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Wales to make teaching of black, Asian and ethnic minorities’ histories mandatory in schools

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Wales is set to become the first UK nation to make it compulsory for every child to be taught about the history and experiences of people from black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

The Welsh government has added learning about the diversity of communities into the new Curriculum for Wales guidance – subject to a final sign-off by the Senedd next month.

The announcement coincides with the start of Black History Month today and has been welcomed by trade unions.

Teachers and other professionals in education have been working on the development of the new curriculum framework, which is due to be introduced from September next year.

It includes six areas of learning, plus mandatory elements known as “Statements of What Matters”.

The group’s work is being supported through £500,000 from the Welsh government.

Education minister Jeremy Miles said: “It is vitally important that our education system equips our young people to understand and respect their own and each other’s histories, cultures and traditions.”

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He added: “If we are to progress as a society, we must create an education system which broadens our understanding and knowledge of the many cultures which have built Wales’s, and the world’s, past and present.”

Mike Payne, GMB senior organiser, said “the story of Wales is the story of its people”, adding that the union was pleased the voices and experiences of people from black, Asian and ethnic minority communities were “finally being recognised and taught on the curriculum”.

Kerina Hanson, president of school leaders’ union NAHT Cymru, said: “Curriculum for Wales 2022 offers schools a unique opportunity, not only to create a bespoke curriculum unique to the context of the school, but also to address the wider context.”

She said the new framework would ensure “the development of our children and young people as ethical, informed citizens who are well prepared for the future”.

“This can only support the future realisation of Wales as an equitable society,” she added.