Music in education: a living relic of Western Europe’s colonial mentality

by Nathan Holder Since music entered the National Curriculum in 1988, the UK’s approach to musical education has been grounded in Western Classical traditions. From Palestrina to Schoenberg, Baroque to 20th Century Experimentalism, students are routinely taught the fundamentals of the art largely by studying ‘The Great Composers’, by learning the conventions of western classical… Read More

How should we teach children about contested histories?

by Farah Elahi  In recent years, there have been numerous campaigns for the inclusion of marginalised histories in the national curriculum. These campaigns have been successful in retaining key black British figures such as Mary Seacole and Olaudah Equiano in history lessons. However, inclusion is not enough. We must go further, ensuring that these stories… Read More

The struggle continues for South Africa’s #FeesMustFall Students

by Mako Muzenda A young man being dragged across the road by two armed policemen. The screams and pleas of “Don’t shoot us!” went unheeded; the South African Police Service (SAPS) officers opened fire, shooting students with rubber coated bullets. Those that could run away did, but some weren’t fast enough to escape the police. Dragged… Read More

Calling selective schools ‘new grammars’ won’t eliminate the old problems

by Iesha Small As a third generation immigrant, it was initially hard not to applaud Theresa May’s desire to transform Britain to become a ‘Great Meritocracy’: I too want to see a country where ‘it is your talent and hard work that matter not who your parents are or what your accent sounds like’. However,… Read More

Why I won’t be returning to teach in the classroom

by Gurmeet Kaur Education regardless of which party is in power is a hot-button issue, but especially in the last few years. And it’s not surprising why: increasing attainment gap between students of higher and low socio economic background, rising teacher recruitment crisis, academisation of schools, increasing levels of accountability on schools, new national curriculum, and… Read More

Book list for black girls II: reflections of identity, by authors of colour

by Christina Fonthes  Almost three years ago I wrote an article on the lack of books for black girls – the response was overwhelming. What began as a personal endeavour (finding books for my sister) soon sparked a public discourse on the state of children’s (and adult) literature in the UK. Responses and comments came… Read More

Living in two languages

Worlds of late bilingualism by Hanan Omar A Ben Nafa Living in two languages is an art form, often times a highly skilled balancing act and one with personal and social consequences.[1] Those of us who are bilingual work harder and this cognitive, emotional and social labour is too often overlooked and undervalued. For example,… Read More

‘Her nose was straight with a soft tip at the end’ — Writing Race at School

by Clare Warner  The set texts for GCSE English literature still strongly favour the works of Anglo-British novelists, poets and playwrights above all others. Although many educators and academics have rightly critiqued the Eurocentrism of the National Curriculum, few studies have attempted to demonstrate and quantify the impact on students of a Eurocentric curriculum, which… Read More

Where are all the Black historians?

Black historians in the UK: the unseen scholars by Patrick Vernon    BBC Radio 4’s Making History programme recently considered the plight of black historians, taking six minutes to explore the question of whether black historians exist in the UK. A number of white historians gave their perspectives on the issue but the views of… Read More