers were now

aware of the subject matter that must be covered as part of the

National Curriculum. The Attainment Targets play an important

role as reflected in the way Business Studies is now taught.

Teacher autonomy over what was taught, had suffered.

2. Teacher A said that the overall approach had changed. With the

same amount of group work, it is now essential that teachers

identify each pupils individual contribution to the group so that

it can be assessed. Much of the work is organised to make this

difficult task easier. As a result lessons must have clear

objectives and in most cases this means having particular levels

or programmes of study in mind.

3. Teacher A agreed that the National curriculum had been imposed

with little or no consultation, "the change had been forced".

However, teacher A added the comment that most teachers seem to

be prepared to go along with the National Curriculum without

questioning the reasoning behind its imposition. Although the

curriculum had been imposed, teacher A felt that Business Studies

had not found it's role within Technology; this was still open to


4. Teacher A expressed the opinion that the National Curriculum

did provide teachers with the basic "tasks" of Technology

including the subject content (programmes of study). However, the

projects followed in order to cover the programmes of study were

a result of decisions taken either by the Technology Coordinator

or by the classroom teacher himself / herself. But, the Levels of

Attainment must always be attended to.

5. Teacher A felt; as the National Curriculum dominated teaching

in all schools, it could be looked upon as the backbone of all


6. Teacher A suggested that this was not necessarily the case as

Business Studies had not always had a place in years 7 and 8.

Furthermore, the pupils in Business Studies now had to cover

Attainment Targets such as "planning and making". This was a

selection of skills not attempted in the past. But, there had

been a dilution of traditional Business Studies skills, such as

an understanding of economics

7. According to teacher A, the skills required by the average

Business Studies teacher (particularly in the lower school) were

general technology skills. A detailed understanding of the

business world was not required. Therefore, Business Studies

skills had been reduced.

8. Teacher A emphasised that the record keeping had increased

especially for those schools taking part in the Standard

Assessment Tasks (pilot schemes).

9. Teacher A suggested that Business Studies may find the

National Curriculum more creative. Pupils were not restricted to

following a business studies project, they could now broaden the

project to cover other technology areas. However, teacher A

emphasised the importance of keeping a check on pupils, ensuring

that they did not become too "creative" and move away from the

"sober realities" of following the ATs and Programmes of Study.

10. Teacher A felt that the National Curriculum "rules" over the

teaching of Technology and that in some schools courses had been

set up whereby the pupils are administered in such a way that

they progressed through the levels automatically, year by year.

However, teacher A put forward the view that Technology need not

be taught in an entirely rigid way.

11. New skills such as model making, simple presentation and

drawing skills, and the ability of pupils to plan, evaluate and

record their work carefully, are new skills. Both the teacher and

pupils have to possess these.

12. Teacher A was worried about the future of Business Studies in

Technology. The place of any of the contributing subjects is not

a certainty and in the future we may find that some subjects have

been "trimmed" or "removed" from Technology. It is not necessary

to have all the contributing subjects producing schemes of work

that cover all the Attainment Targets.





1. Teacher B placed emphasis on the fact that the role of

Business Studies has changed since the introduction of the

National Curriculum. Business Studies has always had a role at

G.C.S.E level but not in the lower school. For the first time

Business Studies has a role to play, in Technology. Teacher B

suggested that Business Studies teachers, like all Technology

teachers, have to follow the guide-lines set down by the National

Curriculum, but they cannot complain as Technology introduces

pupils to Business Studies at an early age. Teacher B found the

National Curriculum reducing his autonomy and choice in the lower

school which did not compare favourably with his upper school

work. He had greater choice over what was taught and how it was

taught to G.C.S.E pupils.

2. Teacher B felt that many of the Attainment Targets and levels

were new to Business Studies teachers, particularly the design

and problem solving process and so he had to adopt methods and

strategies to suit this new approach. Those adopted were not

necessarily of his own choice but were used in order to fulfil

the National Curriculum guidelines.

3. Despite the fact that teacher B had been to several

conferences and courses, many at weekends, he was careful to

point out that none of these courses were consultative. Business

Studies teachers have never been led to believe that their views

would be listened to. However, teacher B suggested that someone

somewhere took the decision to include Business Studies in

National Curriculum Technology. He was not aware of any

consultation that had taken place between even Business Studies

Advisory teachers and the D.E.S or C.A.T.S or any other


4. Teacher B stated that the individual teacher can set the

overall theme that the class consider in their projects but the

Attainment Targets are the tasks that the pupils must aim to

complete successfully. The teachers task is to ensure that this

takes place. Teacher B gave the example of Attainment Target 5

"Information Technology", stating that all Technology teachers

have to ensure that they contribute to this target. In this way a

new task has been introduced.

5. Teacher B emphasised the importance of the National Curriculum

to Business Studies and especially in the lower school (years 7

and 8) where it was central to all teaching. He suggested that as

the National Curriculum progressed up the school it would assume

the same importance in the upper school. At the moment there is

some flexibility especially in years 10 and 11 regarding the

nature of what is taught.

6. Teacher B believes that Business Studies has not become

deskilled. Business Studies has never had a role in the lower

school and so Business Studies teachers are happy to introduce

their subject to pupils who under normal conditions would not

experience it. However, when questioned further teacher B did

admit that he was not happy with the general content of the

National Curriculum with regard to Business Studies because some

of the content had been simplified.

7. Teacher B implied that the skills required to teach Business

Studies in the lower school were very basic and that detail was

not required. Compared to the detail needed in the upper school

the skills were simple .

8. The teacher suggested that there had been an increase in the

amount of surveillance especially in the form of record keeping.

His subject is expected to keep detailed records on each pupil

with specific reference to the Attainment Targets and Levels of

Attainment, as this is statutory by law and parents can insist on

seeing them. Pupil evidence must also be kept. Teacher B stated

that on the whole paper work had increased drastically..

9. Business Studies, according to teacher B had not seen a

decrease in creativity since the introduction of the National

Curriculum. In the lower school pupils are encouraged to direct

themselves and make their own decisions (within the limits of the

National Curriculum). Teacher B stressed that this was a new

approach for Business Studies as pupils could use the knowledge

they had gained in other Technology areas and apply it to

Business Studies. Although the pupils may not build up as many

skills as they once did under a traditional Business Studies

approach, they do go through quite a creative process and so does

the teacher.

10. Teacher B implied that it was difficult to compare schools to

factories. However, the style of management that has been adopted

by some headteachers and senior management reflects a need for

examination success. With emphasis placed on the importance of

good exam success, pressure has been increased on the classroom

teacher. As a result teachers tend not to stray from the

guidelines of the National Curriculum keeping one factor in mind,

pushing pupils up the Levels of Attainment. At the end of a

school year the most important product of all is exam passes and

this will increase when testing at Key Stage Three begins.

11. Teacher B stated that he has had to develop some new skills

in order to teach Attainment Targets, that contain new aspects of

the subject Technology. For example, "Planning and Making". In

Business Studies pupils in the past have had to plan projects and

even products but they have never had to "make". Business Studies

teachers have tried to develop simple model making skills and

graphics skills. However, teacher B stressed that most Business

Studies teachers have trained themselves in these areas and felt

that they could not achieve as high a standard as properly

trained or qualified staff with these specialisms. For example

Craft, Design and Technology teachers who had completed a degree.

12. Teacher B suggested that Business Studies teachers had a

secure "foothold" in the National Curriculum. On the other hand

there were five contributing subjects in Technology and it would

be easy to be cynical and say that eventually some subjects or

teachers could be removed from Technology. Under L.M.S. this may

be an attractive prospect especially if economic restraints

continue. Teacher B insisted that it would be possible for a

non-specialist in Business Studies to learn enough skills to

deliver this aspect of the National Curriculum.





1. Teacher C offered the point of view; before the National

Curriculum, teachers had too much autonomy and the subject had

been relatively unstructured. Teachers in different schools and

sometimes in the same school, were approaching Craft, Design and

Technology in their own unique way. A coercive policy between the

Local Education Authorities did not exist. Teacher C viewed

"autonomy is parallel to anarchy". This problem does not exist

with the National Curriculum, although teacher C disagrees with

it's content.

2. Teacher C stated that before the National Curriculum there was

a greater choice regarding the methods and strategies employed by

teachers. However, there was no control, no expectations and no

indicators of quality and performance. The way teachers taught

was never assessed for success or failure because the examination

results were associated with the pupil and not the teacher.

3. Teacher C described the way that todays Technology presents

the pupils with a theme and through this the contributing

Technology subjects deliver a "design and technology capability".

This change had been forced but by misled individuals who are

unclear about the meaning of Technology or Design and Technology

4. Teacher C put forward the view that the National Curriculum

does not entirely set the tasks for pupils or teachers. He

suggested that the Programmes of Study are just advice and could

be described as suitably vague. However, teacher C did emphasise

that the purpose of the Programmes of Study were to push pupils

to higher Levels of Attainment.

5. Teacher C accepted that the Attainment Targets and Programmes

of Study (to a lesser extent) were the backbone of the subject.

6. Teacher C argued that the deskilling takes place only if your

subject does not take part in the entire process, therefore, not

covering all the Attainment Targets. He regards the Attainment

Targets and Levels as skills that the pupil is trying to achieve.

7. Teacher C again suggested that the deskilling of the teacher

can only take place if the teacher does not deliver all the

Attainment Targets. For most non C.D.T. teachers the National

Curriculum may increase their Technology skills and reduce their

subject specialist skills.

8. Teacher C felt that there had been a lack of "quality control

systems" in the past, but the increase record keeping and the

prospect of appraisal would reverse this trend.

9. According to teacher C there had been a decrease in the

creativity of the subject. This was due to what he saw as

non-Technology specialists (such as Business Studies teachers and

Home Economics teachers) attempting to deliver a design and

problem solving approach without adequate training or experience.

10. Teacher C suggested that if the National Curriculum had been

interpreted by schools correctly, the production line process

that exists today would be less apparent. In theory pupils should

be able to go to any of the contributing subject areas during

Technology lessons, as part of the problem solving process.

However, most schools have not allowed Technology to develop in

this way.

11. Some new skills have emerged, such as those gained by forward

looking teachers who have reskilled themselves with Information

Technology skills. However, this does not compensate for the loss

of a detailed design and problem solving process.

12. Teacher C suggested the future for those teachers who have

changed their teaching methods and up-dated their subject skills,

should be secure. However, for most teachers this was not the

case because generally the teachers delivering Technology had a

poor understanding of what is expected. He saw the future as been

the introduction of Technology teachers who had been specifically

trained with a broad spectrum of skills.





1. Teacher D claimed that before the National Curriculum he had a

larger degree of autonomy but there had still been some

restrictions. In the days of woodwork and metalwork, teachers had

to ensure that the pupils developed skills that would help their

progress when entering the fourth and fifth year and could cope

with C.S.E and G.C.E. This meant that a course had to be

constructed in such a way that the practical skills were taught.

2. According to teacher D, methods have also changed

significantly. The National Curriculum has to be taught in a

certain way, with pupils being self-directing and working in

groups. Group teaching and individual work may be going on in a

class at the same time. The old methods of whole class teaching

with all pupils completing practical work, are not relevant

today. The change to GCSE examinations started the push towards

these strategies.

3. The change has been orchestrated by the National Curriculum,

stated teacher D. It has been rushed into operation with

apparently little discussion. Teacher D felt that S.E.A.C and the

other examinations bodies appear to have exclusive rights over

Technology (the fact that many of the skills that were once

taught by all the Technology subjects, have been over simplified,

was offered as evidence). Furthermore, teacher D suggested that

S.E.A.C seem to be unwilling to use techniques, methods and

subject content, that had, only a few years before, been regarded

as good practice.

4. Teacher D drew his conclusions from the SAT trials. The

Consortium for Assessment and Testing in Schools, provided the

area to be studied for the project and the programmes of study

from the National Curriculum. (Teacher D was wrong to suggest

that the SAT provided the project, however, it was his

impression). Teacher D clearly described the method of assessment

whereby the teacher marks the completed work by allocating levels

within each Attainment Target.

5. Teacher D believed that the National Curriculum had to be

followed and could not be avoided.

6. Teacher D claimed that the practical skills had virtually

disappeared along with much of the time that was spent with

pupils making their products. It is not only the practical skills

such as engineering or woodworking that have declined but also

the attention that C.D.T could pay to the quality of a pupils

presentation. These precision skills are no longer important, as

pupils are encouraged to put their ideas on paper, quickly and

without following a design sequence. The real skills (claimed

teacher D) once covered by subjects like Engineering, Woodwork,

Technical Drawing and later subjects like C.D.T, Technology (not

to be confused with National Curriculum Technology) and Graphics

/ Design Communication, have been reduced "markedly".

7. Teacher D felt strongly that his teaching skills had also been

reduced. As the subject skills had been reduced so it was not

necessary for the teacher to possess or display as many skills

personally. Interestingly, teacher D, suggested that it is now

possible to teach Technology from a number of teaching packs

available on the market, many of which offer example projects,

following Programmes of Study and Attainment Targets

8. Teacher D, like many of the other teachers interviewed,

explained that teachers in any National Curriculum subject are

more accountable than they have ever been. He also said that,

especially in Technology, which had a number of contributing

subjects, it was important to keep an upto date record of a

pupil's progress (as much for staff benefit as for the pupil and

parent). Records of a pupil's progress are passed from one

Technology teacher to the next as classes move from one area to


9. Teacher D suggested that the subject was more creative as

little as four years ago. Pupils designed and produced items that

were well presented and made, with an eye to quality. The

National Curriculum sets pupils tasks whereby they come up with

contrived, artificial needs and so confines their natural

creativity. Teachers are affected in the same way.

10. Teacher D stated that the record keeping and up-dating of

records gave the feeling of "routine office work". When prompted

with regard to whether he felt the levels and Attainment Targets

increase the possible existence of a production line, he agreed.

11. No, was the answer

12. Teacher D gave the impression that all the three C.D.T

subjects were threatened and that they could easily be reduced to

just one subject. Redundancy he saw as a threat. He agreed that

it is now possible for just one non-specialist teacher to present

a viable Technology subject.





1. Teacher E said that the National Curriculum had taken away the

variety of choice and autonomy that she once had. Her main

argument was centred on the fact that when the National

Curriculum progresses to Key Stage 4 (years 10 and 11) the choice

of syllabuses will have disappeared or been severely reduced. She

suggested that she had to keep this in mind when teaching the

lower school pupils and that the Attainment Targets and

Programmes of Study were central to her preparation. This had

taken away the wide range of activities that she presented to

pupils before Technology was introduced.

2. Teacher E implied that the teaching strategies she had used in

the past were largely based on individual work that was

relatively easy to assess. However, now that pupils can decide on

the general direction of their work and projects, there has been

a move towards group work which has led to a radical change in

the organisation of the class. Often the class cannot be taught

as a whole as they are working on individual and very different

projects. The pupils are often dealt with individually. Teacher E

felt this had resulted in a change in her teaching style.

3. Teacher E said that she was not aware of any consultation

taking place with regard to the structure or content of National

Curriculum Technology and that it was her opinion that other

subjects had been treated the same way. She gave the example of

the Standard Assessment trials her school had participated in.

The questionnaires the staff had completed and returned to the

Consortium for Testing ad Assessment in Schools, had not even

merited a reply. It was as if they did not take notice of any

suggestions put forward by the classroom teacher.

4. Teacher E insisted that teachers did have some choice over the

nature of the tasks that were set for the pupils and that they

usually began with a general theme. However, in reality, she felt

that pupils and teachers had only a limited amount of discretion

over the subject matter. She regarded her main task as ensuring

that pupils covered the Attainment Targets and achieved as high a

level as possible. Further to this, the National Curriculum

governs almost all the work we do in the classroom.

5. Teacher E admitted that the National Curriculum was the most

important part of her subject especially in the lower school and

that it was beginning to influence the way she taught in the

upper school.

6. Teacher E was adamant that the pupils were not building up as

many skills now that they were following the National Curriculum

and that the design and problem solving approach does not replace

the skills the subject had lost. Pupils now find it difficult

when they want to attempt some practical work because the

National Curriculum does not allow the teaching of these basic

skills. Five years ago practical work was very important but now

it is only required occasionally.

7. Teacher E emphasised the lack of practical work in the lower

school. She regarded these as the skills of her specialism and

the fact that the number had been reduced and in some cases

removed in the lower school meant that a less skilled teacher

could teach successfully. She suggested also that there was, at

times, still a need for a Home Economics specialist.

8. Most teachers interviewed stressed the importance of record

keeping and this respondent was no exception. She was well aware

of the need to keep accurate records and have all marking up to

date. She suggested that the reliance on record keeping had

increased over the last two years and that it now interfered with

classroom teaching and preparation. She emphasised the role

played by the "Records of Achievement" which recorded National

Curriculum progression and set targets for the future. She also

came to the conclusion that this record keeping was for the

benefit of a wider audience than usual, including parents and

pupils, employers and further education establishments. She

emphasised how important it was to be careful concerning what was

written on the "R.O.As".

9. This teacher has come to the conclusion that much of the

enjoyment and creativity has been removed from her classroom.

This includes the practical work which in the past had dominated

the subject and could be extremely creative, from both the

teachers and pupils point of view.

10. Teacher E did not feel that the National Curriculum had

introduced the feel of a production line into teaching, although

it was now possible to say what skills and knowledge it was

necessary for pupils to be taught in one or two years time. This

was all written into the National Curriculum Technology. The

progression of pupils up the Levels of Attainment could be seen

as a type of production line.

11. Teacher E has not found the need to develop any new skills

and even the increased record keeping did not involve


12. Teacher E was concerned about her future and the future of

her subject. She had the impression that eventually all the

contributing subjects of National Curriculum Technology would

amalgamate to form one subject. There would be less staff

delivering the curriculum and obviously jobs would be at risk.

Furthermore, there may not be a need for specialist staff in the

lower school.





1. Teacher F felt that she had more choice before the

introduction of the National Curriculum. Furthermore, she was

able to teach areas of the subject that are not required as part

of the new syllabus.

2. Before the National Curriculum she could be more flexible in

what she taught and the strategies / methods she used. The

National Curriculum has restricted the choice of not only subject

material but also teaching strategies. Teacher F stated that the

pupils and the new curriculum now determine the strategies used

by the teacher.

3. Teacher F suggested that the National Curriculum had imposed

sweeping changes in the form of subject content and the methods

employed by teachers. No opportunity had been given to contribute

to the structure of the curriculum.

4. Teacher F emphasised the role of the new SATs that will set

precisely the tasks or themes to be examined by pupils. They also

state the Programmes of Study that must be investigated. This

will also mean that the teacher has to follow even more stringent

guidelines than those that the National Curriculum sets. The

National Curriculum is the "higher authority determining our


5. Teacher F stated that the National Curriculum was the backbone

of the subject and that this would become more obvious as the

years progressed.

6. To a certain extent the National Curriculum has led to a

reduction of skills. Specialist subjects are finding it

impossible to cover the areas or skills they once had time to

complete. The National Curriculum restricts what can be taught

and the detail given to each topic. Consequently both the

teachers and pupils are less skilled.

7. See question 6

8. Teacher F believed that "parent power" had been on the

increase for a number of years and the National Curriculum meant

that this had grown out of all proportion. It is all part of

government surveillance over teachers and the work carried out in

the classroom.

9. Before the National Curriculum teaching and being taught was

more creative, suggested teacher F. The reduction of the amount

of practical work (cooking) and its replacement by paper work had

led to this situation.

10. Teacher F suggested that the production line existed even

with the old practical approach, as the pupils had to perform a

variety of practical tests as they progressed up the school.

However, now this situation is more formalised as the pupils move

up the Levels of Attainment. This has increased the production

line atmosphere within the school.

11. Teacher F had the opinion that no new skills had been

developed since the introduction of the National Curriculum.

12. The fear of job insecurity was emphasised by teacher F. She

felt that the time would arise when it would not be necessary for

individual specialists to contribute to National Curriculum

Technology. It would be possible to deliver the National

Curriculum with a reduction in Staffing.





1. Teacher G stated that before the National Curriculum there had

been more freedom to choose the way one went about teaching Home

Economics and this had been reflected in the enjoyment the pupils

displayed in lesson time. The pupils could be directed into a

range of interesting areas, most of which do not fit the National

Curriculum criteria.

2. Teacher G said that the National Curriculum had changed her

teaching style and instead of broadening the areas she once

taught, it had restricted them to a problem solving process. In

theory, pupils are allowed to direct themselves but this quite

often means that pupils keep to the skills they have already

built up and therefore, they do not try new skills. Teacher G

claimed that the National Curriculum had changed her pattern of

teaching in that it did not allow her to intervene or give advice

to pupils concerning problem solving, as much as she would like.

3. As a Technology Coordinator, teacher G emphasised when she

attended meetings regarding the implementation of Technology, it

was mainly to listen to the latest changes. Little time at

meetings was given to suggested changes to the National


4. Teacher G regarded monitoring staff as her most inportant

task, ensuring that work was been constantly assessed / marked

and pupil records were been kept. As a classroom teacher she felt

her main responsibility was to guide pupils through the

Attainment Targets. She suggested that as teachers our main task

was to follow the National Curriculum.

5. Teacher G agreed that in the lower school the National

Curriculum was the backbone of all teaching, and inevitably it

would be just as important in the upper school.

6. Teacher G stated that her subject does not cover the content

it once did and that Home Economic teachers had to be very

careful what skills they chose to teach, in an attempt to cover

as many Attainment Targets as possible. She took the traditional

stance in saying that Home Economic teachers had to find a

compromise between passing on skills to pupils that would be

useful in the home and still fulfilling the National Curriculum

requirements. The range of techniques now covered in Home

Economics had been reduced by the National Curriculum.

7. Teacher G said that less adventurous and therefore less

skilful techniques were used in todays Home Economics classroom,

as the time was not available for pupils to build up techniques.

She felt there was less of a need for any subject specific

specialist and that this was definitely the case in Home


8. Teacher G gave a detailed account on how "marking out of 10"

had ceased and how Technology teachers now had to keep records /

reports referring constantly to Levels. Some teachers retain

their own marking methods which are more understandable for

parents. However, this has increased their work load and the law

still expects us to make available pupil records for parents.

These records must make clear - a pupils' position in terms of

levels and Attainment Targets.

9. Teacher G regards the teaching of Home Economics as being less

creative due to a reduction in the amount of practical work. It

is less creative for the pupil and member of staff.

10. Teacher G suggested that a small minority of pupils still do

not realise that they are following the National Curriculum, as

such they do not realise they are on some form of "conveyor

belt". It is easy for the teacher to see the overall process

taking place.

11. Teacher G looked upon the old skills as serving her well

during her teaching service. She could not recall learning any

radically new skills.

12. Teacher G regarded Home Economics as having a diminishing

role within Technology. She believed prospects for her subject as

being bleak. She reiterated the fears of most Technology

teachers, that Technology would eventually be taught by one

Technology specialist.






1. Teacher H stated that in the past course content was the

decision of the teacher, quite often the teacher in the class

room. The National Curriculum had made this situation difficult

because of the necessity to conform to the requirements of other

subjects under the Technology umbrella. For example, when the

other contributing subjects need I.T. help, then the Information

Technology department will be called in to assist.

2. Teacher H stated that her methods of teaching had changed, to

a large extent. Instead of teaching a course for the whole

academic year, which followed the same timetabling pattern as the

other Technology subjects, I.T. finds itself without a set time

or place on the timetable. The role of the I.T. teacher, as part

of the National Curriculum, means that the subject is (in theory)

taught in a cross-curricular way. I.T. helps other subjects when

they need a "specialist" input.

3. Teacher H suggested that teachers, especially with reference

to Technology teachers, had little say in the construction of

National Curriculum Technology. She said that if this had been

the case, Information Technology would have the same proportion

of time on the timetable that it once enjoyed. She stated that

the National Curriculum did not deal with I.T. adequately.

4. Teacher H felt that the National Curriculum set the tasks of

the I.T. teacher, indirectly, because I.T. has to fit in with

other subjects and is at their "beck and call". All Technology

subjects have to follow the National Curriculum Attainment

Targets closely, and as a result the "tasks" are pre-determined.

5. Yes.

6. Teacher H stated that I.T. had lost more skills than any other

subject in Technology. The subject had lost the time it once had

to pass on the necessary skills to pupils. The time was not

available to teach many of the aspects of I.T. As a consequence

pupils leave the I.T. rooms lacking the skills that once could be

taken for granted as being taught.

7. Teacher H compared the teaching of I.T. to a "fast food

outlet". The pupils spend a short time in the I.T. rooms,

enabling them to fulfil the requirements of the National

Curriculum and then they return to whatever subject they came

from. As stated earlier, the pupils possess less I.T. skills

(such as; spreadsheets or database skills). Consequently the

teacher requires less knowledge of these skills in order to teach

his / her subject. Teaching skills have suffered.

8. The need for careful record keeping was emphasised by teacher

H. Evidence that the pupil has achieved a certain level must also

be kept and this has increased the work-load of I.T. teachers.

9. Teacher H insisted that creativity had suffered within I.T.

The pupils spend less time in the I.T. rooms, they pick up less

skills, and cannot experiment with the variety of software they

once had time to use. The pupils are therefore less creative in

their output but also the teacher finds his / her job is less

creative and interesting.

10. Teacher H agreed that the Attainment Targets and Levels,

especially in the recording of pupils levels was rather like a

production line process. The pupils progress from one level to

another, in sequence. Also, the pupils move from one Technology

subject to another as part of a set rotation.

11. No

12. Teacher H regarded the future for I.T. teachers as quite

"frightening" with very few prospects to look forward to. At the

moment I.T. teachers feel insecure because of the lack of a place

on the official timetable. The emphasis placed on the need for a

cross-curricular approach has not been fully adopted by schools

and so the position of I.T. teachers was uncertain. As the

specialism of Information Technology recedes it is likely that

non-specialist could teach to a level required by the National






1. Teacher I suggested that before the National Curriculum there

was more autonomy and choice regarding both the subject matter

and the way it was taught. Even when less technically advanced

equipment (such as BBC computers) and less professional software

was available, there had been much more independence for the

teacher. The teacher could lead the pupils into any field of

interest which was especially important as computer systems, even

today, are changing rapidly. The National Curriculum has meant

that many Information Technology Teachers are unwilling to try

new software and prefer to use the tried and tested hardware that

fulfils the Attainment Targets. The I.T. teacher generally has

less time with the pupils because of the National Curriculum and

as a result has to ensure certain simple skills are taught, He /

she can not be adventurous.

2. Teacher I emphasised the lack of time that I.T. teachers now

have with pupils. This means that the limited skills have to be

taught quickly which results in a smaller range of strategies

being used. Teacher discretion has been replaced with the need to

provide pupils with facts and simple skills, consequently there

is no time to allow too much pupil discussion. Also the time is

not available to let pupils try out a range of software /

hardware. The National Curriculum has introduced a "modern

version of chalk and talk".

3. Teacher I stated that the National Curriculum had been imposed

and without any time being allowed for consultation and

discussion of the consequencies of the rapid introduction of a

new teaching system.

4. In I.T. the tasks are presented by the Levels of Attainment

which clearly state the skills or techniques the pupils must be

able to master. Teacher I also said that these pupil tasks

determined, in turn, the teacher's tasks.

5. Yes

6. Because of a reduction of the time allowed for Information

Technology and its demise as a separate subject, skills have

suffered. Less skills are introduced to the pupils and those that

are used, are simplified.

7. Teacher I stated that an Information Technology teacher

presenting the National Curriculum has no need for the

considerable skills a Computer Studies teacher needed five years

ago. Teacher I suggested that there was some question concerning

whether any specialists were now required to teach I.T.

8. Teacher I suggested that there had been a "ridiculous increase

in surveillance". He used the example of the "Salford Information

Technology Assessment Sheet". This was a detailed document, to be

used to record and assess a pupils progress in Information

Technology, across a number of subjects. The Information

Technology teacher / coordinator had to use this sheet for each

pupil and systematically assess a pupils progress in the use of

I.T. equipment, in subjects such as; Maths, History, Geography,

Balanced Science, Technology etc... Teacher I referred to this as

an "impossible task". These documents were open to scrutiny by

parents and pupils.

9. Teacher I believed that the creativity of the subject had

previously been based on the I.T. teachers ability to introduce

the pupils to a selection of equipment and software. However, the

pupils now faced a limited selection due to the restrictions of

the National Curriculum. Creativity had decreased for both

teacher and pupil.

10. Yes

11. Teacher I repeated the suggestion that skills had become

simplified for both teacher and pupil. Information Technology was

characterised by "deskilling".

12. Teacher I stated that all Technology teachers were worried

about the future of their subjects and jobs / prospects. It was

possible that in some small schools only one teacher would be

able to deliver viable Technology as defined by the National






1. Teacher J indicated that before the National Curriculum she

could carry out almost any project with a class so long as at the

end of the fifth year course the pupils had an exhibition that

showed that they had the ability to use a range of design and

practical skills. There was some structure to the course but on

reflection it was the teacher who determined its overall nature.

The pupils in the lower school were taught skills that slowly

increased with difficulty. Teacher autonomy had suffered.

2. Teacher J said that teaching strategies and methods had once

been a product of her own personal development. They did not

require the use of group work / discussion. The National

Curriculum had changed this situation. The teacher could direct

the class to any area of study and interest, covering any

necessary skills. Teacher J suggested that this was unlike the

National Curriculum whereby the pupils, in theory, directed

themselves with the aid of the teacher. The main strategy that

has evolved from the introduction of the National Curriculum has

been that of an "open door". Pupils can decide which specialism;

Home economics, C.D.T, Business Studies, Information Technology

or Art/Textiles, through which they answer their design problem.

In years past, the pupils would have been placed in rotation,

sampling each of the subjects, now they decide themselves.

This teacher felt that the way she teaches has changed and

that her role was one of an adviser or technician to the pupils,

answering their questions and covertly pointing the class in the

right direction. This appeared to be especially the case when the

Standard Assessment Tests were piloted in the Local Education


3. Teacher J felt strongly that the National Curriculum had been

imposed and that teachers had not asked for these changes and had

not been listened to. She implied that whoever had forced the

National Curriculum (Technology) onto schools had little teaching


4. This teacher believed that the National Curriculum sets the

Tasks and that these were the Attainment Targets and especially

the Programmes of Study. They were the tasks for both pupil and

teacher. In her teaching she attempted to relate all aspects of

the projects to the four Attainment Targets, leaving the

Information Technology Attainment Target to the I.T. teacher.

5. Despite attempts to put off, for as long as possible,

conforming to the National Curriculum, teacher J now understands

that it underpins all that is taught in her classroom. She

believes that employers will not accept it as a satisfactory

standard, however, it will still proceed into years 10 and 11.

6. The answer given by teacher J suggested, in definite terms,

that there had been a reduction in the number of skills that the

pupils acquire while taking Technology, as compared to

Art/Textiles in the past. The use of machining has been reduced

with the pupils spending more time on their own form of "record

keeping" and other paper work such as designing. Whilst the class

attempt the project it is not unusual for the machines to stand

idle for several weeks. This, insisted teacher J, contrasts the

reliance on machining skills that had once dominated the subject.

7. Teacher J put forward the view that almost any teacher could

teach National Curriculum Technology as in her opinion it seemed

to be a continuation of junior school work and teaching methods.

She described the specialisms as "old hat" and that they were

being further reduced. When this candidate was trained, practical

skills were the major part of the course, whereas now very few

practical skills are needed by the teacher.

8. Teacher J suggested that the number of parents evenings had

increased mainly as a result of the school having to advertise

itself more aggressively in the educational market place.

Surveillance has increased further with open evenings and the

inevitable reporting and paper work, tied into R.O.A and the

National Curriculum. Teacher J gave the example of her pupil

report that now gives a detailed account of the nature of her

subject as well as an "agreed comment" completed by the pupil.

9. Teacher J answered this question by saying that creativity had

been very important in her subject but with the reduction of the

number of skills that pupils now cover, the creativity side of

the subject had suffered. She said that this fact does not escape

the younger pupils when they see the older pupils work on

display. However, the pupils can still use their imaginations and

they come up with some interesting ideas and designs. But this

creativity cannot be transformed into a finished artifact.

10. Teacher J put forward the view that teachers have always been

part of a production line but with the National Curriculum this

was well defined. The imposition of directed time should be

followed by "clocking in and out" at the beginning and end of the

day, she suggested. However, all pupils are different and it is

sometimes difficult to treat them in the same way, they do not

all progress up the Levels of Attainment at the same rate.

11. Teacher J insisted that the only skill she had developed

since the introduction of the National Curriculum was record

keeping and that one could debate whether this was a new skill.

The National Curriculum had severely set back the Art/Textiles

contribution to the skill content of Technology.

12. Teacher J expressed grave worries about her future and the

future of all Technology teachers. She drew her conclusions from

rumours that staff from the Technology faculty could be lost as

the National Curriculum develops. She did not see all five

contributing subjects surviving especially if Technology becomes

a target for financial savings.

Teacher J suggested that at the moment there was no a need

for a textiles specialist with machining skills such as the

ability to use a knitting machine or even handicraft skills.





1. Teacher K expressed the opinion that autonomy had been reduced

since the introduction of the National Curriculum. He suggested

that fewer schemes now exist which means that the science teacher

has less choice. For example schemes such as "Suffolk Science"

are not as available as they once were and this leads to a lack

of variation of courses. He said that up to a few years ago, the

teacher could develop his/her own course in the lower school in

order to best prepare pupils for testing at examination times.

He regarded the Attainment Targets and Levels of Progress as

being "prescriptive" and that there had generally been a watering

down of productive science schemes.

2. Teacher K felt that there had been a definite reduction in the

choice of teaching methods he could adopt. He believed that there

was nothing wrong in using the text book approach with a reliance

on good practical. This had been replaced by the National

Curriculum with a need for a more general, open-ended approach

whereby the pupils discover for themselves. He was insistent that

individual pupil work had "gone out the window", except for the

testing that is required to enable Levels to be determined.

3. Teacher K stated that he or anyone he new in the teaching

profession had been consulted concerning the implementation of

the National Curriculum, or any changes that had taken place

since its introduction. He also said that the National Curriculum

Council had taken no notice of replies by teachers to their

limited information documents and that little time had been given

for such replies.

4. Teacher K gave the impression that generally the National

Curriculum did set the tasks for both pupils and teachers to

complete. For example, the "handling of data" (as outlined by the

science curriculum) had not always been part of science lessons,

however, now it had to be attempted. He put forward the

interesting suggestion that no longer was the teaching of "facts

and figures" an importantant task. This had been replaced by the

task of teaching the problem solving and discovery process.

5. Teacher K stressed that the National Curriculum had to be

followed and so was the framework and "substance" of all science


6. Teacher K regarded science skills as the body of knowledge

that is past on to the pupil. Therefore, he felt that there had

been a comprehensive reduction in skills past onto the pupil. As

he stated earlier, facts had become less important and these had

been replaced with an alternative approach.

7. Teacher K looked upon the teaching of Balanced Science as

opposed to Chemistry, Physics and Biology as less skilful. The

modern science teacher need only have a general affinity for the


8. There had been an increase in surveillance in the form of

record keeping, according to teacher K. However, much of this was

self produced. Very few official documents were available,

although this did not mean that the teacher was not accountable

for his / her work. The emphasis had been placed on the teacher

to record the pupils progress despite the lack of a unified

method of doing so. He did say that Salford Education Authority

had now produced a standard layout for record keeping.

9. Teacher K suggested that the subject science was less creative

as the teacher could only use one syllabus, the National

Curriculum. Variations on this did not exist.

10. He felt that teaching had always had elements of the

production line but this had seen an alarming increase over the

last three years. The way in which the teacher had to complete

topics with the classes and then move onto the next prescribed

topic, had inevitable given rise to the feel of a production


11. There had been the introduction of some new skills but these

were outweighed by the loss of others, according to teacher K.

The new skills included the pupil handling raw experimental data,

and the ability to carry out simple experiments. Research skills

were new.

12. Teacher K suggested that in the future there would not be

such a reliance on the need for teachers with a science

background or science qualification. A more generally skilled

(and therefore less skilled) teacher would be required. It may

also be possible for one teacher to deliver all the Attainment

Targets and Levels. However, it would still be necessary to have

a Science Department because the time allocated to the subject

means there is a need for several science teachers, in most






1. Teacher L feels that there have always been restrictions on

the autonomy of the teacher especially when dealing with

examination boards such as the J.M.B. The syllabus has always

been detailed and so the teacher had to follow exactly what was

stated. However, that did not stop the teaching of other topics

as time was available. In the past teacher L gave pupils a

photocopy of the syllabus so that pupils could follow the various

topics as they progressed through it.

However, this rigid framework has now appeared in the lower

school in the form of the National Curriculum and the pupils and

teachers record progress on "Level" record sheets. There is still

some room for a variety of approaches but this is disappearing

every time the National Curriculum is changed or amended.

2. Teacher L made it clear that teaching strategies have changed.

There is much less use of traditional text books that have been

used until quite recently. The "discovery" approach is popular

whereby pupils carry out more experiments and practical work,

recording their own results. There is much less "chalk and talk".

3. Teacher L felt that the National Curriculum had been imposed

and that the views of teachers were not asked for. Usually

changes have been introduced rapidly and without any consultation

and at times without warning.

4. Most teachers accept that the Attainment Targets and Levels

are the tasks as the Science National Curriculum clearly states

what is required of both teachers and pupils. According to

teacher L there is a set timetable of events with pupils expected

to reach certain levels at a particular age. Previously only the

G.C.S.Es directed teaching and set the tasks but this has

filtered down to Key Stage Three.

5. Teacher L regards the National Curriculum as the Science

teachers "bible".

6. Teacher L regards deskilling to have taken place in that there

is less factual knowledge taught and less use of tried and tested

text books. On the other hand pupils are expected to develop a

sense of experimentation and an understanding of practical work

(experiments). When pupils are questioned they have less of a

detailed understanding of "school boy science" than they did five

or six years ago but they are more confident and capable of

carrying out experiments.

7. Teacher L felt strongly that a person with a wider range of

skills is now called upon to teach Science. The days of Physics,

Chemistry and Biology teachers is at an end. The teacher need not

have a deep knowledge of any one area of science. This is not

necessarily a less skilled person, but this depends on your point

of view.

8. Teacher L suggested that the number of parents evenings and

open evenings were about the same but now the major difference

was that they were part of direct time and so had to be attended.

The increase in record keeping and reporting was regarded as

alarming especially the time consuming use of Records of

Achievement. Teacher L believed that the record keeping is aimed

at satisfying parents.

9. Teacher L thought that the creativity side of the subject has

increased with more reliance on experimental data, practical

activities and data collection.

10. Teacher L has always regarded himself as part of a production

line and that the pupils are the various components. Increased

record keeping and the National Curriculum only serves to confirm

this belief.

11. Only the skill regarded by teacher L as having developed with

the introduction of the National Curriculum has been the ability

to fill in forms (ie pupil record sheets).

12. The teacher suggests that science finds itself in a

privileged position. It is one of the governments favoured

subjects. However, the combination of Chemistry, Biology and

Physics to form Balanced Science may be a worrying development.

One wonders if this development is a result of a shortage of

specialist science teachers which has led to a less testing

science subject being introduced. Specialisms seem to be

disappearing slowly, although there is a need for specialist

staff still at G.C.S.E and A Level.





1. Teacher M found that she had more say concerning what was

taught before the National Curriculum was introduced but sees

several advantages with regards to increased pupil autonomy. The

increase in practical and individual discovery work that pupils

are engaged in, increases the pupils ownership of his/her work.

This teacher also finds that the Programmes of Study can be very

useful and do not necessarily reduce the influence of the teacher

with regard to what is taught in the classroom. Programmes of

study are meant as guidelines and examples.

2. Teacher M looks upon the National Curriculum as providing the

opportunity to introduce new teaching strategies and methods. The

way in which the National Curriculum is structured allows for

this. There has been a definite movement away from facts and

figures to a reliance on more individual project and experiment

based work.

3. This teacher looks upon the National Curriculum as being

imposed on teachers. Science staff have not been given a good

opportunity to put their views. Science teachers have found

themselves in an unusual position due to changes that have been

made to the Science National Curriculum. They find themselves

teaching variations of the curriculum to years 7, 8 and 9 having

not being given enough time to adjust to the original version.

4. The Attainment Targets are not regarded as tasks by this

teacher. She suggests that the Attainment Targets exist to assist

the teacher in the structuring of his / her class teaching and

preparation. However, many teachers look upon the ATs as the most

important aspect of the National Curriculum.

5. Yes. Teacher M suggests that no teacher can afford to ignore

the National Curriculum and must teach within its framework.

6. This depends on ones definition of the word "skill". Teacher M

explained that pupils in science carry out more individual work

in the form of experiments and the collection of data than pupils

were previously allowed. It is true to say that pupils five years

ago may have had more ability in science, in that they had a

greater knowledge of the facts. However, this does not

necessarily mean that they possessed more skills.

7. Teacher M regards teachers as having "considerably" more

skills now, although the skills may not be in the form of subject

specialist knowledge and qualifications. Teachers must be more

organised and increasingly capable of performing a range of

assessments. Teachers must also be able to evaluate pupils work

as well as his / her own.

8. Surveillance has increased in teacher M's school recently. She

suggests that in most other schools this is not the case. Teacher

M suggests that record keeping can have the benefit of serving as

a motivating force to pupils and teachers.

9. The level of creativity has increased under the National

Curriculum. Science teachers have to be more aware of the

"process" method of teaching whereby a pupil gains an

understanding of the processes involved in science rather than

facts and figures. The Attainment Targets are closely linked to

process related work.

10. According to teacher M all teachers are part of the

production process but it is not a particularly obtrusive

process. The National Curriculum has only slightly increased this


11. see question 7

12. Teacher M sees science as growing from strength to strength

with the introduction of the National Curriculum, although there

is a move towards Balanced Science. The only problem has been a

reduction of science time on the timetable, previously Chemistry,

Physics and Biology would have had more pupil contact time on the

timetable than combined Balanced Science. In this teachers school

the reduction was 38%.





1. Teacher N has found that the autonomy of the teacher has

suffered since the introduction of the National Curriculum. He

said that staff previously followed SMP maths and that although

this had been restrictive, in many ways the National Curriculum

now determined precisely what should be taught.

2. Tecaher N suggested that teaching styles had not changed

dramaticially as pupils were still taught through the models

provided by external bodies. Before the National Curriculum this

had been determined by SMP. However, the large number of

Attainment Targets and Levels of Attainment meant that the

teacher had to become more involved with the classroom activity

and that this had caused problems when dealing with the SATs.

These were regarded as virtually unmanageable, as the teacher had

little time to teach the class when these were being carried out.

Teacher N felt that assessment had taken over and that this had

never been the case in the past. The National Curriculum had

definitely caused the changes.

3. Teacher N felt strongly that the National Curriculum had been

imposed and that Maths Departments generally had little say in

its development. Even though one member of the department had

been a Northern Examination Board representative on the

Consortium for Assessment and Tesing in Schools (for Maths)

little consultation with the school took place. Teacher N

suggested that the CATs representative did enable the department

to keep up-to-date with changes although this was an unusal case

as most Maths Departments, in other schools, were kept in the


4. The National Curriculum in maths is quite specific and clearly

states what should be taught. Teacher N stated that there are

five broad headings; Number, Algebra, Measurement, Shape, Space

and Handling Data. Each heading has within it several Attainment

Targets and levels. The maths teacher usually builds tasks around

each Attainment Target.

5. Teacher N stated that the National Curriculum "guides our

every move" and that teachers could not stray from its


6. Teacher N offered the opinion that maths had not suffered too

greatly from deskilling. Pupils still covered a range of topics

and skills. Although many traditional maths teachers felt that

basic maths skills had suffered, such as a pupil's ability to

successfully carry out mental arithmetic.

7. Teacher N suggested that there was less of a need to possess a

degree or even an A'level in Maths in order to teach it to

G.C.S.E level. In fact my attention was drawn to teachers of

maths in this school who between them, did not possess a degree

or even A'levels in maths. Only one of the four members of the

maths department had a formal maths qualification above O'level.

Therefore, the skills of the teacher had seen some reduction

although teacher N blamed this on a lack of maths graduates

willing to follow a career in teaching.

8. Teacher N suggested that surveillance had increased in the

form of the Standard Assessment Tests which were the most

difficult part of the National Curriculum. The amount of

surveillance and work load imposed by the SATs meant it was now

impossible to teach a class when the SATs were being attempted.

The SATs required a detailed report on the work covered by each

child and their progress throughout the SAT activity. Teacher N

suggested that some parents had shown an interest in the

possibility of seeing the SAT work completed by their children,

even though this was just a pilot scheme.

9. Teaching maths had always been creative, although it was more


10. Teacher N felt that the amount of repetitive clerical work

had increased and that this could, at times, feel like a

production line. Teaching the pupils during the SAT activities

also felt like a production line, especially when the assessment

procedures were being followed.

11. Teacher N stated that no new skills had been adopted.

12. Teacher N definitely felt that a specialist maths teacher

would be required, not that the skills were demanding but an

understanding of assessment procedures and the National

Curriculum required the teachers full attention. Teacher N also

suggested, because of the priority given to maths in the media

and by politicians, maths would always be recognised as an

important subject.





1. Teacher O felt that maths teachers could follow a variety of

schemes of work before the National Curriculum, such as "Journey

Through Maths" or even the SMP maths schemes. Also the teacher

could direct the pace of work and number of topics covered.

Although the Head of Department has always had the final say,

teacher O admitted that in general, maths teachers had more

autonomy before the recent changes.

2. Teacher O stated that modern National Curriculum Maths

appears to ensure that the teacher allows pupils to progress at

their own speed of development. This means that within a class

pupils are at any number of Levels of Attainment. Methods and

strategies have had to change too as teaching maths is now based

on helping pupils individually, with the change over from one

topic to another not clearly defined. There has been no choice

regarding the change.

3. Teacher O believed that the National Curriculum had been

imposed although it has been gradually introduced. There had been

no consultation other than the occasional vague questionnaire at

the end of SAT trials. Teacher O suggested that an example of the

way the National Curriculum had been introduced was to be seen in

the way the SATs have recently been changed. Now they are to be

based on written tests rather than course work.

4. Teacher O referred to the National Curriculum "A Pupil

Version" which definitely sets tasks for the pupils to complete.

For example, Attainment Target 4 "Number - Estimation" says quite

clearly what knowledge must be taught and the skills the pupils

must understand. Not only do the pupils know the tasks themselves

but they must complete these in order to progress up the levels.

In the same way as the pupil is restricted, teacher O suggested

that the teacher was also restricted in his / her methods of

teaching and lesson content.

5. Teacher O stated that the pupil version of the National

Curriculum used in this school was the backbone of the subject

and had to be followed almost to the letter.

6. Teacher O suggested that the skills that were taught had

changed but it depended on ones definition of "skills".

Arithmetic had once been the main skill but now pupils had to

complete a broader range of skills, a more relevant course.

Teacher O felt that the skills now taught reflected the changing

needs of the pupils but also emphasised that many would disagree.

7. Teacher O suggested that the modern maths teacher needed to

have a diversity of skills rather than specialist knowledge. A

broader range of general skills were required.

8. Teacher O stated that surveillance had increased especially

with the use of the "Pupil Version" of the National Curriculum.

Pupils and parents now knew exactly what work had to be covered

and how their children had progressed. The National Curriculum

had been behind most of the changes.

9. Teacher O felt that the creativity side of the subject had

suffered as the National Curriculum, despite broadening skills,

still determined how the teacher delivered lessons. Innovation

was now a slow process.

10. Teacher O suggested that the way the pupils progressed,

especially through their own work booklets, did mean that lessons

were geared towards pushing pupils up the levels. This did help

create the atmosphere of a production line of "some type", for

both teacher and pupil. The pupils generally progressed up the

levels at a steady pace.

11. Teacher O stated that no new skills had been developed,

although "traditional" maths teachers may have had to broaden

their outlook and general subject skills.

12. Maths as a subject is very secure and even though the skills

/ knowledge required to teach this subject had been

"generalised". Maths was important politically and therefore jobs

in this subject are secure. Teacher O reminded the interviewer

that there had been some discussion nationally that suggested in

the future maths teachers could expect more pay than other

subject teachers.





1. Teacher P felt that there had not been a reduction in teacher

autonomy, in so much that the documentation provided by the

National Curriculum gave the teacher a large amount of self

direction. However, she was inclined to believe that the way in

which it has been interpreted by higher authority (Local

Education Authority) meant that teacher autonomy had suffered.

The structure of the Standard Assessment Tasks in English had

changed from its original form. Before the changes course work

accounted for 70% of the marks whilst the examination at Key

Stage Three was 30%. Now course work accounted for only 20% and

the written examination had seen an increase to 80%. Autonomy had

suffered as the teacher could no longer emphasised skills such as

"imaginative writing" over which the teacher had direct control.

This teacher felt that the assessment procedures meant that the

teacher was limited to teaching within the confines of the

National Curriculum.

2. Teaching strategies had not changed dramatically. However, the

National Curriculum had to be followed, which meant that certain

skills were looked upon as important (ie Reading and Writing AT2

and AT3) whereas others such as Speaking and Listening (AT1) were

less important. This inevitably changed the emphasis of lessons

and teaching strategies.

3. Teacher P believed that the National Curriculum had been

imposed. Although limited consultation had taken place this

teacher felt that little notice had been taken of replies to

consultation documents. For example, replies to the consultative

document - the "Cox" document - which had been sent to the

government, had been dismissed.

4. Teacher P believes that tasks have not been set for teachers

or pupils to complete. However, certain skills have to be

covered. For example, the "KAL" (Knowledge About Language)

profile component which is part of the National Curriculum, has

to be taught but the teacher can use the appropriate techniques.

The profile components read like a list of skills or tasks but

they are suitably vague.

5. Teacher P felt strongly that the National Curriculum was the

backbone of English as it was written into the Education Acts.

6. Teacher P has not found that there has been a reduction in the

skill content of English. However, a "wholelistic approach" has

to be taken as there has been an increase in the amount of

material and skills to be covered. This meant that the skills

acquired by the pupils were not as complex but they did gain a

wider range of skills.

7. Teacher P was inclined to believe that the skills an English

teacher required in order to teach in the classroom, had not

suffered or been reduced.

8. Teacher P suggested that at this present time surveillance

over the work of an English teacher had not increased. BUT this

would not be the case in the future. The English Department was

to be the first department in the school to be evaluated by the

Local Education Authority and the success of the subject would be

assessed. Also, with the National Curriculum, there would be an

increase in the number of subject moderators to ensure that the

National Curriculum was being followed in every school.

9. Teacher P expressed the view that English as a subject

possessed the same amount of creativity as it did before the

National Curriculum and that teaching English was still as

creative as ever.

10. Teacher P did not feel part of a production process although

she felt that the monitoring and evaluation introduced by the

National Curriculum would, in future, ensure full compliance with

the directives. It was not the National Curriculum that led to

production line methodology but the way in which the it had been


11. No new skills had been developed by this teacher.

12. Teacher P maintained that at the moment it was necessary to

have specialist English teachers. However, in the future it may

be possible for less skilled/trained teachers to deliver English.

The main reason for this was the introduction of published

schemes of work which led to reliance on booklets with the

subject content "set in concrete".