Teach more Welsh history in schools, says leading historian

18 May 2018

One of Wales’s most prominent historians has called for more Welsh history within the national curriculum.

Dr Elin Jones, who headed the Welsh Government’s history advisory group, told the Senedd Petitions Committee there was “a general feeling amongst people that not enough Welsh history is being taught.”

The WJEC’s new GCSE history syllabus contains more Welsh history than its predecessor, but Welsh history modules remain optional at AS and A-level.

Dr Jones said many of her group’s recommendations to then Education Secretary Leighton Andrews in 2012 had subsequently been ignored in the 2015 Donaldson Report, which considered what changes could be made to the Welsh national curriculum.

“I feel that Donaldson doesn’t provide the guidance on how you integrate the local element and the Welsh element into the humanities.

“If you read part of the report, there is no guidance on history at all, and that is a great deficiency,” reflected Dr Jones.

Dr Jones’s co-petitioner was Aberystwyth University student Elfed Wyn Jones.

Mr Wyn Jones said topics such as Nazi Germany and Depression-era America are prioritised over studying Welsh history.

“There are only three years since I finished A-levels, and the closest I came to the history of Wales was the Monmouth revolt.

“We need to look at the history of Wales far before Llywelyn’s history, and we need to develop a curriculum that looks at the history of Wales as a country and its relationship with Britain, Europe and the world,” he added.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Professor Donaldson was absolutely clear that a Welsh dimension should be included in each area of learning and experience.

“We will now set about creating a curriculum for Wales, which will be designed in Wales, by Wales.”

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