Thursday, 17 October 2019
Department of Education and Skills
In November of last year I asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) to carry out a review of the optional nature of history under the new Framework for Junior Cycle. I also asked the NCCA to identify how we can best promote the study of history in our schools. I received the NCCA's advisory report in July of this year and I am deeply grateful to the council for the work it has done.
I gave careful consideration to the NCCA report, which makes it clear that the new history specification under the Framework for Junior Cycle provides for a better way to teach and learn history than in the past. While I am aware that the subject is due be reviewed in two years' time, I am keen, however, to do something now to ensure that there is no reduction in the number of students studying history. This is why I recently announced that the subject of History is to be accorded special core status in the Junior Cycle curriculum.
I will be requesting the support of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in working out how best this can be achieved. I am keen that arrangements providing for the special core status of the subject be in place for the start of the next school year, to apply to students starting their Junior Cycle at that time.