School ministers dismiss BAME review of English curriculum

Rehana Harmony

By Rehana Harmony

Rehana Harmony

30 Jul 2020

Recent efforts made to share concerns about the lack of black, Asian and other ethnic minorities history in the English national curriculum have been rejected by the government, as reported by the Guardian.

The schools minister, Nick Gibbs expressed that there were no plans of reviewing of the syllabus even after 30 cross-party politicians and thousands of the public have called for action. Wanting black historians and leaders to make suggestions on new ideas that should be taught.

Liberal Democrats’ education spokesperson, Layla Moran – the former teacher leading the appeal has responded by branding the ministers as being “tone deaf” to their request.

Gibb’s who gave the verdict by letter, acknowledged that education plays a prominent role in overcoming inequality and shared that the Department for Education had been discussing “BAME” history with alternative organisations.

In addition, he gave a list of suggestions for figures within black and ethnic minorities who he thinks should be considered by teachers, including; Mary Seacole and Rosa Parks, the early civilisations of the Benin in west Africa between 900 and 1300; as well as the transatlantic slave trade and it’s abolition.

Speaking on the minister’s decision to decline, Moran said: “The Black Lives Matter movement has not only exposed the inequalities faced by black people in the UK, but it has galvanised people right across the country who are desperate for change.

“If we are to tackle the institutional racism in our society, the curriculum must not only be diverse, but we must equip young people with an understanding of the historical injustices that have led to that very racism. As a former teacher, I know just how fundamental education can be in driving change in our society.

“The government’s rejection of a review of our curriculum demonstrates their reluctance to follow their platitudes with any meaningful action.”