British Schools Teach Islamic History… But Ignore 1066 And All That


History teachers are being told pupils need not study British kings and queens

The Campaign for real education claims the new national curriculum for history makes the teaching of landmark events and personalities in British history “non-statutory”.

This means key moments such as the reign of Elizabeth I and the Battle of Waterloo do not have to be taught.

However, teaching about some foreign civilisations, including Ancient Greece, is compulsory.

CRE chairman Chris McGovern said: “No landmark event in British history has to be taught. Magna Carta, the two world wars and Winston Churchill, for example, are included in the curriculum as non-statutory examples of what teachers ‘could include’. Previously teaching of the world wars was compulsory.

“The Napoleonic wars, as opposed to the preceding French revolutionary wars, are not even included among the non-statutory examples.

“Trafalgar, Waterloo, Nelson and Wellington are ignored. There is no requirement to teach about any specific British monarch, prime minister, act of parliament, battle or individual.

“In contrast, certain topics are placed on prescribed lists, for example either early Islamic or Mayan civilisation or Benin must be taught.”

The former headmaster of St Anthony’s School in Hampstead, north London, also criticised the national curriculum’s emphasis on “skills” rather than knowledge.

Key moments such as the reign of Elizabeth I and the Battle of Waterloo do not have to be taught

He said: “Pupils are taught to construct the past for themselves using evidence.

“Ditching much of the knowledge to find sensationalistic content is a betrayal of the country as much as a betrayal of education.”

The CRE analysed model lessons on The Times Educational Supplement TES Resources website to find what history topics are most popular.

Taking the 19th century, it found Jack the Ripper was the favourite, with 143 model lessons, compared to 35 for Lord Nelson, 72 for the Duke of Wellington, and 100 for Elizabeth Fry.

Former education secretary Michael Gove wanted more focus on Florence Nightingale

There are 139 for Mary Seacole, the black Crimean war heroine who former education secretary Michael Gove tried to remove from the National Curriculum in 2013, in favour of a greater focus on Florence Nightingale.

Mr McGovern added: “What we have is a Sex Pistols history, anything goes, including educational anarchy.”

Tory grandee Lord Tebbit added: “Lest we forget has become ‘lest we remember’.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We’ve moved away from the old narrow and prescriptive curriculum to give teachers the freedom to deliver lessons that will excite and inspire their pupils.”

source: Sunday Express

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