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31 August 2023

Transforming education: Brian Doyle's vision for an inclusive English curriculum

In an effort to address the long-standing issues of diversity and representation in education, Brian Doyle, the National Director for English, has been working with teachers across United Learning to continue the development United Learning’s diverse and inclusive English curriculum. Here, Brian sheds light on the importance of this work.  

A key aim of the new curriculum is to confront the historical marginalisation of certain groups. Brian said, "Historically, non-white, and non-male characters were often marginalised or 'othered'. One of the crucial objectives of the United Curriculum is to empower underrepresented voices in literature and academia. Brian highlighted the challenges faced by these groups, stating: "Female characters, for example, are frequently depicted solely as victims or oppressed”.  The United Curriculum seeks to present a more diverse range of portrayals, allowing students to see themselves reflected as empowered and strong, and not solely defined by their race or gender. 

Brian believes that broadening the scope of authorship is essential to the success of the curriculum, pointing out, "Writers from non-white and non-male backgrounds are often only represented when they are writing about issues such as marginalisation or oppression. Whilst it is important that students explore these issues, it is also important that students are exposed to diverse voices writing about a full range of experiences.’ 

Brian truly believes in the positive impact of an inclusive curriculum on students, allowing students to encounter diverse perspectives in their studies which fosters empathy and open-mindedness. He remarked, "Students must have the opportunity to encounter voices which both reflect their own lived experiences, and expose them to the rich and multi-layered experiences of the world we live in.”   

The United Learning English Curriculum marks an important moment in the journey towards a more diverse and inclusive educational experience for students. By embracing diverse voices and perspectives, the United Curriculum for secondary English aims to shape a more inclusive and enlightened generation of students ready to embrace the world with open arms. 

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