History handled

9th February 2007 at 00:00
You are right to draw attention to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's timidity in shelving the Middle East history unit while proceeding with others on post-war Germany and India's struggle for independence (TES, February 2).

This is a bad decision because the consequences of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the discovery of oil and British and US policy in that region make it a significant topic for today's pupils. The QCA's cowardice should not influence teachers - it is a crucial topic, so they should teach it. Some will retain expertise from teaching the Arab-Israeli conflict and support is available from organisations such as the Historical Association.

Teachers usually know best when it comes to curriculum development and they should trust their own judgment.

Martin Roberts

Member of the council of the Historical Association, Oxford

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