Comeback for British history

14th April 2006 at 01:00
What counts as British? The plan to require A-level history pupils to spend more time studying the United Kingdom (page 10) looks set to start a lively debate among teachers. Under the proposals, the amount of time pupils must spend on British history will increase from one sixth to a quarter, while the emphasis on Hitler and Stalin will be reduced. These are welcome developments. British history is important and should be studied.

Teachers who believe the measures are inward-looking and Blimpish should not worry. The slave trade and the rise and fall of empire are just two topics rich in promise for teachers who wish to explore Britain's role in the development of nations and multi-cultural societies. Our island story is ripe for reappraisal: "warts and everything", as Oliver Cromwell once said. It is time for history teachers to lead the way.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today