It is worrying that Ofsted finds that many pupils lack a chronological understanding of history and are unable to make links between events. It is also a concern that secondary schools are squeezing history out of the curriculum or into general humanities courses. The facts, dates and narrative of history cannot be learnt in disparate chunks - without them we cannot compare, interpret or evaluate the past or draw lessons from them.
We are carrying out a root and branch reform of the national curriculum to set out the essential knowledge that children need, while leaving schools free to decide how to teach it. We are toughening up recruitment and training, attracting the brightest graduates, increasing the number of specialists, building a network of top class training schools, and transforming professional development throughout teachers’ careers. We have also introduced the English Baccalaureate so more pupils study the core academic GCSEs which we expect will lead to an increase in uptake of subjects like history.