Making Welsh history and BAME history mandatory part of new curriculum would be “historic move”
Making Welsh history and the history of black people and people of colour a statutory part of the new curriculum would be a “historic move” Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister Siân Gwenllian MS has said.
A debate in the Senedd today (Wednesday 1 July), led by Plaid Cymru, will call on the Welsh Government to make the teaching of Welsh history and the teaching of black history and the history of people of colour compulsory within the new curriculum.
Under the Welsh Government’s current curriculum plans, schools would not have to teach pupils about black history and the history of people of colour, nor about Welsh history.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister Siân Gwenllian MS said making these elements statutory would present “an historic opportunity” to redress structural inequality in Wales and to ensure that the education system creates “an equal and inclusive Wales for all in the future”.
Ms Gwenllian urged the Welsh Government to seize the opportunity.
30,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Welsh Government to make it compulsory for schools to teach Black and POC UK history in Welsh schools.
The report commissioned by First Minister Mark Drakeford - to understand why Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting BAME people - recommended immediate action to include BAME history and education in the National Curriculum for Wales for primary and secondary pupils to “prevent racism and promote cultural diversity.”
The Welsh Government’s draft Curriculum Bill will be published on the 8th of July.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education, Siân Gwenllian MS said,
“Plaid Cymru has long argued that the history of Wales should become a statutory element of the new curriculum so that every child can come to know and understand the history of our nation.
“However, the recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations have brought into sharp focus the need for the history of black and people of colour also to be included as a statutory part of the curriculum.
“The Welsh Government’s Curriculum Bill does not currently making it compulsory for any school to teach Welsh history or black history. Instead, it leaves those elements as discretionary and up to individual schools.
“Having a fully open-ended curriculum means that every pupil will not have the opportunity to learn about issues that we believe are key to creating a more equal and prosperous society and in shaping citizens who are aware of their past.
“But making these elements a statutory part of the new curriculum presents an historic opportunity to redress structural inequality in Wales and to ensure that the education system creates an equal and inclusive Wales for all in the future. It will ensure that the next generation of children and young people in Wales learn about anti-racism and the diversity of Wales - and that they can see the world through the window of the country in which they live – Wales.
“It would be a tragedy if the Welsh Government did not seize upon this opportunity.”