Idea that should unite with the bin

12th September 2003 at 01:00
A good few British adults go about their business unaware of our history.

But according to David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, this level of ignorance, while it exists among those who were at school during his reign as Education Secretary, is not acceptable for immigrants.

One of the questions that might feature in Mr Blunkett's citizenship test is reported to be "When was the Act of Union?"

Passing a moment while my Guinness settled in the Auld Shillelagh, I carried out a straw poll.

"When was the Act of Union?" I asked the barmaid. Without hesitation she answered, her Cork accent heavy with disapproval at my English ignorance, "that would be 1800, of course."

Lets hope this answer is acceptable to Mr Blunkett's interrogators, along with 1536 (Wales) and 1707 (Scotland). A Home Office spokesman wouldn't be drawn on which answer it had in mind. It was just "an idea being chucked around at the press conference," he explained.

Perhaps this is one "idea" that, once it has been "chucked around", could be chucked away.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now