Ofsted and the history curriculum

Clio et cetera

scales On what issues should Ofsted be judging your school?

I think that all children should be taught a broad history curriculum. I am happy to negotiate what this means, but I think the new National Curriculum gets the balance about right, with an emphasis on learning an overview of British political, social, economic and cultural history, with significant components of European and wider world history. This is very achievable in the space of a three-year Key Stage 3, as I have written about before.

In reality, however, this is not what children have received in recent years. As the HA’s annual survey shows, time for history is being squeezed more and more, and the narrower specification of the GCSE is being started earlier and earlier. Ofsted’s own ‘state of the subject’ report shows that, at least in a significant minority of schools, children are receiving piecemeal, disconnected chunks of…

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