Heritage added to history

Designing websites and studying tourism and the media are among the options likely to be included in a new history GCSE announced this week, William Stewart writes.

The pilot qualification combines traditional academic study of the subject with an introduction to the skills needed by employees in the heritage industry.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which this week awarded a contract to the OCR exam board to develop the new exam, hopes that it will help increase the number of pupils taking history.

Options will include a unit on exploring how information technology can make historical sites more interesting. A unit involving a critical analysis of how the media represented a particular historical event may also be included.

Critics have claimed that the exam is likely to be an unsatisfactory compromise between the academic and the vocational.

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