Shakespeare's sonnets, the two World Wars and the Holocaust are "untouchables" that must be retained at all cost in the new secondary curriculum, Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, announced last night.Read the whole article here.
On the eve of the major review of what is taught to pupils aged 11-14 that starts today, he issued a list of compulsory topics.
Schools should be encouraged to offer "economically useful" world languages, such as Urdu and Mandarin instead of French and German.
Mr Johnson pledged to "protect the classic pillars of the curriculum children have studied for decades" and warned his advisers that the new flexibility for teachers to tailor lessons to their pupils must not result in the loss of key events and skills.
"There are certain untouchable elements of the secondary curriculum that all teenagers should learn for a classic, well-rounded, British education," he said.
These include classic pre-20th century literature such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Daniel Defoe and George Eliot, as well as algebra, geometry and equations in maths.
From the Telegraph: