London Borough of Hackney: Hackney's Black curriculum

An example of how a council developed a curriculum to teach children about Black history and the contribution that Black people have made to Britain.

Hackney's Diverse Curriculum - the Black Contribution is nine new six-week lesson plans spanning from Early Years to KS3 and KS4 students. It teaches Black history and catalogues the black contribution. It also complements the council's commitment to being an anti-racist borough as outlined in their Black Lives Matter Motion in June 2020. 

Modules include looking at the contributions of Black people across the ages and comprise of 'When I Grow Up', 'The Windrush Generation', 'Activism', 'Untold Stories', 'Stories of our Lives', 'British Identity', 'Diversity in Science', and 'An Exploration of British History'. 

Partnerships include with Hackney's Museum and Archive and artists Thomas J Price and Veronica Ryan who honour Hackney's Windrush Generation and help young people learn about the power of storytelling through artistic expression.

It is the intention of the programme to make Hackney more representative and inclusive, to create anti- racist leaders and citizens of the future and address systemic racism. 

There have been lessons learned since the launch of this project which will definitely inform next steps.  Initially the challenge was being able to source teachers to create these lessons and there had to be a process drawn up to make sure that we had educators who were able to commit to this project at a really pressurised time for teachers and include all of the features necessary.  The work has had a really positive response with over 500 schools across the country having engaged with the resources.  It is clear this is a piece of work that was needed by many schools for two reasons: to provide adaptable lessons that could be used by teachers but also to provide a model of how it could be done in line with National curriculum expectations. 

As a result of the work there has also been a paper written by Hackney Education to support schools and educators with eight recommendations for schools to consider when developing, adapting or updating their curriculums.  This was to ensure that schools had a clear understanding of all of the features that were included in this work and think about that in the context of their own schools.

It is considered that success of the programme will hinge on this being part of a holistic approach to addressing racism adopted by the Council and community as a whole. 

Nine teaching packs, each with a 6-week lesson plan, are being provided free to all schools in Hackney and Hackney welcome and encourage other boroughs to use them in their own classrooms.

To find out more visit or visit Hackney's Diverse Curriculum. The Black Contribution will be sent via email to all Hackney Schools and will be available upon request by schools outside of the borough [email protected]


Sonia Khan, Head of Policy and Strategic Delivery, Hackney Council, [email protected]