Education Policy

The Royal Historical Society takes a keen interest in promoting and developing the teaching of history in higher education and secondary schools.

The RHS Teaching Portal

In November 2020 we launched the RHS Teaching Portal. The Portal now includes over 50 articles written by experienced researchers, teachers and resource providers. Articles are themed ‘For Teachers’ and ‘For Students’; and by ‘Innovative Modules’, ‘Transition through HE’, ‘Careers’ and ‘Online Resources’.

The prompt was to demonstrate our commitment to teaching, and to fill the gap left by the demise of discipline-specific support for History by the Higher Education Academy, and to encourage innovative and effective teaching practice at a time when teaching in HEIs has come under critical scrutiny from successive governments.

The portal is to be an important resource for teachers of history and a forum for debate and discussion about the pedagogy of our discipline. Additionally, the portal provides support in the face of unexpected challenges, such as adapting to digital learning in a pandemic.

About the Education Policy Committee

The Education Policy Committee is chaired by our Vice-President for Education, Mr Peter D’Sena, and includes elected councillors of the RHS, members from History UK (the independent national body advancing and monitoring History in UK Higher Education), the Historical Association, and secondary schools. These members bring a wealth of experience and insights, enabling the committee to effectively monitor trends in history education and provide expert advice to government and others in relevant consultations.

The Education Policy Committee’s activities include:

  • supporting the development of the Society’s Teaching Portal
  • annual meetings with A-Level Exam Boards
  • events on topics relating to School and University curricula, and the transition to undergraduate and postgraduate History courses.
  • active participation in government consultations on HE and schools policy, including the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
  • overseeing the RHS’s annual awards for innovative and inspiring teaching.

‘New to Teaching’ and other activities

The Education Committee also participates in the annual RHS / History UK ‘New to Teaching’ conference.

The event enables attendees to develop their understanding of key issues relating to teaching History in higher education: from innovations in teaching and learning (including the shift online during the pandemic) and curriculum design to teaching seminar groups and preparing for the academic job market. The most recent session was held in July 2021 and will be followed by a similar event in July 2022.

Again with History UK, the Society also supports development of the Pandemic Pedagogy Handbook, which charts shifting classroom practice