Welsh schools to teach black history under new curriculum

·2-min read

Pupils in Wales will be taught about racism and the experiences and contributions of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people under a new curriculum.

Education minister Kirsty Williams has accepted all 51 recommendations of a new report, which advised on the teaching of themes and experiences relating to Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

In its findings, the report stated that "education alone cannot put to right the systemic racial inequality that is evidenced and experienced in all social policy fields across Wales".

But it added that schools were a "significant arena of change and critical in building the ethical and informed citizens of the future".

The report was authored by a working group whose chair, Professor Charlotte Williams, described the work as "unprecedented and much needed".

She hailed the review as representing "a ground-breaking trajectory in curriculum reform in Wales".

The working group expressed concern that while learning about topics such as diversity, identity, justice and equality would be mandatory in schools under the new curriculum, there was no statutory requirement to teach "specific topics of central understanding to the histories of racism and diversity".

These include slavery, Empire, and the Holocaust.

The report said the working group believed "a degree of mandatory content or more specific guidance is necessary to ensuring more attention to the histories of diversity and racism".

The Welsh government is providing a budget of £500,000 to support the implementation of the report's recommendations in the new curriculum, which is due to be delivered from 2022.

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Ms Williams said: "As the report states, our new curriculum can only be enriched by revealing the diversity of perspectives and contributions made by the ethnic minority communities to the development of Wales across its history and in the present.

"If we are to achieve one of the core purposes of our new curriculum, to develop young people who are 'ethical and informed citizens of Wales and the world', we must ensure children's experiences are expanded through engagement with ethnic minority perspectives, themes and contributions."

The action is part of the Welsh government's commitment to tackling structural and systematic racism and create a Wales that is anti-racist by 2030.