History 'marginalised' in UK schools, says government official

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Children’s understanding of the past is being undermined by poor history teaching and crowded timetables, Government inspectors warned today.

Ofsted said history suffered in many primary schools because of weak subject knowledge among staff and the use of “disconnected topics” in lessons.

At secondary level, growing numbers of pupils are now exposed to just two years of compulsory history classes instead of the recommended three.

In a damning conclusion, the watchdog warned that England was the only country in Europe where schoolchildren were allowed to stop studying history at the age of 13.

In all, more than 100 state schools also failed to enter a single candidate for the subject at GCSE, it was revealed, a 25 per cent increase in just 12 months.

The disclosures follow claims from the Coalition that children are growing up ignorant of British history, with lessons for many pupils consisting of little more than a “cursory run through” of Henry VIII and Hitler before most pupils abandoned it altogether....

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Jim Belben - 3/16/2011

This article from the Daily Telegraph misses the key point of the OFSTED report: it is an overwhelmingly positive account of the state of school history in schools in England. The report says it is well taught, well led, and successful.

And it also entirely challenges the final sentence of this abstract (the unevidenced claim from the current government that children grow up ignorant of British History). This is dismissed by teh OFSTED report as 'a myth'.

Make sure you read the report itself not this very partial and inadequate version.

http://ow.ly/4dSMt for the full report; and http://ow.ly/4eeZc for a comment on it.