From Chelmsley Wood to Westminster: Troy Deeney’s battle for education reform to feature on Channel 4

The Blues star’s bid for more diversity in English schools’ curriculum will be debated in a one-off documentary, called Troy Deeney: Where’s My History?

Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney’s high-profile campaign to make the teaching of black, Asian and minority ethnic histories and experiences mandatory in the school curriculum will gather momentum when it features on television next month.

Channel 4 has commissioned a 60-minute documentary, produced by SBX Studios, to be aired on a date to be confirmed in May.

Deeney recently wrote an open letter to Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education, expressing his frustration at the lack of diversity taught in schools and the impact he believes it is having on pupils.

He also set up a public petition which has in excess of 55,000 signatures and commissioned a YouGov survey of 1,000 primary and secondary school teachers from across Britain which revealed just 12 per cent feel empowered to teach ‘optional’ black-related topics.

Now, Deeney’s campaign is set for further exposure through Troy Deeney: Where’s My History? In the programme, the 33-year-old meets Stratford-upon-Avon MP Mr Zahawi to discuss the positive impact of teaching black, ethnic and minority histories and experiences, whilst he also shares his own personal story about the challenges he faced in school.

What has Deeney said about the programme?

Birmingham-born Deeney, raised in Chelmsley Wood, said: “From Chelmsley Wood to Westminster, I will be sharing my journey exploring the education system and the need for more diversity.

“No child should feel neglected by the system. We have the power to make sure it doesn’t happen anymore.

“The importance of education at an early age to inform identity and combat racist beliefs and stereotypes cannot be understated.

“As the proud father of four children, three of which are currently in the education system, this topic has moved front and centre in my life.

Troy Deeney: Where’s My History? is on Channel 4 in May. Picture: Channel 4.
Troy Deeney: Where’s My History? is on Channel 4 in May. Picture: Channel 4.
Troy Deeney: Where’s My History? is on Channel 4 in May. Picture: Channel 4.

“I have seen more and more how important it is for my children to be able to see themselves represented in what they are being taught and learn about the contribution and background of people who look like them.

“The current system is failing children from ethnic minorities and over the past 18 months nearly 400,000 people have signed petitions calling for changes to be made to mandate more diversity in the national curriculum.

“However, the teaching of diversity in schools still remains optional and the government’s stock response has been that it is down to teachers and schools to teach them.”

Who else features in the programme?

There are contributions from Small Heath-born Homeland and Supergirl actor and fellow Birmingham City fan David Harewood MBE, ex-Aston Villa defender and pundit Micah Richards and former heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua.

Also having their say will be musicians Big Narstie and DJ Cuppy and MP Layla Moran, as well as young activists campaigning for change, teachers and pupils and those who have strong views of opposition to Deeney.

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