The government just turned down any reform to the curriculum in light of BLM

History syllabuses won’t be changed to reflect BAME experiences

The proposal to add more non-white history to the English curriculum in light of the Black Lives Matter movement has been denied by the government.

Ministers have turned down the proposal, saying there are”no plans” to review the syllabus, The Guardian reported.

This comes after 30 politicians from various political parties wrote an open letter requesting an overhaul of the English curriculum to reflect the experiences of people of colour.

In addition to this, a key feature of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK was demanding that the curriculum be changed to reflect these experiences, with it being revealed that only 11 out of 59 modules in secondary school history classes explicitly mention black history. Only five of these 11 modules mention black British history, the rest is international or covering the transatlantic slave trade.

In defence of the decision, Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb, listed topics currently taught in the UK curriculum as an example of what teachers could focus on to help tackle inequality. He mentioned the history of Rosa Parks, Mary Seacole and the slave trade as options to be considered by teachers.

It has been noted by activists that learning about the slave trade is not an instant fix for racism in the UK, nor is it a complete picture of history for POC in the UK.

Liberal Democrats education spokesperson Layla Moran said the decision not to reform the English curriculum is “tone-deaf’, telling The Guardian: “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.”

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