Dear David ...

30th May 1997 at 01:00
The TES is publishing readers' open letters to David Blunkett in an occasional series: Can you help us to re-imagine Britain, a Britain that is part of a multi-ethnic, multicultural world, that needs to learn the values of respect, justice, equality and interdependence for the 21st century? We haven't done too well in the 20th.

Can you enable us to create a truly culturally diverse national curriculum, one that recognises our historic diversity and relations over centuries with the wider world? Let us do away with lip service to humane values while still promoting narrowly defined notions of "our" and "other", "us" and "them".

As an author, I frequently visit schools where librarians say that many white children choose not to select books with black characters because they do not believe they will relate to them. Europe can be no better when European publishers acknowledge "whitening" front covers for the sake of sales.

My illustrations here are black and white, while the reality is obviously more varied and complex. But we have a problem and we need a national action plan.

Beverley Naidoo Author and Visiting Fellow School of Education University of Southampton

Have your say by writing to: Dear David co Newsdesk, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E12 9XY.

Fax: 0171 782 3200; email

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today