Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education: Keep Mary Seacole on the National Curriculum
  • Petitioned Michael Gove

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary of State for Education
Michael Gove

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education: Keep Mary Seacole on the National Curriculum

    1. Petition by

      Windrush Day Matters

  1.  
  2.   
February 2013

Victory

WE DID IT! 35,000 of you stood with us and told Michael Gove to keep Mary Seacole on the curriculum. We're so grateful for all your support. http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/victory-mary-seacole-stays-national-curriculum

The Government is proposing to remove Mary Seacole from the National Curriculum. We are opposed to this and wish to see Mary Seacole retained so that current and future generations can appreciate this important historical person.

Her role in the Crimea War fully justifies Mary Seacole's status as a Victorian figure taught in schools today. She was a national heroine on her return to Britain and a crowd of 80,000 attended a four day fundraising benefit in her honour in 1857.

Her inclusion on the National Curriculum came as a result of a tireless campaigning to recognise someone who had become a forgotten figure in modern times. Her proposed removal can only be attributed to a recent backlash against Mary Seacole as a symbol of 'political correctness' by Right-wing media and commentators. To remove Mary Seacole from the National Curriculum is tantamount to rewriting history to fit a worldview hostile to Britain's historical diversity.

Moreover, the teaching of Black historical figures is widely recognised to be beneficial to the success of Black pupils and in closing the GCSE achievement gap. Indeed it is to advantage of pupils from all backgrounds in our increasingly diverse schools and society. Mary Seacole, as a Jamaican/Scottish figure, is a positive role model and is well-respected in NHS circles.

Sir W. H Russell, Crimean War correspondent for The Times, said of Seacole: "Let England not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead."

Mary Seacole the only Black figure to feature in the National Curriculum not connected to civil rights or enslavement and removing someone who was voted by the public the Greatest Black Briton (100greatblackbritons.com) sends out the wrong signals. We should be taught more Black history not less.

We therefore call upon the government to retain inclusion of Mary Seacole in the national curriculum.

Petition by Operation Black Vote, supported by:

Prof Elizabeth Anionwu - Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal; Khi Rafe; Cllr Patrick Vernon - Every Generation Media; Cllr Lester Holloway; Zita Holbourne

To:
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education
Keep Mary Seacole on the National Curriculum

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. 72 MPs signed Mary Seacole petition

      72 MPs signed Mary Seacole petition

      The 36,000 people who signed the Mary Seacole petition were thanked today. They were instrumental in securing victory after education secretary Michael Gove unveiled the new schools curriculum. In addition, the number of MPs of all parties, who signed the Commons early day motion had climbed to 72 before yesterday's announcement.

    2. Victory! Mary Seacole Stays On National Curriculum

      The Voice reports on victory for the Mary Seacole campaign

      http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/victory-mary-seacole-stays-national-curriculum

      Victory! Mary Seacole stays on national curriculum | The Voice Online

      TWO OF Britain's most popular black historical heroes will remain on the national curriculum, it was revealed today. Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano were both at risk of being dropped in education secretary Michael Gove's shake-up of the curriculum.

    3. Here's why Mary Seacole and other inspiring black figures should stay on th

      Simon Woolley writes in the Independent about why it is right that Mary Seacole should be on the national curriculum

      http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/heres-why-mary-seacole-and-other-inspiring-black-figures-should-stay-on-the-curriculum-8487142.html

      Here's why Mary Seacole and other inspiring black figures should stay on the curriculum

      'The black Florence Nightingale and he making of the PC myth: One historian explains how Mary Seacole's story never stood up.' That 'historian', William Curtis, went on to say that 'the hype that has built up surrounding this otherwise worthy woman is a disgrace to the serious study of history.'

    4. Another Gove U-turn: Mary Seacole will remain on the Curriculum

      Another Gove U-turn: Mary Seacole will remain on the Curriculum

      The "greatest black Briton" Mary Seacole is to remain on the National Curriculum after an apparent U-turn by Education Secretary Michael Gove, The Independent has learned. The move represents a major victory for campaigners, who opposed his plans to drop her.

    5. Diary: Gove's double U-turn – on exams and Mary Seacole

      Hugh Muir writes in The Guardian about Gove's U-turn on the schools curriculum

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/feb/07/hugh-muir-diary-michael-gove

      Diary: Gove's double U-turn - on exams and Mary Seacole

      It is not a U-turn as such, said Michael Gove, hoisting the white flag on his plan to introduce an English Baccalaureate. We're just tinkering. But it is a big tinker. What would Thatcher have said? The lady was never for this kind of tinkering.

    6. Victory for campaign to keep Mary Seacole on school curriculum

      Victory for campaign to keep Mary Seacole on school curriculum

      Several weeks of campaigning to keep Mary Seacole and Olaudah Equiano on the schools curriculum has paid off today after the education secretary Michael Gove bowed to public pressure. Seacole, the Crimean War nurse, has actually been elevated in the new national curriculum which was published today .

    7. Mary Seacole and her wretched detractors

      OBV's Simon Woolley busts a few myths perpetrated by the Right who are seeking to downplay Mary Seacole's importance.

      http://www.obv.org.uk/news-blogs/mary-seacole-and-her-wretched-detractors

    8. Tottenham MP visits Brent as part of Mary Seacole campaign

      Tottenham MP visits Brent as part of Mary Seacole campaign

      David Lammy MP Max Walters, Reporter Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:16 PM David Lammy spoke out about plans to remove war nurse from the national curriculum Portrait of Mary Seacole from 1869 (Pic credit: PA/Johnny Green) An MP has leant his support to a campaign calling on the government to abandon plans to remove war nurse Mary Seacole from the national curriculum.

    9. Coalition set to clash over removal of 'greatest black Briton' Mary Seacole

      Coalition set to clash over removal of 'greatest black Briton' Mary Seacole from National Curriculum

      Senior figures in the coalition government are on a collision course over the fate of the "greatest black Briton", The Independent has learned. Sources close to the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he is determined to put a stop to plans reportedly put in place by Education Minister Michael Gove to remove Mary Seacole, renowned for giving sanctuary to soldiers during the Crimean War, from the National Curriculum.

    10. Diary: the great history face-off: Gove v Clegg

      Hugh Muir writes in the Guardian diary about the Mary Seacole campaign

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/30/hugh-muir-diary-nick-clegg-michael-gove

      Diary: the great history face-off: Gove v Clegg

      It's becoming a staple question for pub quizzes all over the country. Hands on buzzers - what's the point of Nick Clegg? And, for a while, it had us stumped. But just occasionally the deputy prime minister does or says something that leads one to conclude that he does fulfil a function.

    11. Mary Seacole: 'An Extraordinary Person'

      Mary Seacole: 'An extraordinary person' | The Voice Online

      IF HISTORY matters, it matters for ordinary people and not just the great and the good. There is an opportunity and a danger in the suggestion that education secretary Michael Gove might change the curriculum to remove people like Mary Seacole. Why does Mary Seacole matter historically? I would suggest two important reasons.

    12. Nick Clegg Joins Fight To Keep Mary Seacole In The Classroom

      Clegg: Seacole stays!

      Nick Clegg has joined a growing list of prominent figures opposed to any move to axe Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole from the school curriculum. Just days after Archbishop John Sentamu wrote about the need to remember Seacole in his Sunday newspaper column, the deputy prime minister told me that he wanted the Victorian icon to remain in the textbooks.

    13. Nick Clegg Joins Fight To Keep Mary Seacole In The Classroom

      Clegg: Seacole stays!

      Nick Clegg has joined a growing list of prominent figures opposed to any move to axe Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole from the school curriculum. Just days after Archbishop John Sentamu wrote about the need to remember Seacole in his Sunday newspaper column, the deputy prime minister told me that he wanted the Victorian icon to remain in the textbooks.

    14. Clegg: Seacole stays!

      Cllr Lester Holloway from the Mary Seacole campaign blogs about Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's comments at a meeting he attended last night:

      http://cllrlesterholloway.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/clegg-seacole-stays/

    15. Reached 30,000 signatures
    16. Reached 5,000 signatures
    17. Colourful Radio Breakfast

      Lester Holloway from the Mary Seacole curriculum campaign debates with Chris McGovern, a curriculum advisor to Michael Gove, on Henry Bonsu's Breakfast Show (07/01/13)

      Segment: 45. 2013-01-07-0900

      http://www.colourfulradio.com/presenter/breakfast/

    Supporters

    @JohnSentamu

    Jan 13, 2013

    And I also talk about the importance of remembering the contribution of Mary Seacole. http://t.co/9jlvlbrI

    John Sentamu
    31.3k followers

    @MichaelRosenYes

    Jan 06, 2013

    We are all Mary Seacole.

    Michael Rosen
    27.3k followers

    @brolezholloway

    Jan 09, 2013

    My article in The Guardian: Keep Mary Seacole on the curriculum http://t.co/tMxlMVLW

    Lester Holloway
    930 followers

    @ChukaUmunna

    Jan 11, 2013

    I have signed the petition to keep Mary Seacole and Olaudah Equiano on the school curriculum. Have you? http://t.co/Xiz4EaQx

    Chuka Umunna
    42.2k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • Andy Lamb FROME, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      An inspirational figure such as Mary Seacole should be celebrated and not forgotten.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Steven Goodfellow HECKMONDWIKE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      A great part of our social history

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rita Williams KENT, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      Extremelly important to keep peoples awareness of this very important Woman's place in history, which has been overshadowed by Flrance Nightingale, Mary Secole should show in history asimportant, i feel it is awful that michael Gove is evan considering whitewashing her from our History books, thismakes megravely concerned for his motives

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Moody Simon LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      History is important it is the root and foundation of a childs upbring. to deny one its history is to take away its root. Keep Mary Seacole on the National Curriculum

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Helen Brister CHIPPERFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      Very wise words by Operation Black Vote

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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