As predicted, Gove has had to cave in under the weight of criticism from numerous quarters and has re-drafted the monster.
What has changed?
Gone are the patent absurdities that infants should understand concepts such as ‘nation’,’parliament’ and ‘democracy’. Gone too is the need to teach named people such as Christina Rosetti. Instead there are suggestions of more recent people children might be able to relate to e.g. Rosa Parkes, though i’d need to see that the level of prescription has really been reduced to simple advice. There is a return to the status quo by suggesting that pupils investigate ‘changes within living memory’
This is where the deepest cut was needed and the axe has certainly been wielded. Gone are the ludicrous 48 bullet points. It now seems that the cut off date for the strict chronological order British periods is now going to be 1066 not 1688. This will restore the Middle Ages to KS3 where it belongs. In terms of what happens to the Tudors, the Victorians and Life in Britain since 1930 , it now appears that there will be some scope for schools to select a period study from more recent times ( i.e post 1066!!). It also seems to offer scope to look at non-British societies and local history so Ancient Egypt might still be an option.
Earlier in my blogs I suggested that Gove will return the Middle Ages and early Modern British history to KS3 and that is just what has happened. he has also added scope for a world study and has removed the triumphalist tone of coverage of the empire by stripping Wolfe and Clive of their statutory status.
Where are we now ?
Gove will have to get Cameron and Clegg’s approval before publication of the final draft. My guess, and there’s no real claim to insight here, is that Gove will publish when all teachers thoughts are turning to re-charging their exhausted batteries on the beach!
I’ll keep you posted, but this is definitely a victory for teachers’ voice and plain common sense!