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Committees to question Government Minister on Black history and cultural diversity in the curriculum

24 February 2021

Two Committees will question Education Minister Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP on Black history and cultural diversity in the national curriculum, after hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions on this issue.

The evidence session will be held by the Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee on 25 February following several popular petitions calling on the Government to diversify and decolonise the curriculum. A Member of the Education Committee will also attend the session. Andrew McCully, Director General for Early Years and Schools Group, Department for Education, will also give evidence.

This session follows evidence sessions on 5 November and 18 November, where the committees heard from petitioners, experts and academics on the need for change.

Chair's comments 

“I was impressed with the breadth and depth of the conversation in our joint evidence sessions in November. We heard from several academics, campaigners, and inspiring young petition creators during the sessions, who explained to our committees why this issue is so important and what they believe needs to happen next.

“Through our engagement with teachers we found that an overwhelming majority agree with petitioners that giving teachers the flexibility to teach about these issues is not enough – there needs to be a statutory requirement to teach about Black history and cultural diversity.

“We also heard that many lack the confidence to teach about Black history and cultural diversity and need further support. It is also concerning that many teachers believe that their students are not experiencing a balanced variety of diverse role models.

“I look forward to discussing these important issues with the Minister.”

Caroline Nokes MP's comments

“A rich and diverse National Curriculum is vital for equipping young people with a fuller understanding of the breadth of British history and the contribution to society by all parts of the community. Whilst the curriculum currently offers opportunities for this – it is not clear that this optional approach is sufficient, especially for educating young people about black history. We have already heard thought-provoking evidence from people who have created petitions on this subject, from leading education providers, experts and academics. We are keen to hear what the Government plans to do to create a more inclusive diverse curriculum.”


Thursday 25 February 2021

At 2:30pm, Virtual Evidence Session

  • Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State, Department for Education
  • Andrew McCully, Director General for Early Years and Schools Group, Department for Education


Ahead of this evidence session, the Committee surveyed petitioners, teachers, and other education staff to hear their views on whether the National Curriculum ensures that students experience a diverse education.

Read the petitions

Find out more

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