October 2010
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Will the passing of compulsory citizenship be the future of history?

We can all say it- I told you so. But those of us who were responsible for introducing/forcing in complusory citizenship at a time when popular history was being squeezed, thought it would never last. Surely someone would see the insanity of it? Surely someone would spot the paradox of asking kids to drop history at 14 ( sometimes after just 2 years at KS3, or a Humanities offering) and then see the teaching of modules of modern world history placed in nerveless fingers of reluctant staff who has never taught the subject before let alone have any qualifiecations in it.  History teachers, we all knew, could do a far better job. But were they asked? In some school, yes. A few even built a coherent 11-16 programme of citizenship with history teachers at the heart of things. But this was as rare as hen’s teeth. Most schools struggled, as report after report from OFSTED attested. They tried more ITT training but  it seems that just as this might be about to bear fruit it is going to be allowed to wither on the vine. I , for one, will shed no tears.

So will Gove restore some sanity?  Will removing statutory citizenship give him the space he needs to offer soemthing more history-based in its wake? We live in hope. Watch this space.

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