Sadiq Khan calls for more diverse curriculum

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Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to make ethnic minority authors, artists and musicians a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

Teaching must become more diverse so that pupils understand the “historic and institutional reasons” for racial inequality in Britain, he said.

It comes at the start of Black History Month, a celebration of the contribution black communities have made for generations in the UK.

In line with this focus, the Mayor has launched a new drive to improve black history teaching in London schools.

While Mr Khan does not set the curriculum, he produces free lesson plans for art, English, geography, history, music and science subjects, used by almost 1,000 schools in the capital.

Now City Hall will work with social enterprise The Black Curriculum to make sure its resources reflect the story of black Londoners.

But on 1 October the Mayor urged Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, asking him in a letter to rethink national teaching.

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Mr Khan believes exam boards should be made to include authors, artists and musicians from a range of ethnic backgrounds on their syllabuses.

“Our pupils come from diverse backgrounds yet are too often presented with a curriculum offering one-dimensional perspectives on Black History,” the Mayor said.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have thrown structural injustice and persistent inequality into stark relief, and affirmed the need for meaningful action across all of our society.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said schools play a “crucial role” in helping youngsters understand the world around them.

“The knowledge-rich curriculum in our schools already offers pupils the opportunity to learn about significant figures from black and ethnic minority backgrounds and the contributions they have made to the country’s history, as well as helping them learn about our shared history with countries from across the world,” they said.

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