AIM E-News - Special - History Curriculum Changes Campaign, March 2013

AIM E-News - Special - History Curriculum Changes Campaign, March 2013



AIM is strongly opposed to the government's proposals to remove Victorian and early 20th century history from Key Stage 2 History. This will have a damaging affect on children’s learning and appreciation of history. It will also prevent children from enjoying museum visits and being inspired by history at this important time in their education because earlier periods are represented in far fewer museum collections and at historic sites.



Under the proposed curriculum changes 18th, 19th, and 20th century history (including the First and Second World Wars) would no longer be covered in primary schools at Key Stage 2. Instead these would form part of Key Stage 3 taught at secondary school level.



• 18th, 19th and 20th century history was a transformational period which saw widespread social, scientific and technological change which shaped present day society. Young people relate more easily to this period, and it is well represented in most museum collections, providing a powerful and popular teaching resource that can be easily accessed by schools as a day visit.


• By contrast earlier periods are less well represented and opportunities for out of classroom teaching will therefore be limited, effectively excluding children from high quality learning experiences.


• Secondary school timetables and teaching systems reduce the number of out of classroom visits dramatically. Most visits are from primary school children. This age group is the most accessible and the most receptive to museum visits, making it likely that many children will simply not visit our wonderful museums and heritage sites at any stage during their schooling .


• Out of classroom teaching provides an invaluable learning experience. This has long been recognised by the Department of Education, DCMS and the teaching profession as stimulating the effectiveness and quality of learning.


• Primary school children would be taught almost nothing that happened after the year 1688. This is a rigid and artificial cut off date.


• There has in recent years been a massive public and lottery investment in developing learning resources in museums in response to the current Key Stage 2 curriculum needs of schools. The proposed changes would result in much of this investment being lost.



AIM is urging museums that will be affected by the proposed changes to take action now. We urge the government to reconsider how this reform is implemented so that more recent history experiences remain available at KS1 and KS2 and young people benefit from all the learning opportunities that arise in our museums.


1. Respond to the consultation by 16th April at:


2. Write to your local MP expressing your concerns. Find your MP here:


3. Invite your MP to visit your museum to see a teaching session with a local primary school.


4. Encourage primary schools that regularly use your museum as a resource for Key Stage 2 Victorian and modern history to write to their local MP.


5. Contact your local press and arrange a photo opportunity with the local school that has written to their MP.


6. Share your concerns online via your website, blog, Twitter and Facebook and invite your followers to contribute to the discussion.


7. Join the discussion on the AIM Web Forum:


8. Send us any evidence of support from schools, including quotes that we might be able to use in our campaign. Please send to Sam Hunt at:

AIM is a national charitable organisation that connects, supports and represents independent museums, galleries and heritage organisations across the UK.  Our membership ranges from voluntarily run community organisations to some of the largest museums in
the country.  We speak on behalf of a substantial and growing sector of the museums and heritage community, providing an independent viewpoint based on operational and business experience of running successful enterprises.

11/03/2013 12:27:14 Diana Zeuner

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