Working group leader appointed to improve teaching of BAME history in Wales

Professor Charlotte Williams

The Welsh Government has appointed the leader of a new working group set up to improve the teaching of themes relating to Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities on the school curriculum.

Professor Charlotte Williams accepted an invitation from the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, to chair the new ‘Communities, contributions and cynefin: BAME experiences and the new curriculum’ working group.

“I’m delighted and honoured to be leading the working group in advancing this step-change towards integrating Black and minority ethnic history, identity and culture into the everyday learning of every child in Wales,” Professor Williams said.

“The goal is that the new curriculum will become a shining example of resourcing and enabling broad engagement in learning and teaching with BAME contributions past and present.

“The challenge is to ensure that Black and minority ethnic peoples have a presence across the new Welsh curriculum, so that within all of the Areas of Learning and Experience we can hear the sound of their voices, know of their experience, history and contributions, past and present.”

 

‘Exciting’

Charlotte Williams said that the teaching of BAME history on the new Welsh curriculum “requires appropriate resourcing”.

“[We] want all teachers in Wales to be able to rethink their materials and feel confident in the ways of delivering them in order to reflect this presence,” she said.

“It’s a very exciting prospect. In this way our curriculum in Wales will ultimately be reflective of our common experience of a vibrant, inclusive, multicultural society.

“We have a rich history in Wales, built on difference and diversity.

“This isn’t about adding an element of Black and minority ethnic history here and there in the new curriculum, but about reimagining learning and teaching across all the elements of the curriculum so that it reflects a Wales that is, and always has been, ethnically diverse, internationalist in its outlook and progressive in its aspirations.”

The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said that diversity was one of Wales’ strengths as a nation and its many histories have combined to shape Wales today.

“I’m delighted Professor Williams will be leading this important piece of work and I look forward to seeing the group’s recommendations,” he said.

The Welsh Government said that the working group will complete a review of learning resources currently available to support the teaching of themes relating to BAME communities and ‘cynefin’ across all parts of the curriculum. The group will also review associated professional learning opportunities and resources. The group will be closely aligned to the review of Welsh history by Estyn, the education inspectorate.

The group will present their initial findings in the autumn, and a full report in the spring.

‘Stories’

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said that she was very pleased that Professor Williams had agreed to chair the working group.

“I look forward to receive the group’s recommendations on learning resources to support the teaching of themes relating to BAME communities,” she said.

“Wales is made up of a multitude of stories. We must understand and analyse our own cynefin, and make those connections across our communities, nation and the world. It isn’t just about history as a subject, it’s language, literature, geography, and so much more.

“The group will oversee the development of new learning resources in advance of the phased introduction of the new Curriculum for Wales in 2022.”

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