The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has accepted all of the recommendations of a report on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the new school Curriculum.
The Minister has also confirmed £500,000 will be provided to support the implementation of the report’s recommendations, as part of the delivery of the new Curriculum for Wales.
The report, by the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the New Curriculum Working Group, chaired by Professor Charlotte Williams OBE (pictured above), makes 51 recommendations in total.
The recommendations focus on a number of key areas, including improving educational resources, workforce training and professional development, and Initial Teacher Education.
The report also makes recommendations on issues such as sustainability and the importance of a ‘whole school’ approach, involving parents, governors and wider communities.
In the new curriculum, due to be taught to younger learners from 2022, the history of Wales and its diversity will be mandatory within Humanities, one of the curriculum’s six Areas of Learning and Experience. The Humanities What Matters Statement, the ‘big ideas’ and key principles in each Area, refers to a common understanding of the diverse history, cultural heritage and ethnic diversity of Wales and the wider world.
On the publication of the final report, Professor Williams said: “This work is unprecedented and much needed and the review represents a ground-breaking trajectory in curriculum reform in Wales.
“What happens in schools across Wales, the way in which they engage, take forward and sustain the concerns of this report is critically important to the wellbeing of all children and young people in Wales, to the wellbeing of those from minority backgrounds and to the wellbeing of society as a whole.
“Education alone cannot address the social, cultural and structural factors that sustain racial inequality. However, education can take us a long way forward in producing the ethical and informed citizens of the future.
“I am confident that the proposals in this report will provide the education community with the means to address more systematically and coherently engagement with this priority area.”
In her response to the final report, the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said: “I am very grateful to Professor Williams and the Working Group for the report, which is thorough and thought-provoking, offering hard truths and clear recommendations.
“As the report states, our new curriculum can only be enriched by revealing the diversity of perspectives and contributions made by the ethnic minority communities to the development of Wales across its history and in the present.
“If we are to achieve one of the core purposes of our new curriculum, to develop young people who are “ethical and informed citizens of Wales and the world”, we must ensure children’s experiences are expanded though engagement with ethnic minority perspectives, themes and contributions.
“I am delighted to accept all of the report’s recommendations and put financial support in place to ensure these recommendations are fully implemented.”
Complementing the work of the education report, the Welsh Government will publish its Race Equality Action Plan next week, ‘An Anti-racist Wales’, which outlines the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling structural and systematic racism and create a Wales that is anti-racist by 2030.
Lead image: Professor Charlotte Williams OBE