Questions on Jessica Ennis at heart of new "patriotic" test on Britishness for migrants

From Cromwell to Kipling and Ennis, a new 'patriotic' test on Britishness for migrantsGone are questions about public transport, credit cards and job interviewsNew Life in the UK test draws on British culture, history and traditionsIncluded are William the Conqueror, the Reformation and Rudyard Kipling

By
Steve Doughty

PUBLISHED:

12:59 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

06:29 GMT, 28 January 2013

Migrants who hope to become British citizens will have to learn about 1066 and all that under new citizenship tests, ministers said yesterday.

They will be examined on their knowledge of William the Conqueror, the Reformation, Oliver Cromwell and Rudyard Kipling in a reformed version of the tests that must be passed before qualifying for a passport.

But some names familiar to schoolchildren will be missed out of the tests developed by the Home Office.

Question: Those taking the test will be expected to be familiar with details of sporting events including the Olympic Games and to know about sporting icons such as heptathlete Jessica Ennis (pictured)

Question: Those taking the test will be expected to be familiar with details of sporting events including the Olympic Games and to know about sporting icons such as heptathlete Jessica Ennis (pictured)

While the Life in the UK handbooks
praise Florence Nightingale as ‘the founder of modern nursing’, there is
no mention of Mary Seacole, her Jamaican-born contemporary promoted
over the past two decades as of equal importance.

migrants

The decision to omit Miss Seacole is
the second indignity her reputation has suffered in a month. At the end
of last year Education Secretary Michael Gove instructed she should no
longer be part of the National Curriculum.

The handbook, to teach newly-arrived
migrants ‘the values and principles at the heart of being British’, also
contains no use of the word ‘multicultural’.

History exams will be introduced for
those wanting to take out British citizenship in March, and the handbook
they must study is available today.

The citizenship tests first brought in
by Labour seven years ago contained no questions on history or the
development of British culture, and instead concentrated on ensuring
migrants had grasped practicalities like how to make a GP appointment or
claim benefits.

Immigration minister Mark Harper said:
‘We have stripped out mundane information about water meters, how to
find train timetables, and using the internet.’

People living in Britain should
already be capable of using public transport, credit cards and coping
with job interviews, the Home Office said. The history chapter demands
knowledge of the Stone Age, the Wars of the Roses and the Glorious
Revolution.

Politicians including Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher are featured, alongside literary heroes and heroines.

Winston Churchill

Queen Elizabeth

Famous figures: The new handbook features passages on the Queen (right) and Winston Churchill (left)

Taking flight: The handbook draws on many 'iconic images of Great Britain' including the Spitfire

Taking flight: The handbook draws on many 'iconic images of Great Britain' including the Spitfire

Industrial pioneers are praised,
although, oddly, the handbook has a section on Isambard Kingdom Brunel
but does not mention he was the son of an immigrant.

'We have stripped out mundane information about water meters, how to find train timetables, and using the internet'

Mark Harper, immigration minister

Musical figures run from Henry
Purcell to The Beatles and migrants are required to learn about literary
figures from Geoffrey Chaucer, through Jane Austen to Wilfred Owen.

Those taking the test will also be
expected to be familiar with details of sporting events including the
Olympic Games and to know about sporting icons such as heptathlete
Jessica Ennis.

Existing Life in the UK tests were
taken by 150,000 people last year. At present it contains 24 multiple
choice questions and candidates have 45 minutes to answer them. The pass
mark is 75 per cent.