In advance of the Government’s new curriculum review groups being established, more than 70 teachers and historians gathered at a one-day conference hosted by the 'Better History group' on 14 October 2010 to share their views about England's history curriculum.
It is widely anticipated that the new curriculum groups will be tasked with the creation of an exciting and engaging history curriculum for secondary schools following growing concerns that schools are failing to give children a good understanding of history.
Designed to gather evidence for a report to be submitted to the review groups, the conference tackled issues such as 'to what extent "Britishness" should be included within today's history curriculum' and 'strengthening history'. Chris Skidmore, MP for Kingswood, part-time history lecturer and published author, gave a keynote address.
The Better History group is led by Dr Seán Lang, a senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University. It also includes Martin Roberts, a member of the academic steering committee of the Prince’s Teaching Institute, and Nicolas Kinloch, history teacher, author and former deputy president of the Historical Association.
In May 2007 the History Practitioners' Advisory Team (HPAT), which comprised experienced teachers at secondary, sixth form and university level, was set up at the request of Nick Gibb MP. HPAT drafted a proposed history curriculum (11-16). Several members of HPAT subsequently established the 'Better History group' and earlier this year published a report, Better History, which calls for a single chronological history course with historical knowledge at its heart.