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.
Call for evidence for new 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 new policy inquiry into Africa and its Diaspora in UK School Curricula**. The parliamentary committee of inquiry will include a number of experts in the field and be led by Lord Paul Boateng and will aim to draw up policy recommendations for submission to HM Government for response.
We are keen to gather as wide and diverse a range of information, knowledge and experience as possible… so if you went to school in the UK or work with UK schools, then we’d like to hear from you! There are two ways you can do this.
Firstly, we have created a 15 minute online survey to gather opinion (available here). Please complete it and pass on the link to your friends and colleagues.
Secondly, we would like to hear from you in more detail, by way of written submission on all/any of the points below:
- 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.
Please ensure your written submission:
- Is submitted before the deadline: Monday 12th April 2021
- Is sent to Hetty Bailey-Morgan (Secretariat to the inquiry and APPG for Africa) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Is no more than 3000 words.
- Includes some background information about your experience of, or interest in, schools and teaching.
- Where appropriate, references other sources.
- If you are willing to be contacted, include your contact details should the inquiry committee like to follow up.
The written and oral evidence received will inform the inquiry report. Those that submit evidence will be invited to attend any open webinars of the inquiry and the formal report launch in parliament later on in the year.
* 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.