Helen speaks in Parliament on migration in the History curriculum

Last week in Parliament, I led a debate focused on "the teaching of migration in the History curriculum". I represent one of the most diverse constituencies in the country.  But research by the Runnymede Trust demonstrates that the history curriculum often focuses only on a narrow selection of key moments in history rather than a broader inclusive approach.  

This has not only led to a low uptake of History among BAME students, but deprives all students of learning about the important impacts of migration on our country and the influence of communities from across the globe who have come to make their home on these islands. From the Viking and Roman invaders, to Irish migrants fleeing starvation during the potato famine, to French Protestant Huguenots fleeing persecution, to the Windrush Generation coming to help rebuild the UK after the Second World War, the history of the UK is a history of migration. Understanding our history in this way can help to build cohesion and overcome division.

In the debate, I called on the government to take seriously research by the Runnymede Trust, adapt the curriculum and provide more training and support to teachers, so that every child can find their story in the history taught in our schools.


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