Hardening the hierarchies
The National Curriculum as a system of classification
In this chapter, Will Swann examines the impact of some aspects of the National Curriculum on children who experience difficulties in learning. His particular concern is the organisation of the National Curriculum into ten levels of attainment. He argues that this structure makes false assumptions about the nature of learning, and disregards the diversity of learners. The subsequent assignment of levels of attainment to certain age groups introduces a further layer of control on the ability of schools to respond to diversity. Moreover, some attempts to adapt the National Curriculum to meet the needs of children who experience difficulties in ...