Black British history should be taught in all UK schools, campaigners say

Black history should be taught to all school pupils, campaigners have told the Government in the wake of recent Black Lives Matter protests.

The Black Curriculum group has written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and asked him to review the syllabus taught in schools.

It comes following the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis which has sparked protests around the world about the treatment of black people.

The Black Curriculum group has written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (bottom left) and asked him to review the syllabus taught in all schools. Pictured right: Jamaican immigrants welcomed by RAF officials from the Colonial Office after the ex-tr Credit: PA

In Bristol, protesters toppled a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, while there has been renewed pressure in Oxford to remove a statue of controversial colonialist Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College.

Dozens of other petitions have been started across the country, including in Cardiff and Plymouth, to rename streets or remove statues of controversial historical figures.

In the letter to Mr Williamson, the group wrote: "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."

In a statement, a Department of Education spokesperson said: "Racism in all its forms is abhorrent and has no place in our society.

"Schools already play a significant role in teaching children about the importance of having respect and tolerance for all cultures.

A sign alternatively naming Wilson Street 'Rosa Parks Street' in Glasgow. Activists have put up names of black people and civil rights activists throughout history. Credit: PA

"Black history is an important topic which schools can teach to children of all ages as part of the history curriculum.

"Schools can utilise resources from a range of organisations and sources to support teaching Black history."

The statue of slaveholder Robert Milligan covered in a cloth and Black Lives Matter sign. Credit: PA

The group has demanded a face-to-face meeting with Mr Williamson and want a response by June 22, which falls on Windrush Day.

The Windrush scandal in 2018 has dogged the Government after the Home Office wrongly detained, deported and threatened to deport people back to the Caribbean after they had legally arrived in the UK.

Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK before 1973 were automatically given indefinite leave to remain.