As election fever rises, it is worth considering the position of school history. In a month where the University of Sussex cut its teaching of pre-1900 European history in response to the Mandelson axe, we cannot feel safe in Labour hands. What about life under the Tories. We know Michael Gove’s views on history. We know that he wants to make history compulsory up to the age of 16. That sounds very attractive, until you read the devil in the detail. It may well eb a case of being careful of what we wish for.
In an interesting article on 15 February Lord Rees-Mogg was rolled out yet again to remind us of the value of history. You can read his views at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/william_rees_mogg/article7026836.ece
You can also read the reaction. The Schoolhistory teachers’ forum has also generated a considerable amount of heat too. Whatever Gove may promise, is he really likely to bring about such a radical curriculum reform immediately on gaining office. How long will it take for the reforms to be implemented by statute. Probably just in time for the next election! Baker never managed to make history complusory: neither did Ken Clarke. I don’t rate Gove’s chances any higher and would not want to teach Gove’s history anyway.