Readers' reactions

July 30, 1999

Last week in The THES...MP Edward Davey opposed dropping the

Anglo-Saxons from the A-level history syllabus. By Rosamond McKitterick, Professor of early medieval European history and professor-elect of medieval history, University of Cambridge

The recent, justified furore over the proposed deletion of Anglo-Saxon history from the A-level syllabus offered by the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) examinations has neglected to notice that early medieval European history before 1073, European history 1192-1498, European history 1725-1789, English history 1216-1450 and English history 1689-1780 (there is no British history before 1846) will also go.

Surely a syllabus that also lacks late 17th and most 18th-century English history, the period of the formation of the British empire and for which so much physical historical evidence exists, needs further thought. It raises doubts about whether the proposed syllabus reflects the aims of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

It should also be noted that extra-European history is not available at all except for two papers on America and one on the cold war. The OCR serves 25 per cent of the GCSE and A-level entries in this country. What are the other A-level boards offering for A-level history? SOAPBOX DEBATE:

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