Petition Add education on diversity and racism to all school curriculums
Racism is a problem that affects all members of society. It is important to deconstruct taught ideas of racism to children so they do not go on to become perpetuators or victims of racism. At the moment classes about racism and diversity are not mandatory and this should be changed.
The Government must acknowledge racism as a problem and address it. As racism is a taught behaviour it is important to directly address racism through education. The younger we teach and encourage anti-racist behaviour, the better prepared children will be to anticipate and correct these negative behaviours throughout their lives. Minority groups are disproportionately affected in many political issues. By dismantling racist constructs early on, we can combat these issues also.
This response was given on 26 June 2020
Racism in all its forms is abhorrent and has no place in our society. Schools play a significant role in teaching children about the importance of respect and tolerance for all cultures.
Read the response in full
Racism in all its forms is abhorrent and has no place in our society. Schools play a significant role in teaching children about the importance of having respect and tolerance for all cultures.
The Department for Education is committed to an inclusive education system which recognises and embraces diversity and supports all pupils and students to tackle racism and have the knowledge and tools to do so. We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. Schools are required to actively promote fundamental British values, including democracy as well as the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faith and beliefs.
We are also making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools, from September 2020.
The statutory guidance sets out that as part of Relationships Education, all primary pupils will be taught the importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them, or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs. Pupils will also be taught what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive. This will be reinforced at secondary school when pupils will also learn about legal rights and responsibilities regarding equality (particularly with reference to the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010) and that everyone is unique and equal.
Schools can also teach about racism in Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education and Citizenship Education where pupils can develop their understanding of the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding. There is also flexibility within the history curriculum for teachers to teach about Black and minority ethnic history across the spectrum of themes and eras, to support an understanding of the active role Black and minority ethnic people have played in history.
Department for Education
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