Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Thirteenth Century Black Presence in New Migration Syllabus Site

Delighted to see my contribution on the black presence in thirteenth century England is now live on the Runnymede Trust site Our Migration Story - The making of Britain in the Migration stories AD43 -1500 section. The work is  based the  black presence in the Domesday Abbreviato which I have written about elsewhere in this blog

The opportunity to write the piece came about through my work as a co-covener of the What’s Happening Black BritishHistory (WHBBH) series of workshops for the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. I was invited along with several other historians to take part in an initiative by the Runnymede Trust in response to the new curriculum - OCR new History GCSEs  is Migration To Britain c. 1000 to c. 2010, which will be taught from September 2016.

The Runnymede Trust activity was itself an AHRC migration history funded project, led by the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester and supported by the OCR GCSE examination board.

The new course meet with some hostility from the Tory press and several eminent yet conservative historians who accused the syllabus of being  an indoctrination , a dangerous dogma written in response to demands for political correctness and that the course was rewriting history which was  a total distortion and it’s outrageous.

Nothing could be further from the truth the syllabus is an attempt to as Mike Goddard, Head of History at OCR said:

[To explore] and understanding the constant shifts in the British population in  a rigorous and exciting new academic topic for young people in schools to be able to study in detail for the first time. We can’t understand Britain economically, culturally or politically, if we don’t understand our relationship with the world. Migration into and out of Britain is and always has been a central part of this relationship.
Through my work at WHBBH I  had the pleasure of meeting several of those involved in creating the syllabus and writing the books to support the classwork. I can confirm that ideas such as indoctrination, political correctness were not on their minds or part of their agenda.  They were looking to give a new generation of school children a  fair and rigorous review of  where the inhabitants of these islands came from over the years.

The first of the two GCSE Migration books is now out: published by Hodder Education.