Dr Julian Lewis: I apologise for arriving late to the debate. The Minister is showing that of course he is not a Visigoth, or a Goth of any sort. If any Minister can be relied on to protect an important subject, albeit a minority one, it is he. Therefore, and in the light of concerns expressed by people such as the staff, parents and students of Brockenhurst College in my constituency, where archaeology is taught extremely well, will he do his very best to redouble his efforts to persuade another board to take up that important subject?
[The Minister for School Standards (Mr Nick Gibb): I am grateful for my right hon. Friend’s kind comments. I suspect that his school, Brockenhurst, must therefore be a major contributor to the 26 A-level archaeology entries of 2016, and I congratulate it on its wide-ranging curriculum. I assure him that I left no stone unturned in my encouragement of other exam boards to adopt the subject, as with the languages with small cohorts – we were successful in persuading Pearson to take up those subjects, too.
It remains open for any board to produce a specification or an offer to take forward archaeology. We published the content because we want the subject to continue. We remain open to any exam boards wanting to set an archaeology A-level. ...]