Here's how to contact your MP to demand change in British race education

The Black Curriculum have written a letter for you to send to your local politician, and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, calling for British schools to recognise colonialism.

by i-D Staff
15 June 2020, 10:26am

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In the past few weeks, a concerted campaign has begun to address the huge gaps in British education with regards to race relations, colonialism, and how Britain has historically profited off racism. You can read more about The Black Curriculum, the organisation fighting to make this change a reality, and their message for educators and students, here.

But The Black Curriculum are now also calling on you to join the campaign and put pressure on the UK government, in particular Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson, to begin the work and put Black History on the national curriculum. The group have penned an open letter calling on Gavin Williamson to respond to pressure to teach Black History year-round by 22 June -- Windrush Day.

In solidarity with the organisation we are publishing their open letter calling for education reform in full. Follow the instructions outlined below to contact the Education Secretary yourself, ahead of 22 June, and continue to pressure the Tories to make this long-overdue change.

Will you contact Gavin Williamson?

Message to all emails:

AND copy in your local MP to encourage them to press the Government for action!

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education

Subject: Make Black histories mandatory in the national curriculum

Dear Secretary of State for Education,

As supporters of The Black Curriculum, we have all been affected by the events of the last few weeks which have disproportionately affected Black people in the UK -- exacerbated by Covid-19, and the subsequent lack of response by those in authority. Thousands of us, the British voting public are grief stricken and concerned about the existing status-quo in the UK, which disregards the lives and contributions of Black British people. We would like to bring to your attention some of the structural inequalities in the UK, especially pertaining to education and the national curriculum.

As you are aware, the national curriculum excludes Black histories throughout, and omits the vast contributions Black people have made to the UK. As a result, young people who learn from the national curriculum are not given a full or accurate version of British history, which limits their opportunities and futures in an increasingly diverse landscape. Despite numerous calls over the years to reform the national curriculum to incorporate Black histories, these requests have been denied. Learning Black history should not be a choice but should be mandatory. Our curriculum should not be reinforcing the message that a sizeable part of the British population are not valued.

Black people have been in Britain since Roman times -- have contributed to and shaped the foundation of our society. Therefore, we are asking you to specifically include Black histories on the national curriculum from KS1 - KS4 to include Black British histories across different subject areas, including History, Citizenship, English and PSHE.

By doing so, you can invest in the lives and opportunities of all young people across the UK to become fully rounded citizens and create a better, fairer society. This is in line with the DfE Strategy’s first principle as highlighted in 2015-2020 World-class Education and Care:

“Our first principle is to ensure each policy puts children and
young people first. We must not let anything detract from
improving the lives and opportunities of those who rely on the
education and children social care systems.” -- p.11, DfE strategy 2015-2020

The Black Curriculum is demanding that you work with them to adequately incorporate Black British history into the national curriculum and to fulfil your goals of British education truly being able to help the government’s “commitments to social justice and economic growth.”

Will you meet with the leaders of the Black Curriculum? They are ready and waiting for your response by the 22nd of June 2020 -- Windrush Day.

With thanks,

(insert name)

Black Lives Matter