Critics of the decision to scrap A-level art history have spoken of their dismay over the move.In a letter to teachers, exam board AQA said it had been struggling to recruit enough specialist examiners for the subject and had taken the “difficult decision” to end the A-level. According to the exam board, students currently taking the course would be unaffected by the plans, and would be able to take their AS-level exams in 2017 and A-level exams in 2018.However, new students will not be able to take up the A-level, with no further exams from 2019.Critics have said they are “appalled” and “shocked” at the decision. Axing art history deals another blow to the creative capital of this country: this government determined to impoverish the next generation— Simon Schama (@simon_schama) 12 October 2016 “It’s the new class war, as in classroom war: classics and art history OK for private school students but state school kids, hey why bother?”A spokesperson for AQA said: “Our number one priority is making sure every student gets the result they deserve – and the complex and specialist nature of the exams in this subject creates too many risks on that front. That’s why we’ve taken the difficult decision not to continue our work creating a new AS and A-level.“Our decision has nothing to do with the importance of the history of art, and it won’t stop students going on to do a degree in it as we’re not aware of any universities that require an A-level in the subject.”This summer, 839 students across the UK studied art history – compared with 15,468 pupils who took one of the board’s English options, and 16,266 who did maths.AQA, which covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland, also announced it will no longer offer classical civilisation, archaeology or statistics options to sixth formers. It’s the new class war, as in classroom war: classics and art history OK for private school students but state school kids, hey why bother?— Simon Schama (@simon_schama) 13 October 2016 Simon Schama, presenter of BBC’s Face of Britain, said the axing of the subject could create a “classroom war” between private and state school students.Professor Schama, who is based at Columbia University in New York, called the decision “heinous” – saying it will limit options for those in state schools.He tweeted: “So basically the idea is to eliminate the deep wisdom of the past (and present) altogether for anyone not in private school. Heinous. Rembrandt weeps. Can you believe that art history is no longer being offered at A level? Philistines must not prevail #arthistory#alevels— Sir Anthony Seldon (@AnthonySeldon) 13 October 2016 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.