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were introduced in 2004 as part of the Specialist Schools Programme
The specialist schools programme was a UK government initiative which encouraged secondary schools in England to specialise in certain areas of the curriculum to boost achievement. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust was responsible for the delivery of the programme...
in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
. The system enables secondary schools to specialise in certain fields, in this case, humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....
. Schools that successfully apply to the Specialist Schools Trust and become Humanities Colleges will receive extra funding from this joint private sector and government scheme. Humanities Colleges also act as a local point of reference for other schools and businesses in the area, with an emphasis on promoting humanities within the community.