The end of history as we know it

23rd January 1998 at 00:00
When the razzmatazz of literacy hours has died down the implications of the decision to relegate history to the role of a minor subject become clear.

Progression through key stages is now impossible as their chronological ship has been fatally holed in favour of a pick-and-mix curriculum at key stage 2. The fiction of a national curriculum based on an alleged coherent ideology is ended.

The message to parents and teachers is that the arts and humanities are curriculum frills, superfluous to everyday life. The analytical skills of history which are the current orthodoxy - debate, evaluating evidence - are now to be abandoned. Pressures of time will be a return to the Sellars and Yeatman agenda, a few gems from British historical mythology.

Historians would be forgiven for thinking the subversive thought that the Secretary of State wanted to introduce a Year Zero. He will presumably have memoed the Dome Secretary to remove all evidence of history from the proposed Millennium Experience at Greenwich?


Flat 4 Hunters Lane, Sheffield

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