IKE buses, not just one but two reviews of primary education in Britain are arriving at the same time. Their titles may be similar but they could hardly differ more.
The Cambridge Primary Review was independently conceived and financed, has been years in the planning and execution, and draws on international evidence and scores of experts. Its final conclusions, due later this year, will synthesise 30 research surveys on all aspects of primary education. The Primary Curriculum Review, by contrast, was commissioned and paid for by the government and is the sole work of a serial government-report writer, Sir Jim Rose. He was asked to look at only the curriculum–not standards, testing or funding–and within that limited remit he was constrained by a tight brief and heavy hints as to the desired conclusions.
On February 20th the Cambridge-led team abandoned their publishing schedule and released the part of their final report that looks at the curriculum. It hopes, somewhat forlornly, to influence government policy. That seems unlikely. The official curriculum agency is already far advanced in creating teaching material along the lines Sir Jim recommends–even though only his interim report has appeared, and that is supposed to be open for consultation until February 28th.