Wales to become first UK nation to make Black, Asian and ethnic history mandatory on school curriculum
Wales is set to become the first UK nation to make the teaching of Black, Asian and minority ethnic histories and experiences mandatory in the school curriculum.
Subject to final sign-off by the Senedd next month, the Welsh Government has added learning about the diversity of communities, in particular the stories of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, into the new Curriculum for Wales guidance.
The announcement of the change coincides with the start of Black History Month. The new Curriculum framework is due to be introduced from September 2022.
The Curriculum will include six Areas of Learning and Experience. Each Area includes mandatory elements known as ‘Statements of What Matters’, described as the ‘big ideas’ and key principles in each Area.
One of the 27 Statements is that “Human societies are complex and diverse, and shaped by human actions and beliefs.” The Statement will now include an expectation that learners “can develop an understanding of the complex, pluralistic and diverse nature of societies, past and present. These stories are diverse, spanning different communities as well as in particular the stories of black, Asian and minority ethnic people.”
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.
The group’s work is being supported through £500,000 from the Welsh Government.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said that it was “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,” he said.
“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.”