Children look set to be taught about colonialism, injustice and the role of the British Empire as part of the national curriculum under a Labour government.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to launch his party’s race and faith manifesto in Tottenham, north London, today with pledges to improve social justice and human rights.
As part of this manifesto, businesses will be compelled to report on the pay gap faced by black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (Bame) staff in order to stamp out discriminatory pay.
An “emancipation educational trust” would also be formed “to ensure historical injustice, colonialism and role of the British empire is taught in the national curriculum”.
The trust would also educate on migration and how to address the legacy of slavery and teach how it “interrupted a rich and powerful black history”.
Pay gap reporting, which is currently limited to gender, would be extended to Bame groups for businesses with 250 employees or more if Labour wins the December 12 election.
Other proposals included in the race and faith manifesto include:
– Establishing a race equality unit in the Treasury to review spending announcements for their impact on Bame communities
– End “rip-off” charges for passports, visas and tests from the Home Office
– A wide-ranging review into the under-representation of Bame teachers in schools
– An independent review of far-right extremism.
Shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler, who will launch the manifesto alongside the leader, said: “Only by acknowledging the historical injustices faced by our communities can we work towards a better future that is prosperous for all, that isn’t blighted by austerity and the politics of fear.”
Despite these moves to tackle prejudice, Labour has been accused of failing to act on anti-Semitism within its ranks.
Ahead of his speech at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Mr Corbyn said: “Labour is the party of equality and human rights. Our race and faith manifesto presents our unshakeable commitment to challenge the inequalities and discrimination that has faced too many communities.
“Whatever your background, wherever you are from, whatever your faith or religious belief, you should have the chance to use your talents to fulfil your potential. Labour will tackle head on the barriers that have unfairly held back so many people and communities.”
Conservative Home Secretary Priti Patel said not charging for visa and immigration services would cost more than £1.5 billion.
“It’s staggering that Corbyn’s Labour see fit to lecture people about race and faith while they are investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for the rampant anti-Semitism in their ranks,” she added.
National Education Union (NEU) joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted welcomed Labour’s “set of joined-up proposals to proactively tackle racism”.
“The NEU welcomes the proposal for a new emancipation educational trust. All young people benefit from learning about how human rights were won and about the struggle against colonialism and racial injustice,” she added.