Lower attaining pupils face GCSE ‘ban on history’

Friday, November 8, 2013

Category: Media

Daily Telegraph, 07/11/2013, p.19, Graeme Paton

Rising numbers of teachers are barring lower attaining pupils from taking GCSEs in history amid fears they will damage the school’s league table ranking, according to a survey by the Historical Association. Children in lower sets are being steered away from the subject between the age of 14 and 16 to prevent them dragging down the overall GCSE pass rate, it is claimed. Article features comment from Katharine Burn, lecturer in history at Oxford University: ‘What’s actually happening is that pupils with higher levels of attainment at the ages of 13 and 14 are increasingly being encouraged to take history, while those in lower sets, with poorer reading and writing skills, are increasingly being prevented from doing so. As far as history teaching is concerned, some pupils seem to be increasingly treated as if their role is to serve the schools’ needs in terms of league table data, rather than schools being there to serve the education and cultural needs of the pupils.’

Read the Daily Telegraph article