The history GCSE curriculum is set for a Black Lives Matter revamp to teach pupils about the experiences of minorities at key moments in time. An update could see pupils learn about black victims of the Nazis and a dark-skinned trumpeter who played for Henry VIII.
Reports say that exam boards have been in discussion with a number of groups since the summer regarding how courses could be expanded to include more black history. It comes as long-standing calls for a more inclusive curriculum reflective of Britain’s diversity gained more attention in the aftermath of protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. It is also said that apart from slavery, British black and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals are ‘often absent’ from a historical study in schools, a point echoed by many campaigners for a more inclusive curriculum.
Dr Katherine Burn said that a ‘concerted’ effort has begun to remake the syllabus. ‘We are looking particularly at the most commonly taught courses within History GCSE and thinking about if this is the diet that most students get, where is there scope to make changes,’ the associate professor of education at Oxford University and deputy president of the Historical Association said in an interview. ‘What could we add into those existing units as small changes, with the proviso that if you put something in you do have to take some things out.’