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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 17:52 GMT
History lessons 'belong to past'
Culloden battlefield
Scotland's past may be taught in a different format
History lessons could become a thing of the past in the first and second year of secondary school under new plans from Scottish Executive ministers.

A radical review of the curriculum could see history disappear as a separate subject to avoid "overloading" pupils in the early secondary years.

Education Minister Peter Peacock favours teaching history as part of other subjects such as modern studies.

Opponents said the proposals could be a "national cultural disaster".

A spokeswoman for the executive said that there was "no question" that schools would stop teaching history completely.

Topic-based format

She also said that Standard Grades and Highers would continue to be offered in the subject.

"What will need to be addressed, after the curriculum review is completed, is how the subject is taught.

"There may no longer be a subject called history on the timetable, it may be taught alongside others in a topic-based format."

Peter Peacock Education Minister
The education minister said history may not be taught separately

She said it was too early to be specific about the planned changes.

But it is believed that history would be taught "in passing" when elements of other subjects touched upon issues of historical interest.

Critics said that pupils would be left with no in-depth knowledge unless they chose to study history at Standard Grade or Higher.

They added that pupils were unlikely to choose to study a subject they knew little about.

Leading historian Professor Tom Devine said that the majority of young Scots already had little more than the sketchiest knowledge of the past.

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