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Schools accused of rewriting history as they claim St Hadrian was 'black'


A programme is reportedly teaching children that St Hadrian was black despite there being no evidence for the claim.

The Dark Age abbot St Hadrian of Canterbury (also known as St Adrian) has been referred to as a “black scholar” in primary school teaching material.

However, the holy man was believed to be of north African origin, possibly from modern day Libya, and not black.

The seventh-century abbot has been included in numerous overviews of black British history.

The claim that he was a black scholar appears in a black British history presentation distributed by Twinkl.

Another Twinkl resource used in schools, a timeline for KS2 pupils covering The Black History of Britain, includes Hadrian as its second entry.

Hadrian has also been included in a black British history teaching resource for secondary school provided by HFL Education, an educational support service part-owned by Hertfordshire Council, and a similar timeline created by the Surrey borough council of Spelthorne.

He also features in an online teaching resource provided by English Heritage titled Black Lives in Britain.

Director of the race relations group Don’t Divide Us said: "The compulsive search for ‘lost’ black Britons is not only embarrassing, but it weakens and distorts the truth value of the claim being made.

"This is bad enough for content aimed at adults. For school purposes, where the main aim is to educate the young, it is unconscionable.

"What kind of society is so casual about curriculum content, that it either thinks political interests supersede educational ones, or it can’t tell the difference anymore?"

Historian Dr Zareer Masani added it was: "absurd that wokedom is reaching across millennia to claim people of colour."

St Hadrian of Canterbury is credited for playing a pivotal role in the early history of the English Church.

He was abbot of the monastery of St Peter and St Paul (later St Augustine’s) in Canterbury, between 670 and 710.

While there, he became an influential teacher and scholar shaping Christian rituals.