Petition to make Britain’s colonial past part of the curriculum gathers hundreds of signatures in the East Riding

Hundreds of people in the East Riding have signed a petition calling for Britain’s colonial history to become part of the school curriculum.

Saturday, 20th June 2020, 9:20 am
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 3:00 pm
A campaign group of sixth form students say the Government is denying their generation the tools to “dismantle systemic racism” by not mandating teaching about the Empire in schools. Photo: PA Images

A campaign group of sixth form students say the Government is denying their generation the tools to “dismantle systemic racism” by not mandating teaching about the Empire in schools.

Almost 1,000 in the East Riding’s five constituencies had signed a petition calling for MPs to change the curriculum – among more than 15,000 from across Yorkshire and The Humber.

The petition on Parliament’s website, created by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson, has amassed 234,000 signatures in its first week, meaning it will be considered for a debate in Westminster.

The death of American George Floyd while in police custody reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and sparked public debate on the nation’s history as a colonial empire.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Racism in all its forms is abhorrent and has no place in our society. Black history is an important topic which schools can teach to children of all ages as part of the history curriculum.”