Historical myth

September 15, 2011

What is this "decline" in the numbers taking GCSE history that keeps cropping up in your and others' pages (Letters, 8 September)? History's share of GCSE entries has remained stable for the past 10 years. It is the most popular non-compulsory subject after design and technology, attracting just under a third of the cohort. No doubt the English Baccalaureate will increase the number of history entries next year, but future policymaking ought not to rest on a myth of "decline" in the recent (or indeed longer-term) past.

Peter Mandler, Vice-president, Royal Historical Society

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