History: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Jones of Cheltenham Lord Jones of Cheltenham Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to add the history of the slave trade to the school curriculum.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The history curriculum gives teachers and schools the freedom and flexibility to use specific examples from history to teach pupils about the history of Britain and the wider world. Schools and teachers can determine which examples, topics and resources to use to stimulate and challenge pupils and reflect key points in history.

There are opportunities within the themes and eras of the history curriculum for teachers and schools to teach the history of the slave trade at key stages 1 to 3. Schools can teach it at key stage 1, when teaching about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally or the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements; at key stage 2, when teaching about the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain, or a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 ; and at key stage 3, where within the theme “ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901” a specific example is given of “Britain’s transatlantic slave trade: its effects and its eventual abolition”. The local history study element within each key stage offers opportunities to teach about the slave trade in relation to Britain. The slave trade also falls within the scope of the subject content set out for GCSE History.

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