Africa in the UK Curriculum
Our passion and core purpose at the Royal African Society is to promote Africa in the UK. But how is Africa represented in the UK’s national curriculum? Where are the African and Black British voices in the English Literature syllabus? And could school pupils learn about African History, Geography, Art and other subjects year-round and not just during Black History Month?
Given the UK’s increasingly diverse population, including a growing number of people of African descent*, we believe there is a need for greater understanding and better representation of the contributions made by African countries and people within UK schools’ curricula. Fostering a knowledge of, and interest in, Africa and its diaspora among children and young people is essential for the diverse, inclusive and more equal society we want to build.
Ongoing policy inquiry: Africa and its Diaspora in UK School Curricula
As part of our 120th Anniversary this year, the Royal African Society in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa and Justice to History is undertaking a policy inquiry into Africa and its Diaspora in UK School Curricula**. The parliamentary committee of inquiry includes a number of experts in the field and is led by Lord Paul Boateng and will aim to draw up policy recommendations for submission to HM Government for response by the end of 2021.
The inquiry has gathered a wide and diverse a range of information and knowledge via the inquiry survey to which we received over 230 responses, and also via the 33 written submissions and two oral evidence sessions. The evidence sessions are available to view via the RAS Facebook Page.
Terms of Reference
- What young people learn about Africa and its diaspora: in particular the origin of this learning and its outcomes for young people.
- The impact of current school teaching about Africa on schools and wider society.
- The importance of transforming teaching and developing resources that support school curricula about Africa.
- The barriers to transforming and making accessible the provision of such resources.
- Examples of current best practice in collaborative curriculum development about Africa and its diaspora in schools.
- Recommendations for future actions for transforming the teaching and learning about Africa in schools.
The deadline for the survey and written submissions has now closed. For more information on the inquiry please contact, Jack Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and follow us on twitter. @RoyAfriSoc @AfricaAPPG
Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry
Lord Boateng (Committee Chair)
Bim Afolami MP
Lord David Chidgey
Helen Hayes MP
Baroness Gloria Hooper
Anne McLaughlin MP
Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece
Chi Onwurah MP
Baroness Manzila Uddin
Inquiry Special Advisory Group
Abdul Mohamud (Lead- Justice to History)
Robin Whitburn (Lead- Justice to History)
Athian Akec- Former youth MP and activist
Sharon Aninakwa- Secondary School History Teacher
Kojo Boakye- Director of Public Policy Africa, Facebook
Prof. Toby Green- Kings College London
Diane Leedham- Teacher Educator specialising in English Literature
Farrah Serroukh- Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE)
Lavinya Stennet- The Black Curriculum
* Our definition of African descent includes all people of African origin, consisting of both the Continental Diaspora (people with an identifiable African country of origin born and/or residing outside of the continent) and the Historical Diaspora (people of African origin born outside of the continent who were historically displaced by the transatlantic slave trade or other means).
** We have used the plural word “curricula” here instead of “curriculum” to cover the diversity of what is taught in UK schools beyond what is laid out in the national curriculum.