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History ‘disappearing from schools’

History is “disappearing” from state schools as growing numbers of head teachers view it as a worthless subject, according to research.

by Graeme Paton, Telegraph

Many secondary schools are squeezing existing three-year history courses into just two or merging the subject with geography to form generic “humanities” lessons, it was claimed.

Some schools are also preventing children from taking history GCSEs to steer them towards easier vocational qualifications.

The Historical Association, which made the disclosure in a survey of 600 schools, warned that the move risked seriously undermining children’s grasp of the past.

It comes just days after Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, announced plans to create a new English Baccalaureate in an attempt to boost traditional subjects.

Under plans, pupils who gain five good GCSEs in subjects such as history, science and foreign languages will be awarded the new certificate to encourage more teenagers to studying them at an advanced level.

In the latest study, the Historical Association found widespread evidence that history was being marginalised at all stages of secondary education.

Currently, most schools teach history as a distinct subject in the first three years of secondary school before pupils choose their GCSE options at 14.

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