Aims and Values in Primary Education: England and Other Countries

Sharon O'Donnell , Maha Shuayb

28 January 2008

This report was specially commissioned for the Primary Review. It reviews and compares policy documents, legislation and representative published research on the aims, purposes and values of primary education across six contrasting countries (England, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland and Sweden). The report provides a chronological review of the priorities of, and changes and trends in, these aims and values during the period 1965 to 2006. Few policy documents focused explicitly on the aims of primary education as such. Consequently, the authors analysed a wider range of documentation, drawing out the key points of reference relevant to the aims and values at the primary stage.