From the BBC:

The government wants exam boards to ensure that ancient history continues as an A-level subject.

The last board offering it, OCR, is proposing to stop doing so.

During a Lords debate, Schools Minister Lord Adonis said the government was "not content", and was inviting the boards to produce fresh proposals.

OCR's move has brought an outcry from classicists, including shadow education minister Boris Johnson, who wore a toga to a protest meeting this week.

An "e-petition" on the Downing Street website has attracted several thousand signatures.

During an earlier Commons debate, School Standards Minister Jim Knight said he was certain OCR and the qualifications regulator, the QCA, would resolve the issue "in a way that meets the needs of future students by ensuring that the qualifications offered cover a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum".

The government's stance appears to have hardened since then.

In the latest Lords debate, Lord Adonis said: "All periods of history, from the ancient to the modern, can inspire our young people to study the subject, opening them up to skills that are essential in today's world as well a vital understanding of our past.

"The government is not content to see the end of ancient history as a single A-level and has invited the exam boards to come forward with proposals for it to continue."

Professor Tom Harrison from the Joint Association of Classical Teachers said: "The response, not only from universities and schools but also from the general public, has taken our breath away in terms both of scale and conviction.

"Now we look forward to working with OCR to develop new specifications, and to rebuild the co-operative relationship we enjoyed in the past."