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Sarah Teather makes the case for Mary Seacole to remain in the national curriculum

February 6, 2013 6:30 AM

Brent Central MP Sarah Teather has tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the Government to continue to include the life of Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole in the national curriculum. This follows reports that when the Secretary of State for Education announces the new curriculum shortly, Mary Seacole's name will no longer appear on it.

Sarah Teather will stand up for local people in parliamentIn the motion, Ms Teather praised the nurse who, at age of 50 years, paid her own way to the front to help establish a centre to administer the sick and tend to the wounded on the battlefield throughout the Crimean War. Her efforts left her impoverished and, when she returned to Britain, she had to declare bankruptcy.

Mary Seacole's name currently appears alongside that of Florence Nightingale on the list of suggested people teachers should use when teaching about Victorian Britain at Key Stage 2.

Commenting, Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather said:

"Mary Seacole is rightly regarded by many as an important figure in British history, and in 2007 was voted the greatest black Briton. The reports that she may be removed from the national curriculum are very concerning.

"Brent's schoolchildren shouldn't just be taught about a clutch of white, male military figures and I call on the Secretary of State to ensure that the children in Britain's schools continue to be taught about all the different people who have shaped the nation, including Mary Seacole."