Education Vist at Stonehenge. English Heritage

English Heritage awarded £2.7m to deliver heritage lessons

Rebecca Atkinson, 27.02.2012
Money will fund nine heritage broker roles
English Heritage has been awarded £2.7m by the Department for Education to encourage schoolchildren to explore local heritage sites.

The money, which covers a three-year period, will fund about nine “heritage broker” roles to work with clusters of schools and help them use local heritage to deliver the curriculum.

As part of the Heritage Schools initiative, English Heritage will also draw up a list of local historical sites that schoolchildren can easily visit.

Education secretary Michael Gove said local historic environments could be used to inspire pupils by "bringing history alive".

English Heritage saw its funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport fall by 32% following the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010. As a result it reduced grants by about one third and cut 200 jobs, including its entire outreach department.

Anna Keay, curatorial director for English Heritage, said that the Heritage Schools project was in keeping with English Heritage’s aspiration to make the biggest impact on the largest number of people rather than working with "discreet groups".

“The challenge for teachers is finding the time to be able to see how the local church, dockyard or mill building can help explore some aspect of the curriculum,” she added.  “Heritage brokers will help them understand what is in their locality and how they can use supporting material such as old photographs and archives.”

Heritage Schools is a response to the Henley Review of Cultural Education, which will be published tomorrow.

Darren Henley, the managing director of Classic FM, who carried out the review, said: “It is vital that the schools have teachers who recognise the importance of cultural education within their schools and have the training, experience and tools to teach it to a high level.”