History: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Boateng Lord Boateng Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of examination boards in  promoting a better understanding of British history; and which such boards examine modules that cover (1) the history of migration, (2) the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, (3) the contribution of Black people to British history from the Roman invasion to the end of the 20th century, and (4) race relations in the UK.

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

The department sets the content requirements for GCSE and A level history. Within this subject content, there is significant scope for modules that cover the history of migration, the transatlantic slave trade, and the contribution of black people to British history and race relations in the UK.

It is for awarding organisations themselves to develop specifications for GCSE and A level history that meet those requirements and for Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, to ensure those requirements are correctly met. As such, the department does not make assessments of the modules or module content offered by awarding organisations.

Two of the three main awarding bodies in England, OCR and AQA, provide an option to undertake a thematic study on migration in Britain, and how this country’s history has been shaped by the black and minority ethnic communities in the past. The 3rd main awarding body, Pearson, is currently developing a thematic study option on migration in Britain. Subject to Ofqual approval, this will provide more choice for schools.

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