Portsmouth MP calls for black history to become core part of National Curriculum

CITY MP, Stephen Morgan, has written to the secretary of state for education asking for black history to be taught as a core subject in the National Curriculum.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 6:09 pm
A Black Lives Matter protest at Guildhall Square.

Mr Morgan wrote to Gavin Williamson following a rise in racial tensions following the death of George Floyd in the US and the disproportionate number of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities who have died from Covid-19 – losses which have highlighted societal inequalities which scientists believe has led to increased vulnerability to the disease in areas of social deprivation.

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The Portsmouth South MP believes education has a fundamental role to play in eradicating racism from society.

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Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, has written to the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, calling for Black History to become embedded in the National Curriculum. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Mr Morgan wrote: ‘The death of George Floyd has shaken the world and must be a catalyst for change. People want to see the events of the past week translate into real progress when it comes to tackling racism. You hold the power to make that happen.

‘No-one is born a racist. It is a learnt behaviour. Therefore, the Department for Education has a responsibility to take measures to eradicate it. Education may be one of the most effective tools in combating racism that has infiltrated every aspect of our society.’

While certain aspects of black history are taught during Black History Month and as part of module choices in the history curriculum, the MP feels key aspects – including the UK’s historical exploitative role in suppressing ethnic groups around the world - should be embedded in the curriculum and taught to all students.

The Labour MP wrote: ‘Pupils must be taught about injustice and the role of the British Empire as part of the National Curriculum. The UK has been guilty for atrocities committed on the basis of race for centuries. It is a grave injustice that pupils are not taught about this as many of the power structures that still exist today find their origins in this nation’s historical behaviour.’

Mr Morgan has urged the education secretary to set out how he intends to make the curriculum ‘more diverse and representative’.

Last week saw two separate Black Lives Matter and Justice for George solidarity protests take place in the city.

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