The Daily Mail reports that 159 state schools are not offering a history GCSE this year, affecting some 150,000 pupils out of the 700,000 taking GCSEs. This means that even real history enthusiasts will not be able to study history at GCSE level because their school is not offering it.
State schools taught the subject to just 30 per cent of their pupils, compared with 48 per cent – almost half – of private pupils.
History experts blamed the demise on schools dissuading pupils from taking the ‘hard’ subject in a drive to improve league table results.
Paula Kitching, of the Historical Association, said: ‘This is a great concern. Young people will know little of the country or society they live in. Schools want good, fast results and don’t want to challenge pupils.’
She added that pupils typically get around 45 minutes of history a week before the age of 14, leaving them ‘unprepared and uninspired’ to do the subject at GCSE.
The 30 per cent figure fell from 36 per cent in 1997. In 1997, 169,298 pupils were entered for GCSE history, compared with 155,982 last year.
About Time was designed with the help of school students to find an entertaining way to illuminate history for all ages. It is also a great tool for learning chronology, as school inspectors have said about the game. We hope the trend will eventually reverse. About Time in its own small way aims to bring the joy of history back into the lives of British children.