By: Danny Gutmann
Birmingham City star Troy Deeney has called for England to follow Wales’ lead on mandatory teaching of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) history.
The Welsh government have already pledged to add stories of BAME people to the curriculum from September 2022.
In an open letter to education secretary Nadhim Zahawi today, the Birmingham City striker said that he is concerned by the ‘eerie quiet’ that has ‘descended on national cultural debate’. He has also launched an online petition.
Zahawi responded on Twitter, writing: ‘Troy, thank you for raising this important issue. It would be good to discuss this with you and I will ask my team to reach out.’
He outlines the struggles he faced during his school days after he was expelled at the age of 15 and it wasn’t until his 20’s that he learnt about his heritage.
The dad-of-four has also commissioned a YouGov poll surveying 1,000 British primary and secondary school teachers ‘to understand whether they thought they were equipped and empowered enough to teach diverse subjects’.
The stats showed that only 12 per cent of teachers surveyed felt “empowered” to teach ‘black related topics such as colonialism, migration and identity against other competing ‘optional’ topics’.
But 80 per cent of teachers agreed that ‘introducing more culturally diverse, representational topics are vital and enriching for white or ethnic minority students.’