11 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems lead cross party push for more diverse curriculum
  • Yet more dishonesty from the Govt on test and trace system

Lib Dems lead cross party push for more diverse curriculum

The Liberal Democrats have secured cross party support for a bid to review the national curriculum in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests to combat “institutional racism in the UK”.

In a letter to the Education Secretary coordinated by Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran, MPs from across the political spectrum call for the inclusion of “a more diverse range of historical perspectives in our curriculum”. The cross-party group request a review of the curriculum is undertaken by leading historians and advocates from BAME backgrounds.

The MPs from all major opposition parties also call for teachers to have access to “the support and training necessary to translate it into learning in the classroom”, to ensure “real progress” in schools.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson said:

The Black Lives Matter protests in the UK and overseas have helped to expose inequalities and injustices that black British citizens face in the UK in 2020. They are galvanising people across the country and right around the world to tackle racism and injustice head on.

Education has a huge part to play in this. We all have a duty to make sure the next generation, at least, has a better understanding of the historical injustices contributing to institutional racism that persists in the UK and elsewhere today. As a former teacher, I know first-hand the value of education as a tool to empower young people to make change happen.

That’s why we need to include a more diverse range of historical perspectives in our curriculum and examinations. Teaching a more diverse curriculum in schools is one way we can make greater, swifter progress. We must also ensure that teachers have the training and resources they need to deliver this.

Isabelle Parasram, Vice President of the Liberal Democrats said:

Representation of diverse perspectives must be central to the curriculum for every single subject, from reading the work of black, Asian and minority ethnic writers in English, to talking about the contribution of BAME scientists, to studying the work BAME artists and musicians.

There needs to be an investment in recruiting BAME educators and enabling them to take positions of leadership. Role models and representation at all levels is crucial to achieving equality. This should be a clear focus for educational institutions going forward.

Yet more dishonesty from the Govt on test and trace system

Responding to reports that the Health Secretary has been misleading about the number of contacts that have been traced, using the governments test and trace system, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Yet more obfuscation from the Health Secretary today on the testing and tracing system. In normal times this kind of dishonesty from the government is extremely problematic, during a pandemic it is dangerous.

If people do not trust the government they are less likely to have faith in a test and trace system and less likely to follow guidelines, people want clarity and honesty from Ministers.

Without a comprehensive test, trace and isolate system it is almost impossible to keep people safe as we move out of lockdown. Ministers have failed to make this happen and apparently won’t be able to until September.

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