Debate to teach black history in schools after petition gets 30,000 signatures

The Welsh Parliament will debate on whether BAME history should be taught as part of a new curriculum. Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Parliament will debate on whether black history should be included in the new school curriculum, after more than 34,000 petitioned for the move.

It is not currently compulsory for the history of black people and people of colour to be taught at any school.

Plaid Cymru, putting forward the proposal, said the Welsh Government's current curriculum plans would not make it obligatory for schools to teach about those histories.

The petition urges that pupils should learn about slavery and colonialism on BAME communities across Britain.

Schools in Wales are not currently obliged to teach about black history under the Welsh curriculum, Plaid Cymru says. Credit: PA Images

Shadow education minister Sian Gwenllian MS said the recent Black Lives Matter protests had brought "into sharp focus" the need for black and people of colour history to be taught.

"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."

What is the current curriculum like in Wales?

Plans on how children are taught in Wales were first outlined in a new curriculum in January.

It's the first overhaul of the syllabus in over thirty years and aims to give schools the opportunity to design their own curriculum.

The new curriculum proposes that all schools cover the same core learning to secure a consistency for pupils across Wales.

The changes are expected to be introduced in 2022.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government said it was important for learning to be inclusive and draw on the experiences and cultural heritage of contemporary Wales.

"In the new curriculum, learners will explore the local, national and global contexts to all aspects of learning, and to make connections and develop understanding within a diverse society," she said.

"We will work with Estyn to ensure that their review of Welsh history takes full account of Welsh, and wider, BAME history, identity and culture - and we will establish a working group to oversee the development of learning resources, and identify gaps in current resources or training.

"History is not only a matter for one lesson and one subject."

The Welsh Government's draft Curriculum Bill is due to be released on Wednesday 8 July.

Read more: