HC Deb 15 June 2000 vol 351 c691W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the contents of the international dimension to the revised National Curriculum, with particular reference to(a) values and (b) issues covered. [124747]

Jacqui Smith

The Government's approach to the international dimension in the National Curriculum is spelt out in the "Values, aims and purposes" section of the National Curriculum handbookEducation influences and reflects the values of society, and the kind of society we want to be. It is important, therefore, to recognise a broad set of common values and purposes that underpin the school curriculum and the work of schools. Foremost is a belief in education, at home and at school, as a route to the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, physical and mental development, and thus the well-being of the individual. Education is also a route to equality of opportunity for all, a healthy and just democracy, a productive economy, and sustainable development. Education should reflect the enduring values that contribute to these ends. These include valuing ourselves, our families and other relationships, the wider groups to which we belong, the diversity of our society and the environment in which we live. Education should also reaffirm our commitment to the virtues of truth, justice, honesty, trust and a sense of duty. At the same time, education must enable us to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges of the rapidly changing world in which we live and work. In particular, we need to be prepared to engage as individuals, parents, workers and citizens with economic, social and cultural change, including the continued globalisation of the economy and society, with new work and leisure patterns and with the rapid expansion of communication technologies.

The Programmes of Study outline the issues, including those relating to the international dimension, covered in each subject area.