On announcing this year’s GCSE’s results Nick Gibb was at pains to point out the decline in numbers taking a humanity GCSE this summer. History’s numbers were down by 1.2%, but pity the poor geographers with a drop of 7%. So what will happen now? In how many schools will history and geography be alternatives? By how much will that privilege history’s position in the curriculum? A lot will depend on which headteachers pay regard to the E-Bacc. I have a hunch that in the schools that Gibb is trying to reach many headteachers may feel that the nature of some of the GCSEs- including history with its single paper – does not suit many of their students. It is not for us to judge but as long as these headteachers are placing the subject as an option in the curriculum marketplace that is all we can expect. In that sense, i think the E-Bacc will be good for history. Those increasing numbers of schools, well over a hundred that were not offering GCSE a couple of years ago will now have to think long and hard. I hope, but also think, that they will.
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