Pearson and The Black Curriculum join forces to champion Black British history topics on the national curriculum
As part of our shared commitment to ending racial inequality in the classroom, Pearson and education social enterprise The Black Curriculum are working together to help increase Black British history being taught in schools.
The partnership will draw on The Black Curriculum’s extensive expertise in supporting schools to deliver accessible Black British history curricula. It will involve the creation of guidance, resources and training to empower teachers to teach new and existing topics confidently and effectively, as well as a review of Pearson’s current history qualifications and materials.
The Black Curriculum and Pearson will also continue collaborating on the new Pearson Edexcel History GCSE Migration topic, which will see inspiring Black activists like Dr Harold Moody and Claudia Jones, and significant events like Notting Hill Carnival and the Bristol Bus Boycott being taught in history classrooms across the country from September 2021.
Speaking about Pearson’s ambitions for the partnership, Sharon Hague, Senior Vice-President for Pearson School Qualifications, said: “We are committed to championing inclusion in education and creating learning environments and content that reflect the world and its people. Ensuring there is more Black British history in the qualifications and resources we offer is a key part of this, so, we are delighted to be partnering with The Black Curriculum as a step to help us make this a reality.
More culturally diverse history is more accurate history and together we will be striving to make sure teachers have the support and the materials they need to bring overlooked British people and moments in history to life in classrooms across the country. We are excited to continue this journey and work with more teachers, learners and experts on steps to help build a more racially and culturally inclusive school system.”
Reflecting on the significance and impact of embedding more Black British history into the fabric of education, Lavinya Stennett, Founder and CEO of The Black Curriculum, said: “Black British history belongs in the National Curriculum. All our stories and contributions have made a truly positive impact on British culture and society. And that needs to be formally acknowledged. It is enormously gratifying to partner with Pearson and present these materials. In the current socio-political climate, it is critical young people understand the concepts of topics such as migration. And it's even more important that teachers and education professionals are guided and supported in presenting these more inclusive materials from a respected source such as Pearson. The Black Curriculum believes learning about Black British history will increase the sense of belonging and identity among all students and welcome Pearson's commitment to that".
While the partnership is initially focusing on being more inclusive around the history taught in schools, activity will also extend to other subject areas within Pearson, helping to promote change across the wider curriculum and support the profession’s widespread desire for more inclusion and representation. In Pearson research released earlier this year, four in five UK teachers felt more could be done to celebrate diverse cultures, people and experiences in education and in another recent survey carried out by Teacher Tapp, six in 10 teachers said that they reviewed their curriculum in terms of Black and ethnic minority representation in the past year.
Ensuring teachers and educators have the understanding, skills and support to deliver Black British history is fundamental to the partnership work between Pearson and The Black Curriculum. This follows feedback from schools that many teachers lack confidence when it comes to teaching history they may be unfamiliar with, or particularly sensitive topics.
Sharing her school’s experience, Samantha Slater, Subject Leader of History at a school in the South East, said: "We've been on a journey to transform the history we teach in our academy to better reflect our students and the world around them - from exploring African Kingdoms to Indian Independence and the Biafran Civil War. So far the changes we've made have been loved by students, teachers and parents alike. However, a lot of the topics we explore are very emotional and we have to really think about the language and resources that we use. More training, resources and CPD for teachers to help us with what phrases and content to use, as well as to help increase our subject knowledge would be invaluable, so it's fantastic to hear that Pearson and The Black Curriculum are working together to support this."
Free guidance and professional development ranging from advice on teaching Black British history in schools to CPD on racial literacy in action and a guide to understanding the new Notting Hill historic environment will be made available to schools as part of the partnership over the new academic year.
As part of Pearson’s company-wide commitment to championing greater inclusion in education, we have also set up a Global Task Force dedicated to identifying concrete actions to ensure our products, content and services build a more inclusive society.
We are also working with respected partners to undertake wide-scale reviews across our qualifications, supporting sector-wide campaigns promoting change and launching first-of-their-kind editorial guidelines to ensure equitable representation of race, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+ and disability in our content.
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