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Securing the future of SHP history …

and smoothing the transition to new history GCSEs in 2016

With significant changes to GCSE history on the horizon, SHP and OCR are delighted to announce a major new partnership. We’ll be working together to produce the best possible, and only official, SHP specification, which will be provided exclusively by OCR.

The development is being led by SHP Fellows and their Director, Michael Riley, so you can be confident that SHP’s core values will be fully realised in the new specification. Existing good SHP practice from current GCSE qualifications will be preserved, and improvements made so that the specification genuinely aligns with SHP principles.

Both SHP and OCR recognise that, although some aspects of GCSE history are in need of an overhaul, these changes will mean considerable upheaval and much hard work for teachers. So our specification will be fully supported with new books and resources, produced by SHP authors and published by Hodder Education. OCR’s own experienced team of specialists will be on hand to support the specification as well.  SHP and OCR will keep you updated with developments during the autumn and spring via our websites and e-bulletins.

Both SHP and OCR look forward to producing and supporting a new and genuine Schools History Project specification, and to ensuring that SHP’s 40 year tradition of supporting teachers and working to improve history teaching will continue flourish under the new GCSE criteria. We’re confident that we’ll end up with a rigorous and exciting qualification that will appeal to all SHP teachers.

SHP’s commitment to the new OCR specification does not mean, of course, that the Project will no longer provide support for other GCSE courses.  SHP will continue to work in partnership with all Awarding Bodies. We shall continue to provide support for all the new GCSE history specifications through our website and conferences.  Finally, working our publishing partner Hodder Education, SHP will be providing resources to support the elements of all new GCSE courses that embody SHP’s principles.


Dr. Michael Riley

SHP Director

Michael has been SHP Director since 2008. He is responsible for the strategic direction of SHP, ensuring that the project provides an independent source of ideas and experience for the teaching of history in schools


  1. If anyone wants a little more information to expand on Michael’s last sentence about SHPs support for future GCSE courses other than the SHP/OCR course see

  2. Hello Michael, interesting that you’ve decided to go down the route of tying SHP’s colours so firmly to the OCR mast with this talk of “official” and “exclusively”. We do AQA SHP and seems quite different from how it is now – it’s all gone a bit partisan now – what’s brought about this change of direction?

    • Thanks for your enquiry Duncan. I think that it may surprise many teachers to learn that SHP was given little opportunity to become involved in the development of the current GCSE SHP specs. For 2016, we are delighted that OCR want to work very closely with us in developing the next generation SHP specification. It will ensure that, at last, we have a GCSE course that builds on the strengths of Key Stage 3 and truly reflects SHP’s principles. We shall, of course, continue to provide support for all new GCSE specs.


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