The New National Curriculum Draft, 2013

Published: 7th February 2013

The draft of the new Programme of Study for History has now been published.  We are preparing a full statement which will follow shortly.  Whilst there are some elements of the curriculum aims we support, overall we have some serious concerns and regret the way in which this national curriculum has been drafted.

The HA from the start of the curriculum review took time to canvas all its members and put in a considered and in-depth response to DfE in spring 2011. Despite the changes to the time frame of the draft Programmes of Study we have continued to offer our expertise to the process. It is therefore disappointing that none of our advice appears to have been taken on board and that we were not privy to this draft before its release on the Thursday 7 February 2013.

Three points that immediately stood out to us are:

  • Most primary school teachers are not trained historians and are not equipped to teach such a vast sweep of British history in any meaningful way
  • 7-11 year olds are being asked to understand the complexities of the War of the Roses, religious schisms, and how to define a constitution and nation. Quite frankly how many well educated adults can do that?
  • Three years of Historical Association surveys have revealed the limited time secondary schools give to teaching history. To try and teach the content listed in any meaningful way would require a vast expansion of history teaching time. This is a high speed superficial tour rather than the old fashioned grand tour.

What are we doing?