The rose review of the English primary curriculum
The editorial for this special issue was written towards the end of 2009 shortly after the publication of the final reports and recommendations of Rose (2009) and Alexander (2009). At the time, many primary schools were beginning to consider and make plans for the implementation of the Rose curriculum due to become statutory in 2011 under a Labour administration. In May 2010, with the election of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, the Rose Report was shelved much to the immense frustration of many headteachers and practitioners who had welcomed Rose’s recommendations, and were keen to put his new curriculum proposals in place. Despite the criticisms and heavily constrained remit of the Rose Review its key recommendations for less prescription, a more flexible curriculum, a greater emphasis on localised curricula and cross-curricula approaches, were perceived by many primary teachers to herald a return to a curriculum which seriously and properly valued the important part which children could and should play in decisions about curriculum content and pedagogy. At the moment there is considerable uncertainty about both the detail and the direction of educational policy apart from its firm commitment to a National Curriculum centred around English, Mathematics, Science and History and, of course, national testing. This, nonetheless still leaves sufficient freedom and flexibility for heads to design their own creative and imaginative curriculum which they believe would best serve the interests of their children and particular school context.