Prince Charles wanted to change the way history and English are taught in UK schools but feared his ideas were too “old fashioned” and too “dangerous.”
He admitted as such in the so-called spider memos — secret letters he wrote to UK cabinet members in the mid 2000s about British politics. The letters were disclosed today by The Guardian after a long freedom of information battle. You can read them all here.
The education letters do not reveal anything controversial. Charles ran a Summer School charity effort that took in about 90 teachers to discuss and learn more about the teaching of history and English. He wanted them to return to their classrooms more passionate about English and history.
However, the letters seem to indicate that Charles realised he might be seen as interfering in British education if it were known that he was seeking cabinet-level support for his summer school program.
“Perhaps I am now too dangerous to associate with!” he told secretary of state Charles Clarke in 2004:
He also wrote in 2004 that he realised he had old-fashioned views:
The part that might attract some attention is the notion that Charles felt teaching in the mid 2000s was not up to scratch, and that teachers themselves knew it:
But to be fair to Charles, he levels only the most mild level of criticism possible.
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