§ Mr. Ken Hargreaves
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he intends to set up working groups to recommend attainment targets and programmes of study for mathematics and science, within the framework of the Government's proposals for a national curriculum.282W
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
I am grateful to Professor Roger Blin-Stoyle FRS for agreeing to take the chair of the mathematics working group; and to Professor Jeff Thompson for agreeing to take the chair of the science working group. Each group will have a small membership composed largely of professionals: head teachers, teachers, teacher trainers, academics, experts in assessment and Local Education Authority advisers. The groups will also have members from LEA administration and from the world of business.
The groups will advise, in their respective fields, on the knowledge, skills, understanding and aptitudes which pupils should be expected to have acquired at specific ages, taking account of differences in ability. The groups will also advise on the essential content which should be covered to enable pupils to reach agreed attainment targets.
The groups will start work immediately. I am asking them to give me interim advice within four months and their final advice within 12 months. My Department will be announcing details of the groups' formal terms of reference and membership later today, and copies of these will be placed in the Library.