Some of the country’s most prominent historians have backed Michael Gove’s controversial new history curriculum in a letter published today. This is from the Times…
In a letter to The Times published today, 15 historians, including David Starkey, Antony Beevor and Niall Ferguson, write: “While these proposals will no doubt be adapted as a result of full consultation, the essential idea … is a welcome one.”
Historians have clashed over the new curriculum, which would involve topics taught in chronological order. Children would be expected to go from the Stone Age to the 1688 Glorious Revolution in primary school and then from the Enlightenment and British Empire to the election of Margaret Thatcher in secondary school.
The letter reads: “We are in no doubt that the proposed changes to the curriculum will provoke controversy among those attached to the status quo and suspicious of change. Yet we must not shy away from this golden opportunity to place history back at the centre of the national curriculum.”
The new curriculum has provoked criticism. The consultant behind CBBC’s Horrible Histories has described it as “extraordinarily dense and dry”, while Sir Richard Evans, Regius Professor of History at Cambridge, condemned plans to restore “rote learning of the patriotic stocking-fillers so beloved of traditionalists”.