"These students become difficult to control. The idea of getting a grade E at GCSE is fairly meaningless. Their exam results are only a means of letting people know what they can’t do." Well if this is the case, and the current GCSE history patently does not meet their needs, why not let these pupils have a go at the new vocational GCSE and see how they get on with that?
My school are part of the pilot, although I don't know much about it as yet. My HoD has been on a course though and, as I understand it, the heritage module is just one of the options you can pick. I must say I am quite keen to do some medieval at KS4, because we don't have a sixth form and so, up to now, I have only taught it to year 7. I will post again when I know more of how it is going to work.