Curriculum Research Project

Project Summary

The Equal Rights Trust and BLAM (Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health) UK have developed a new initiative “Implementing the UK’s obligation to combat prejudices which lead to racial discrimination in education”.

The objective is to support organisations and movements working to decolonise the National Curriculum to make effective use of international and domestic law in their advocacy. The initiative will be delivered in three phases:

(1) evidence gathering on the gap in the National Curriculum and the link between this gap and patterns of racial prejudice and discrimination in England and building links between campaigners and equality lawyers 

(2) publication of evidence together with an expert legal opinion on the state’s obligations under Article 7 International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discriminiation (ICERD) read together with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) under s.149 Equality Act 2010, providing an evidence base in support of education campaigns and other awareness-raising efforts on curriculum reform

(3) supporting campaigners to use the evidence and legal opinion to engage duty

Bearers, such as the Department for Education, OFSTED, etc., on meeting their Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and to advocate directly and indirectly for reform

Click here for our blog series.

Phase 1 – Report 

How are omissions in the national curriculum affecting racial cohesion in the UK?

To answer this question and include views of all stake holders, the research has three strands and methods of data analysis – teacher focus groups, student workshops and parent focus groups.

Teacher Focus Groups

We are hosting a series of online focus groups from August – October 2021 to learn more about teachers’ experiences with the National Curriculum. Focus groups last 1 hour, are informal and confidential.* We cover topics such as Black narratives in the National Curriculum, learning resources, school policies and teacher training. 

Attendees of the teacher focus groups will be eligible to participate for free in BLAM UK anti-racism and Black narratives teacher consultation. This group consultation will assist teachers who wish to learn how to embed Black British cultural heritage and African and Afro-Caribbean histories into their everyday teaching. BLAM UK training can usually cost up to £1000.

If you are a teacher in the UK, we would love to hear from you! Please sign up here for the term time focus groups (3.45-4.45pm) or October half term focus groups (variety of times) – coming soon.  

If you are interested in the project but unable to make any of these times, please do get in touch and we will find a way of accommodating you. 

We will present the data and report findings at an online session for all participating teachers before the report is officially launched. 

Student Workshops

From September – December, the project team will be going into schools across the UK and hosting fun and creative workshops. The workshop will be made up of two elements. 

  1. The first part will entail a learning session where the team will present on a topic relating to Black history or culture. This ranges from history of Black civilisations to Black food and music.
  1. The second part will entail creative methods such as drawing, writing, acting and play as a prompt for children to reflect on their experiences with school learning resources and teaching methods.  We may put some of their work anonymously in the final report, which will be made available for children and their parents/guardians to see beforehand. No family or child will be identified by name. 

We will present the data and report findings at an online session for all participating teachers before the report is officially launched. 

Parent Focus Groups

We are also hosting a series of online focus groups from September – October 2021 to learn more about parents’ feelings about the curriculum and the impact that discrimination and Eurocentric curricuulm has on children’s educational experience.

More details to follow…

Project Team 

Eve Doran – Co-Lead Community Researcher

Eve is a trained social sciences secondary school teacher, specialising in sociology, she completed her PGCE at Manchester Metropolitan University. Eve holds an BA(Hons) in Sociology with Studies in Psychology from University College Cork and an MA degree in Race, Education and Decolonial Thought from Leeds Beckett University. Her master’s thesis focussed on decolonising the curriculum and experiences of Black teachers. 

She has worked voluntarily and professionally in anti-racism and held several roles in the charity and not-for-profit sector working on a wide range of projects including youth homelessness, climate justice, hate crime and more. Eve has also worked in mental health and supported young people using art and creative methods of expression. She enjoys art & crafts and has undertaken courses in art therapy and the discipline of drawing. 

Eve is committed to challenging structural racism and racial inequality as it manifests in education and has contributed to blogs on this issue for gal-dem and MA education consultancy.

Feryal Ryan – Co-Lead Community Researcher

Feryal is a multi-lingual researcher, educator and activist. She has significant research experience and has worked with a wide range of charities, NGOs, local authorities, academic institutes and the private sector.

Feryal holds a BA (Hons) in International Relations and MSc in Political Science from SOAS and a PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Westminster. Her doctoral research employed ethnographic research methods to explore childhood and children’s media diet in Palestine. Feryal has a PGCert in Higher Education and enjoys teaching and interacting with young people. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London and is working on converting her PhD thesis into a book. Feryal loves food, green spaces, and playing with her two young kids.   

Jamila Thompson – Project Worker 

Jamila is a LSE and Birkbeck graduate with degrees in BSc (Hons) Sociology and MA Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity. She is a qualified Secondary school teacher of Sociology, History where she teaches History and Citizenship.

Previously, she has taught at a Supplementary School for African and Caribbean students in Brent and Harrow. Jamila is passionate about issues of “race” and racism, identity and belonging, and education. She believes Black British History is a fundamental and necessary addition to the British Curriculum. Jamila is a freelance writer, researcher and educator. She writes for her own platform Melanated Thoughts UK as well as having written for platforms such as Black Minds Matter UK.

Jamila is a PhD researcher in Sociology and hopes to create meaningful content about the nuances of the black experience.

Outside of education, activism and writing, Jamila is a keen reader, heavily into fitness, food (eating and cooking) and music.

Niya Namfua – Project Support Worker

Niya is an advocate for the mainstreaming of marginalised voices in education and learning. As a recent graduate, Niya spent her academic journey gaining experience in research, journalism, decolonizing initiatives, as well as in social media and communications. In her time at university, she was a core team member for several societies, working on creating spaces and platforms for marginalized voices. 

Outside the academic sphere, she has worked in impact consultancy and policy research. Niya recently completed her History and International Relations BA Hons at King’s College London. She believes it is crucial that the national curriculum provides a more inclusive narrative of British history, one that encourages students to think critically and question the information they are being provided with.

Niya enjoys film photography, art, music and sunflowers.  

Phoebe Fisher – Project Support Worker 

Phoebe is a community worker, activist and a student of Black history. Phoebe currently works as a Youth leader and Archival Researcher for Hackney-based youth programmes such as Hackney Account, Politically Black and the newly emerging Women’s group- Female Hackney. Following her recent attainment of a first-class degree in History at Goldsmiths University of London, Phoebe utilizes her knowledge and skills to continue her commitment to social justice, community empowerment and healing. 

Phoebe is an energetic, determined and friendly individual with a passion for anti-racism, decolonial methodologies and practical based solutions. Alongside academic interests in policing and decolonizing the education sector, she enjoys putting theory to practice in the realm of public history. 

Phoebe loves dogs, watching films, cooking and spending time with her family. 

Contact Us

For more information contact us here:

eve@blamuk.org

feryalxblamuk@gmail.com

* All information shall be kept strictly confidential. However, if a safeguarding issue arises in line with statutory guidelines ‘anyone who has concerns about a child’s welfare should make a referral to local authority children’s social care and should do so immediately if there is a concern that the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to do so’ (Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018) 

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