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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 56 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
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