January 5, 2015
Labour would make learning about Magna Carta compulsory
The Times Educational Supplement, 29th December 2014
‘Every pupil in England will be taught about Magna Carta if Labour wins the next election, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt pledged today.
But critics have been quick to point out that the medieval document is already included in the national curriculum. They have also questioned whether Labour would impose the policy on the thousands of academies that have freedom to choose what to teach.
Mr Hunt, a historian, said: “Next year marks Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary and if I am education secretary after the general election, I am determined every child is taught the medieval past and modern power of this heroic charter.”
The latest national curriculum framework for history, published in September 2013, states that 11-14-year-olds “should be taught about the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain” and that this could include “Magna Carta and the emergence of Parliament”.
Mr Hunt added: “A Labour government would update the curriculum to give teachers the tools to explain the importance of 1215.” ‘