Ed Balls: Twitter talk is nonsense

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History will remain firmly on the curriculum for primary pupils, Schools Secretary Ed Balls will tell today in a bid to quash claims they could be taught internet skills instead.

Mr Balls will dismiss as "complete nonsense" reports that teachers would be forced to choose between teaching about the Victorians or how to use Wikipedia and Twitter.

In a speech to today's Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference he will reveal details of one recommendation of a review by Sir Jim Rose, due to be published within weeks.

"The idea that primary school children will learn how to use Twitter and about social networking instead of learning about the Victorians and the Tudors is just complete nonsense," he will say.

"It's right that independent reviews like Sir Jim's are carried out at arms-length from Ministers. But in the end, we are accountable. So let me put the record straight now.

"Sir Jim will recommend that one of the 6 new areas of learning should be called 'historical, geographical and social understanding' and we will accept his recommendation so that history will remain a central part of the primary curriculum."

He will add: "It's a complete nonsense to suggest that it's an either-or choice between learning history on the one hand; and learning ICT on the other."

He will conclude: "In the same way we have a duty to ensure our children learn about history we also have a duty to make sure they are not left in the technological dark ages - I believe good teachers are more than capable on ensuring the two things run alongside each other."

This article is from the Belfast Telegraph.