History: Education

Department for Education written question – answered at on 10 March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Luce Lord Luce Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what efforts they have made during their chairmanship of the Commonwealth Heads of Government to ensure that the history of the Commonwealth is taught in UK schools.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The history curriculum gives teachers and schools the freedom and flexibility to use specific examples from history to teach pupils about the history of Britain and the wider world.

There are opportunities within the themes and eras of the history curriculum for teachers and schools to teach about the history of the Commonwealth at Key Stages 1-3. Schools can teach about the Commonwealth at Key Stage 1, when teaching about events beyond or within living memory that are significant nationally or globally, and at Key Stage 2, within a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066. There are also opportunities at Key Stage 3, within the ‘ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901’ and ‘challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day’ themes. ‘Indian independence and end of Empire’ is one of the example topics in this latter theme. The Commonwealth also falls within the scope of the subject content set out for GCSE history.

The government shared a Commonwealth Education Pack for teachers in 2018, in support of the UK’s hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that year. The pack is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/department-for-education-launches-commonwealth-education-pack, and has been attached.

HL1940_attachment (PDF Document, 2.77 MB)

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