The English Baccalaureate - Education Committee Contents

Written evidence submitted by Danielle Fairey

1.  I am Head of Classics at Cranbrook School in Kent where we have a strong take-up of AS and A level Classical Civilisation. I ask the Select Committee to consider the following figures taken from our current Year 11 options for A level subjects. Of a cohort of 150 those opting for A level English Literature are 10; for Geography 17; for Politics 21; for History 27 and for Classical Civilisation 27. As you can see, the value of the study of Classical Civilisation is high. Indeed it rather neatly incorporates study of literature, history, politics and even geography and for this reason it is popular and certainly falls under the heading of a humanity.

2.  Students of A level Classical Civilisation from my school, where this is one of their three main A levels, have regularly received offers from the Oxbridge Universities who regard it as a rigorous subject.

3.  Removal of Classical Civilisation will remove the contact that our students have with the origins of the literature of the Western World. The thought that it is only valid if studied in its original form is a misinformed one.

4.  I suspect that the Committee really has no idea what goes into teaching Classical Civilisation. Reading a specification goes some of the way to understanding content, but spending time with students and teachers of the subject would lead to a better informed decision.

5.  It makes no sense to exclude the WJEC certificates in Latin from the list of valid E-Bac subjects. This new certification, which is recognised by all universities as a valid qualification, is should not be excluded due to a technical point. Latin is Latin whatever the exam board, and a Level 2 is a recognised GCSE equivalent level qualification. It is doing a lot of good for the study of Latin in our schools, particularly in the State sector. To dismiss this WJEC course would be illogical.

21 March 2011

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Prepared 28 July 2011