Curriculum and Every Child Matters:
Developments, changes and challenges
The impact of ‘Every Child Matters’ on classroom practice This report will demonstrate how the outcomes of Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda can be implemented into classroom practise when planning and teaching the broad curriculum. There will be a focus on ‘Stay Safe’ and ‘Be Healthy’ in the subject areas of Design Technology (D.T), Physical Education (P.E) and Citizenship. What is Every Child Matters?
‘Every Child Matters’ was first published as a government Green Paper in 2003. It was made in response to a report chaired by Lord Laming into the death of Victoria Climbié. The Green Paper set out proposals for addressing concerns recognised in the report, and a range of situations that happened in families and the impact it had on the lives of children and young people. There was wide consultation with people working in children's services, and with parents, children and young people. Following this , the Government published Every Child Matters: the Next Steps, and passed the Children Act 2004, providing the legislation necessary for developing more effective and accessible services focused around the needs of children, young people and families. Every Child Matters: Change for Children was published in November 2004. The outcomes that were put forward from the paper are for every child, whatever background or circumstance. They are that they need to, be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. It also required organisations involved with providing services to children, coming together in new ways, sharing information and working together. This will enable them all to protect children and young people from harm and help them achieve what they want in life. Since the Coalition Government took power in the UK in May 2010 there has been a lack of information in relation to the place of the Every Child Matters agenda. The current position of ECM is that, an article from ‘Children and Young People Now’ reported that ‘an internal Department for Education (DfE) memo was advising that DfE preferred terminology is to replace the phrase ‘Every Child Matters’ and ‘the five outcomes’ with ‘help children achieve more’. ‘ (Puffett, 2010) From this we can see that even though the terminology of Every Child Matters is in position for changing the whole policy and what it stands for is still remains. A DfE spokesperson talks about how the change of terminology does not mean that there will also be a change of direction in terms of the policy ‘There is no lack of focus on Every Child Matters…The coalition created the new DfE to carry through radical reforms in schools, early years and child protection.’ (Puffett, 2010) Role of the school and teacher
‘ECM is an agenda that pervades every aspect of school life’ (Spender, 2006). This shows the role of the school and teachers are important in implementing the agenda into the lives of young people. They must make sure provisions are available for pupils to meet the 5 outcomes. Teachers have the responsibilities to minimise any barriers to effective learning, ‘teaching and learning unlock the potential of every child and must continue to be the core in ECM’ (Hofkins 2008, pg.19) and teachers must always plan lessons to meet the ability and needs of each child so that they can achieve to that potential. For example, differentiating work effectively so that each child in class is challenged. Schools and teachers have a wider responsibility than just delivering the curriculum, ’ECM is intended to change the way schools think about their pupils – more as people in the round, less as learning machines’ (Hofkins 2008, pg.9) so schools could provide extracurricular activities, advice on health and careers and possibly set up different awareness weeks e.g. anti-bullying. From school practice I have seen the use of career conventions coming into school...
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