Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Petition and Ancient History

Over 5000 people signed up for the No. 10 Petition calling for the UK Prime Minister to "Halt plans by the OCR to abolish the Ancient History A-level". (For background see "Ancient history A-level faces axe", Education Guardian, March 30, 2007; "Boris joins the toga party for cause of ancient history", Education Guardian, May 14, 2007; "MP dons toga for history protest", BBC, May 15, 2007).

Concern had been expressed:
Plans have been revealed to remove the A-level in Ancient History from schools in the UK. The periods covered by this course shaped and influenced the world we live in today, including our notion of Democracy itself. Study of such events can only benefit future generations. It must be protected, not forgotten.
The Prime Minister's office has now responded:
This issue has now been resolved. In the House of Lords debate on 16 May 2007, Lord Adonis stated that the Government was not content to see the withdrawal of Ancient History as a free-standing examination at A level. OCR has worked with the Joint Association of Classical Teachers (JACT) on a new Ancient History specification which was accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) last year and will be taught from September, 2008.
It should, perhaps, be noted that the House of Lords debate predated the petition which closed on April 4, 2008.

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