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Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education

First published:
19 November 2020
Last updated:

In July, I appointed Professor Charlotte Williams OBE to Chair of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the New Curriculum Working Group.

The Group was asked to provide me with advice and recommendations on the teaching of themes related to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and experiences within the curriculum.

Today (19 November) I have received an interim report from the Group which focuses on learning resources which has been published on the Welsh Government website:

https://gov.wales/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-communities-contributions-and-cynefin-new-curriculum-working-group

The work of the Group covers all parts of the school curriculum including history, and I would like to thank Professor Williams and her Group for their hard work researching and producing this excellent report.

I warmly welcome the publication of today’s report and over the coming weeks I will be considering these recommendations in detail and I will announce my response later this year.

The report makes the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1: The development of an online preliminary resource guide that lists and evaluates the available resources for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic contributions and experiences past and present for each Area of Learning and Experience. This should include material on Hwb and beyond. It will signpost resources from key national institutions, education groups, and other sources in Wales and beyond. The guide should be regularly reviewed and updated.

Recommendation 2: The inclusion on Hwb of guidance on how to build materials, exemplars and processes, and interdisciplinary resources that will lead to the ongoing extension and development of materials.

Recommendation 3: The improvement of classification and categorisation of resources on Hwb to ensure that it is easier for teaching practitioners and other users to navigate and find resources relating to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic themes.

Recommendation 4: Welsh Government to work with the authors of suitable English medium Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic resources to provide high quality Welsh translations, thereby ensuring greater access resources.

Recommendation 5: The development of a new suite of bilingual teaching and professional development resources that provide a detailed exploration of diversity in Wales in the past and present. These background papers, servicing all AoLE, should include: a narrative guide to the history of diversity in Wales; a narrative guide to Wales’ role in British colonialism; biographies of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals from a variety of backgrounds that explore their contributions to Welsh, British and international life; literary writings by Welsh Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals; a narrative guide to the history of racism and anti-racism in Wales.

Recommendation 6: Welsh Government to work with partners to focus on the creation of new bilingual resources in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths; Health and Wellbeing; and Maths and Numeracy. Each of the new resources should be accompanied by flexible and high-quality teaching and learning materials that could be used by teachers as part of their curriculum offer at a range of points throughout the 3-16 learning continuum.  This suite of resources could be produced through a process of co-construction with practitioners.

Recommendation 7: Estyn to review and report on how well schools deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that addresses diversity across all Areas of Learning and Experience, and to promote the sharing of best practice through case studies and thematic reports.

Recommendation 8: The creation of a new award category for schools in Future Wales Teaching Awards to promote the inclusion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic histories/ contributions/ experiences across all subjects in schools.

In advance of formally responding to the report, I would like to take this opportunity to confirm the position on developing resources for the new curriculum. In October, I published Education in Wales: Our national mission update.

In this I announced the development of a curriculum implementation plan and the establishment of a national network of practitioners and stakeholders. This network will share understanding across the profession, gather intelligence and co-construct support and solutions to problems, and work together to deliver the implementation plan.

Part of the role of the national network will be to identify gaps in resources not only for BAME contributions and experiences and the Histories of Wales, but all parts of the new curriculum and to support schools in delivering the new curriculum.

I now look forward to receiving Professor Williams’s final report in early spring, which will cover BAME issues around Professional Learning and Initial Teacher Training.