The Black Curriculum is an organisation which is campaigning to ensure that Black British history is a part of the UK Curriculum. The history of British colonisation and slavery has not been a compulsory part of our curriculum since 2013 thanks to then Education Secretary Michael Gove, so it’s time for change. The Black Curriculum was founded in 2019 in response to this absence of Black history within our schools and has developed a syllabus for KS2, KS3 and KS4 students that includes politics, art history, and migration. They also provide support, teacher training and run an out of school programme. You can read their mission statement here.
As this is Black History Month, I want to share ways that you can support their work and commitment to transforming education in the UK.
- Write to the Secretary of State for Education
The Black Curriculum website has a template that you can adapt and send directly to the Gavin Williamson, the current minister. Earlier this year a campaign run by Impact of Omission reached more than 265,000 signatures on a petition asking for a debate in parliament…but was their appeal rejected. At the same time I received a letter from my own MP which dismissed the need for a change because ‘the national curriculum 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 Black people.’ That isn’t good enough. Our multicultural history shouldn’t be an afterthought. It takes just a few minutes of your time to add your voice to the appeal and let Gavin Williamson know what you think.
2. Buy books
Earlier this year The Black Curriculum named their new patrons: fashion designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh, historian and author Jade Bentil, and historian and writer Professor David Olusoga. Professor Olusoga’s brand new book is a children’s version of his brilliant Black and British and 50p from the sale of each copy goes to support The Black Curriculum. It’s available in all good bookstores and from Hive.co.uk so grab your copy while you can.
The Black Curriculum have a Crowdfunder page which has so far raised almost £15,000. The funds go towards teacher training, staff and volunteer training, venue hire, resources and materials, and recruitment. If you can afford to support them at all, it’s a brilliant cause. You can connect to the site here.
4. Show your support on social media
5. #TBH365 – Black History is not just for October
#TBH365 is The Black Curriculum‘s campaign to ensure that Black history is taught all year round and not just during Black History Month in October.
As they state on their website, “The Black Curriculum wants to see Black British histories being taught from reception through to A Levels across the entire national curriculum, in a mandatory way, especially via narratives that do not centre slavery. Learning Black history should not be a choice, but a fact of education.”
#TBH365 means that we need to be honest about the lack of diversity in our school curriculum in order to make the change. We live in a very diverse country and this should be acknowledged in the way that we learn our history.
You can find out more about The Black Curriculum‘s #TBH365 campaign here.