Sir Keir Starmer calls on children to be taught more black history in school

Children should be taught more about black British history at school, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said.

To mark the start of Black History Month on Thursday, he said the national curriculum needed to be more diverse so that all young people could gain a "full understanding of the struggle for equality".

He visited the Museum of London with Shadow Equalities Minister Marsha de Cordova, who backed his calls for education reform.

Sir Keir said: "This month we celebrate the huge achievements of black Britons and the black community.

"But black British history should be taught all year round, as part of a truly diverse school curriculum that includes and inspires all young people and aids a full understand of the struggle for equality.

"While some schools are already doing this, the government should ensure all students benefit from a diverse curriculum."

A report released on Thursday by education charity Teach First revealed schoolchildren in the UK can complete their GCSE English Literature qualification without ever studying a single book by a black author.

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The 1999 Macpherson report, written following the racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence, highlighted the need for a diverse school curriculum.

But "no significant advancements" have been made 21 years later, according to The Black Curriculum, which is campaigning for black British history to be made compulsory on the national syllabus.

Ms De Cordova said: "The Black Lives Matter movement sone a light on racism in the UK and around the world.

"One way for the government to act would be to ensure that young people learn about black British history, colonialism and understand Britain's role in the transatlantic slave trade.

"Black history is British history."

Black History Month was first celebrated in the UK in 1987. It has grown into a huge movement to showcase how black people have helped shaped Britain's history.

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