Thursday, 18 June 2020

Campaign response – Make Black histories mandatory in the national curriculum

A number of constituents have been writing to me and copying me into their emails to the Education Secretary regarding the inclusion of black history in the national curriculum from KS1 to KS4.

Racism in whatever shape or form has no place whatsoever in our communities, and we all have a part to play in tackling it. 

My team and I continue to stand ready to support and assist anybody in our constituency who has fallen victim to this heinous crime.

The wealth of diversity across our country is something to be celebrated, so I am pleased that the national curriculum allows schools to do exactly that.

Educating our future generations about racial diversity and equality should be a primary responsibility for parents, who know best in communicating with their children and guiding them in their thinking on important social issues. But I recognise that schools can also play an important supplementary role. 

The national curriculum already provides a number of opportunities for pupils to be taught about different societies and how different groups have contributed to the development of Britain, and that this can include the voices and experience of people from BAME backgrounds in our country. 

Indeed, I would go even further as a Cornishman and Cornish MP in saying that I also want to see the history of Cornwall and the struggles the Cornish throughout our history, including being taken as slaves in the 17 century, being taught in schools in Cornwall. 

All schools have the freedom to teach this from primary school age onwards as part of the history curriculum, and they have the flexibility to choose how they teach this and which resources to use. 

Finally I note that the Department for Education has published an article on its official blog to outline the current policy position on this matter, which constituents may find helpful: