Unwanted 'N'

February 21, 1997

One might imagine that the Bishop of Ripon had long since outgrown the need to worry about what happens in schools and colleges. The Rt Rev David Young, after all, took a first in maths at Oxford before becoming a priest, then studied Sanskrit and Pali at the School of Oriental and African Studies before lecturing in Buddhist studies at Manchester and in theology at Cambridge. But despite this academic distinction, he is leading attempts to kill off the N in Quanca, the new Qualifications and National Curriculum Agency, on behalf of the Church of England.

He and other bishops are anxious that the national curriculum be seen as only part of the core content of school work, alongside the basic curriculum - including religious education. There are high hopes that the government will agree and turn Quanca into Quaca. Each has great scope for humorous misunderstanding, although this is probably not the main concern of the Lords Spiritual.

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