History teachers’ body reacts to Michael Gove’s education secretary replacement

The Historical Association has responded to the replacement of Michael Gove as education secretary, in Prime Minister David Cameron’s wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle

DXXGMB Westminster London, UK. 1st April 2014. Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Education arrives at Downing street for the weekly Cabinet meeting © amer ghazzal/Alamy Live News

The Historical Association has responded to the replacement of Michael Gove as education secretary, in Prime Minister David Cameron’s wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle.

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Gove has been moved to chief whip, replaced in his education role by women’s minister Nicky Morgan. Announcing Gove’s surprise move, Cameron said on his Twitter feed that the former education secretary would have “an enhanced role in campaigning and doing broadcast media interviews”.

The Historical Association, which supports history teachers and departments in both secondary and primary schools, said it looks forward to meeting the new education secretary.

The Historical Association has responded to the replacement of Michael Gove as education secretary, in Prime Minister David Cameron’s wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle.

Gove has been moved to chief whip, replaced in his education role by women’s minister Nicky Morgan. Announcing Gove’s surprise move, Cameron said on his Twitter feed that the former education secretary would have “an enhanced role in campaigning and doing broadcast media interviews”.

The Historical Association, which supports history teachers and departments in both secondary and primary schools, said it looks forward to meeting the new education secretary.

In a statement, the body said: “It has been an interesting four years with Michael Gove in charge of education, and on the positive side it has been good to have a secretary of state for education take a serious interest in history and history in schools. However, not all of Mr Gove’s views have delighted the history community.

“While we are sure that Mr Gove will continue to take an interest in education, we wish him luck in his new role.

“We look forward to meeting with Nicky Morgan, as the Historical Association champions the cause of history in schools and history teachers in the coming months, especially in the autumn when this year’s history survey of schools will be ready for publication.”

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Gove has on a number of occasions come into conflict with some history teachers. His curriculum reforms were met with much opposition, and in May last year he angered members of the profession by accusing them of promoting an ‘infantilised’ view of history.

In December he criticised ‘disconnected’ history lessons, and in January this year a row erupted between Gove and Sir Tony Robinson, after the education secretary claimed ‘left-wing academics’ were using Blackadder ‘to feed myths’ about the First World War.

However, in February last year prominent historians including David Starkey, Antony Beevor and Niall Ferguson backed Michael Gove’s controversial new history curriculum. In a letter to The Times, the historians said: “While these proposals will no doubt be adapted as a result of full consultation, the essential idea … is a welcome one.”

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