Wales is set to become the first UK nation to make teaching of Black, Asian and minority ethnic histories and experiences mandatory in the school curriculum
Subject to final sign-off by the Senedd, the Welsh Government will add learning about the diversity of communities, in particular the stories of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, into the new Curriculum for Wales guidance, coinciding with the start of Black History Month – https://cyfryngau.gwasanaeth.llyw.cymru/newyddion/dysgu-hanes-pobl-dduon-asiaidd-ac-ethnig-lleiafrifol-wedii-gynnwys-yng-nghwricwlwm-newydd-cymru
The new Curriculum framework will be introduced from September 2022, following years of work by teachers and other education professionals in its development.
Last year, a working group, led by Professor Charlotte Williams OBE, was formed to improve teaching on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, including developing new teaching materials and training for teachers and trainee teachers.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “It is vitally important that our education system equips our young people to understand and respect their own and each other’s histories, cultures and traditions.
“Today’s announcement will help enrich the new curriculum, and therefore teaching in Wales, for years to come.
“The new Curriculum for Wales will empower teachers and education settings to design lessons to inspire their learners to become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.
“If we are to progress as a society, we must create an education system which broadens our understanding and knowledge of the many cultures which have built Wales’s, and the world’s, past and present.”
Race Council Cymru and Black History Wales stand with the Welsh Government and look forward to the time where Black History is taught and celebrated not just once a year, but throughout the year.
Race Council Cymru in leading Black History Wales (BHW) & Black History Cymru 365 (BHC365) believe that Black History should be taught and celebrated not just in October for Black History Month, but throughout the year and aim to progress a better understanding and integration of diverse communities and promote the benefits of the year long programme against one month.
As the first Commissioner to the Commission for Racial Equality in Wales, Judge Ray Singh CBE met leaders in Wales asking for a more inclusive curriculum in our schools in Wales, from its inception, Race Council Cymru has been focused primarily on ensuring that Black History is embedded in the Welsh curriculum – both the old version in the past and the new curriculum.
Our work in this sphere intensified through the campaigns led by our Black History patrons such as Mrs Betty Campbell MBE, Patti Flynn, Mrs Vernesta Cyril OBE, Mr Lenn Lawrence, as well as Professor Uzo Iwobi OBE who has campaigned for over 28 years to demand change and inclusion of Black History in Welsh curriculum – this news has been highly awaited.
Our work has been supported and endorsed by Black Lives Matter Wales – a collective of Black Lives Matter Wales based protest leaders who came together to form a policy forum to debate Black related inclusion across Wales. In particular, BLM Wales sustained and reinforced the call to make Black History mandatory in schools across Wales.
We are heartened that the work to bring about this change led by Professor Charlotte Williams was strongly supported by our Head of Heritage Dr Marian Gwyn, Chair of Black History Wales management committee, Chantelle Haughton, Humie Webbe and others from the Black History Wales committee yielded great results.
We pay particular tribute to Mrs Betty Campbell MBE for being a pioneer in this work.
As Betty’s statue was unveiled this year, we thought what she would say if she were here. She would say, “I started this work, and now change is about to start – work together and power ahead – we still have a lot of work to do.”
We now urge Welsh Government to work with Black History Wales and other organisations to drive these changes forward. Wales has distinguished itself as a world leader in embedding inclusion in its curriculum- this is inclusion.
Judge Ray Singh CBE Chair Race Council Cymru: “We look forward to working with Welsh Government and schools across Wales to ensure the law is implemented as intended.”
Professor Uzo Iwobi OBE, Black History Wales Representative & Founder of Race Council Cymru said: “This is very a historic day for Wales. A day in which Wales sets itself as a trailblazer on equalities.”
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