Today marks one year since Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester Gorton, launched a Diverse Curriculum Charter for schools in his constituency. Written in collaboration with The Black Curriculum, the Charter was presented to primary schools, secondary schools, and sixth forms across Manchester Gorton, who by signing up could show their willingness to develop and deliver a truly diverse and anti-racist learning experience for pupils.
In the year since its launch, the Charter has received endorsement from a huge array of organisations including Manchester City Council, The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Museum and the Runnymede Trust, as well as several trades unions. A third of schools in Manchester Gorton have signed up to the Charter and in the new year, it will be rolled out across the city of Manchester for all schools to sign.
To mark a year since the launch of the Charter, Afzal Khan MP is calling on the Government to meaningfully engage in national curriculum reform to give every child the chance to learn about the diverse histories and contributions that have shaped modern Britain. Afzal is calling on the Government to follow the Welsh Labour Government’s example, where a newly reformed curriculum is being introduced in 2022. These reforms including making all learning areas reflect the diverse experiences and contributions of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and individuals to past and present Wales, as well as mandatory anti-racism and diversity training for all trainee and acting teachers.
Commenting, Afzal Khan MP said: “I am extremely proud of the positive reception the Diverse Curriculum Charter has had in its first year. Schools across Manchester Gorton already engaged in fantastic work to bring diversity and anti-racism into their lessons, but this initiative has encouraged an even greater scrutiny of the curriculum and brought about a renewed commitment to positive change.”
“At a time when calls for greater diversity in education have never been louder, the Government continues to cover its ears. It is time they followed the fantastic example being set in by the Labour Government in Wales and implement national curriculum reform. Until this happens, here in Manchester we will continue to do things differently to ensure our young people benefit from a diverse education that is truly reflective of modern British society.”
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children and Schools, said: “Manchester has always been proud to be at the forefront of the fight for equality, but we cannot afford to be complacent. That fight for equality is as important as ever. The education that children get at school shapes the way they see the world and their place in it. I’m pleased to support the Diverse Curriculum Charter as a necessary step to making sure that diverse backgrounds are represented properly and that our education engages with diverse experiences in our curriculum.
Schools in our city have been leading the way on this agenda and I think they will find this Charter a useful aid when looking at their own resources and teaching.”