No topic should be taboo in our schools

The Black Lives Matter movement has called for the decolonisation of the curriculum, leading to discomfort in many schools.

This discomfort arises because the education system has never been good at dealing with contentious issues. While the spotlight is currently on black history, it could equally be on the Holocaust or the legacy of the Japanese involvement in the Second World War or the impact of nuclear testing in the 1960s. The discomfort is not confined to history – it exists around issues of gender, ethics in science and the portrayal of contentious issues in art.

Our national curriculum was developed in part to rein in the growing tendency in some schools to debate with pupils some issues that might be troubling if society at large started to think about them too much.

I remember when I was at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and we published the initial draft of the structure for the revision of the key stage 3 curriculum. We had said that some aims for the curriculum might be useful (seen as a novel idea), and included one

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