How many lower-attaining are being put off studying GCSE history?

The Historical Association’s recent survey found that the number of schools barring some pupils from history has increased by around a quarter in the last 12 months and more than doubled over a two-year period.

But the Department for Education dismissed the findings as “simply not true”, insisting that entries for GCSE history were actually at a 16-year high in 2013, with pupil numbers increasing by 17 per cent in 12 month. Do they not even understand the question? Yes, numbers are rising, largely because of your E-Bacc! But as a GCSE history student you only ‘matter’ on the E-Bacc stats if you get an A*-C. Hence the so-called ‘barring’ of students who are unlikely to make the grade in history.

Am I alone in wincing at the almost black humour of OFSTED’s recent report History for All. It may be a tongue-in-cheek rejoinder or even rallying call. It certainly is not an accurate description of what is happening in our schools. And, it appears, it is just getting worse as each year rolls by.

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