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Black and Asian Studies Association Response

The response to the National Curriculum proposals by the Black and Asian Studies Association – whose membership includes SHP Fellows Martin Spafford and Dan Lyndon-Cohen – states:

In the Secretary of State’s proposals there are no British Africans or Asians for primary children to encounter. At secondary level – apart from Mary Seacole and Olaudah Equiano – Africans appear only when enslaved and then disappear until the arrival of ‘the Windrush generation’. As for British Asians, their first and only appearance is as refugees from East Africa. The omission of the fact of this country’s long diversity is, we argue, a reason why the proposed curriculum content, far from being ‘core knowledge’, is better described in the words of a Year 11 student who spoke at our meeting on 25th March. She suggested that, if history can be seen as a cake, the Secretary of State has cut a small slice and is feeding it to us pretending it is the whole cake.

We recognize that the long history of African and Asian people in Britain is not the only glaring omission: there is almost no women’s history and very little working-class history, thereby ignoring the majority of the population. This submission, however, restricts itself to our area of expertise.

Read their response in full on their website [ here ]