Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education
In July 2020, I appointed Professor Charlotte Williams OBE to chair the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the New Curriculum Working Group.
The Group’s research and findings will feed into our ambitious new curriculum, and reinforce the importance of teaching diverse experiences and contributions of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic peoples across the curriculum.
The Group was asked to carry out its work in two phases. The first phase was to complete a review of learning resources currently available to support the teaching of themes relating to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and ‘cynefin’ across all parts of the curriculum, and the second phase was to review associated professional learning opportunities and resources.
In conclusion of the first phase, I was presented with an interim report focused on learning resources in November 2020: https://gov.wales/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-communities-contributions-and-cynefin-new-curriculum-working-group
Today, in conclusion of the second phase of their work, I warmly welcome the Group’s final report and accept all the recommendations: https://gov.wales/final-report-black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-communities-contributions-and-cynefin-new-curriculum
The report builds on the content of the interim report, putting the availability of robust learning resources in the context of professional learning and development, and workforce training. The Group has also identified challenges and put forward solutions such as the issue of sustainability, and looks at the importance of taking a whole school approach, which involves parents, governors and the wider communities.
The report presented to me by the Group is thorough and candid, with a wealth of evidence from real voices, and a strong focus on enabling and supporting the development of teachers and our learners, as ‘ethical and informed citizens of Wales and the world’ at its heart.
I am pleased to also announce a budget of £500,000 for 2021/2022 to support the implementation of these recommendations as part of the delivery of the new Curriculum for Wales.
In the new curriculum, the history of Wales in all its diversity will be mandatory within the What Matters statements for the Humanities Area of Learning and Experience. Learning in this area must include an appreciation of identity and heritage, the story of Wales, and cultivating learners’ sense of cynefin. The What Matters Statements for this area now explicitly refer to a common understanding of the diverse history, cultural heritage, ethnic diversity, identities, experiences and perspectives of their local area, Wales and the wider world.
Contemplating different perspectives will help promote an understanding of the ethnic and cultural diversity within Wales. Taken together, these experiences will help learners appreciate the extent to which they are part of a wider international community, fostering a sense of belonging that can encourage them to contribute positively to their communities.
Reflecting on the Group’s views on the importance of sustainability for this work, I agree that it will be vital for these recommendations to be implemented through continued engagement with Estyn, the Group members themselves and other key stakeholders engaged in this process to date. We will also link this work with the Race Equality Action Plan, which is due to be published for consultation by 25 March, to embed our work.
I am truly grateful to Professor Charlotte Williams OBE for accepting my invitation to support the delivery of the new Curriculum for Wales in an advisory and implementation role from March 2021, including supporting officials to take forward these recommendations.
Finally, I would like to thank Professor Charlotte Williams OBE and the other Group members for their strong vision and hard work in carrying out the research to produce this excellent final report.