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What Should Schools Teach?

How often do you hear the phrase “Schools should teach…” in the media?

We’ve noticed that barely a week goes by without a well-meaning person or organisation insisting that something else is added to the curriculum, often without any consideration as to how it could be fitted into an already-squeezed school day. Obviously the curriculum needs to be updated and improved upon over time, and some of the topics proposed are incredibly important. However, there are only so many hours in the school week, and we believe that teachers and schools are the ones best placed to decide what their students need to know, and not have loads of additional things forced on them by government because of lobbying by others.

With all this in mind, we kept track of as many of these proposals as we could throughout 2018 – and we made a short summary of our findings: Clogging up the Classroom – the jostle for curriculum content.

We are now doing the same thing for 2019. Will the list be even bigger than before? We currently have 114 entries:

Title Date
Hinds: Schools should ban single-use plastics by 2022 27/12/2018
Pupils should ditch gadgets and climb trees in 2019, Damian Hinds tells schools 29/12/2018
Too many children are denied the joy of classical music 02/01/2019
Focus on making January your most productive month by learning skills, developing your CV and applying for jobs 06/01/2019
Schoolchildren to be offered sleep lessons after rise in disorders 07/01/2019
More pressure to put menstrual wellbeing on curriculum 07/01/2019
Mental Health By Megan Jones Tolworth Girls School 08/01/2019
Schools told to teach pupils about cutting back on sugar in maths and English lessons 08/01/2019
Piers Morgan and Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner in Twitter spat over ‘fashionable’ mental illness comments 10/01/2019
A 16-year-old’s petition on mental health is a must-sign 10/01/2019
Kids ‘should analyse porn videos at school to prepare them for real-life sex’ 14/01/2019
Cookery lessons should be compulsory in schools 15/01/2019
‘Let them be children!’ Sex expert claims that masturbation should be taught to pupils as young as EIGHT – leaving This Morning viewers horrified 18/01/2019
Scottish schools urged to teach film as part of curriculum 19/01/2019
Social media abuse: Is it time for a rethink about how we treat others online? 21/01/2019
Calls grow for schools to teach lessons on porn 21/01/2019
Can we teach our children to spot fake news? 22/01/2019
Boost careers advice in primaries, says Teach First 23/01/2019
Should driving be taught in schools? Youngsters say yes 23/01/2019
Cumbrian first aid trainer calls on schools to teach life-saving skills 23/01/2019
Better to smash the class ceiling than rage at it 28/01/2019
Petition calls for food and farming to be made a school subject 29/01/2019
Teaching kids about money: should parents or teachers take responsibility? 29/01/2019
Call for teachers to protect mental health of young carers 31/01/2019
Here’s an idea for an educational revolution that’s actually useful — let’s start teaching sleeping skills 04/02/2019
We can’t allow Holocaust denial into our schools 04/02/2019
Eight in ten concerned by ‘judgmental’ mental health lessons 04/02/2019
Let’s face it, social media isn’t going anywhere 05/02/2019
Sevenoaks mums launch digital challenge to get kids off social media 05/02/2019
Heywood teen’s fight to get sign language taught in schools 06/02/2019
Over 9 in 10 want children to be taught how to support others with mental health issues 06/02/2019
Children should be taught about knife crime dangers at school 06/02/2019
Teachers told to talk about knife crime with pupils from age of 9 07/02/2019
Shilpa T-Hyland: my big frustration is that we don’t teach anything about Empire in schools’ 12/02/2019
Unholy row in Italy after education ministry offers teachers exorcism courses 15/02/2019
Five Things High Schoolers Need To Know More Than Computer Science 18/02/2019
MPs call for 1p clothing tax and darning classes in schools to cut waste 19/02/2019
Teachers to join climate protests to demand curriculum reform 21/02/2019
Teach political literacy in schools to avoid the ignorance of 2016 25/02/2019
Stop self-harm crisis and teach mental health to kids in school classrooms 26/02/2019
Sew on trend: The rise and rise of DIY clothes designers 26/02/2019
Primary schools must teach computing 26/02/2019
Junk bad food and save our children from life of illness, says TAM FRY 03/03/2019
Four former Home Secretaries back Mirror’s campaign to tackle knife crime epidemic 05/03/2019
Teaching first aid in primary schools could save lives 07/03/2019
Let’s talk about sexting, consent and online relationships 08/03/2019
Oracy is more than a tool for teaching knowledge 09/03/2019
Schools need to reboot and teach new skills 13/03/2019
Lorraine Kelly backs campaign to teach CPR skills to every young Scot 13/03/2019
Lenny Henry tells heads ‘I want to see paintbrushes in their hands, not knives’ 16/03/2019
It’s out of control’ – parents of murdered schoolboy Luke Walmsley plead for tougher sentences amid UK knife crime crisis 17/03/2019
Akala Praised For Knife Crime Debate On GMB 18/03/2019
Ten things schools can do to address the climate crisis 18/03/2019
Sadiq Khan Exclusive: ‘Why should a girl or woman change the clothes she wears because there is some pervert acting inappropriately?’ 19/03/2019
Bake Off judge calls for immediate packed lunch ban 20/03/2019
Call for DfE to implement healthy schools rating scheme 20/03/2019
Call to put Wikipedia editing on national curriculum 22/03/2019
GCSEs: 4 tips for invigilators to support anxious pupils 23/03/2019
Being An Adult Doesn’t Happen Until You’re Thirty 24/03/2019
Breast ironing awareness ‘needed in school’ 26/03/2019
Food allergies: ‘I lost my best friend when she had a reaction’ 26/03/2019
Extremism is global education fight, says Blair 27/03/2019
Online porn has changed children for ever 27/03/2019
Why fertility education must be on the curriculum 27/03/2019
School teacher speaks out about “drugs problem” in Harpenden schools 28/03/2019
A teenager’s plan for cricket: We asked a 14-year-old what the sport must do to reach his generation 28/03/2019
Teach your students to search smart on the internet 29/03/2019
Matt Haig: teach children about mental health as readily as road safety 31/03/2019
Home Office set to place legal duty on doctors, teachers and social workers to spot signs of knife crime involvement 01/04/2019
Careers education ‘should start from age 2’ 01/04/2019
The real me is much more vulnerable and afraid. Turning into someone else is a coping mechanism’: This candid Ryan Reynolds interview will melt your heart 01/04/2019
TV doc writes prescription banning ‘addicted’ gamer, 11, from Fortnite and Minecraft for two weeks 02/04/2019
Periods aren’t shameful – let’s talk about them in school 02/04/2019
To beat knife crime, listen to the children 03/04/2019
Tough web laws plan hailed by Belfast woman who experienced dark side of social media 09/04/2019
Damon Albarn takes up meditation to keep anxiety at bay 10/04/2019
Government rejects compulsory litter patrols for Year 6 pupils 11/04/2019
Teachers urged to use emojis with their students 12/04/2019
Tackling the climate crisis must be a central focus of education 15/04/2019
Midland Mayor Andy Street says UK must offer official apology for Jallianwala Bagh massacre 15/04/2019
Mark Tami urges schools to take part in national Carbon Monoxide awareness competition 17/04/2019
Why gardening should be on the national curriculum 20/04/2019
Stephen Lawrence’s mother, Doreen Lawrence, calls for tolerance and inclusion to be taught in classrooms 22/04/2019
Standardisation broke education. Here’s how we can fix our schools 22/04/2019
The kids are all right about climate change 23/04/2019
Why Scots children should learn about Stephen Lawrence’s murder – Martyn McLaughlin 24/04/2019
UK schools rank low in providing oral health education 26/04/2019
Nicky urges children to become Carbon Monoxide aware 26/04/2019
True scale of knife crime REVEALED – and one in six know a victim 26/04/2019
Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle 30/04/2019
Children school govt on environment 30/04/2019
Ipswich student raises knife-crime at youth parliamment 01/05/2019
Why consistency in behaviour rules can be harmful 01/05/2019
Teen YouTuber launches petition for sign language to be taught in Welsh schools 02/05/2019
Farm secretary calls on Government to include agriculture in school curriculum 03/05/2019
Number of obese kids treated for fatty liver disease doubles in five years 04/05/2019
Schools should teach us more about politics, young women say 10/05/2019
This gay campaigner wants UK schools to teach teens oral sex in a ‘sexy’ way 10/05/2019
Robert the Who? Young Scots’ history holes 14/05/2019
Schools should teach children about Stormzy instead of Mozart 22/05/2019
Labour would make climate change core part of school curriculum 24/05/2019
Character education advisers revealed in bid to boost children’s ‘resilience’ 27/05/2019
‘Schools should teach children gardening skills’ – says mum 28/05/2019
Don’t ‘hide’ periods in schools, urges charity at head of government taskforce 29/05/2019
Nigel Slater’s memories of growing up in Wolverhampton to tour UK stages 29/05/2019
Sally Challen walks free as court rules out retrial for killing abusive husband 07/06/2019
Schools should stay open during evenings and weekends to tackle knife crime, Children’s Commissioner says 11/06/2019
Times CEO Summit 2019: Teach risk-taking at school to boost UK business 11/06/2019
Councils call for school lessons on cold water shock 22/06/2019
Schools to play key role in reducing teen pregnancies 02/07/2019
British schools should teach migration and empire: Runnymede 04/07/2019
Schools to teach children about fake news and ‘confirmation bias’, government announces 15/07/2019
The worry of too much screen time for children over the summer holidays 16/07/2010
Let’s make children learn poetry by heart – Gyles Brandreth 18/07/2019


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