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Stem Cells: Donors

Question for Department for Education

UIN 153814, tabled on 14 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will integrate information on the need for stem cell donation among (a) BAME communities and (b) others into the formal curriculum.

Answered on

19 June 2018

Pupils are taught about stem cells as part of the new Key Stage 4 science curriculum, GCSE combined science and GCSE biology. The national curriculum is compulsory in maintained schools and can be used as a benchmark by academies and free schools. The new national curriculum focuses on the essential knowledge in each subject, which allows teachers to take greater control over the wider curriculum in schools. Content includes the function of stem cells and the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of stem cells in medicine. Teachers are free to use this as an opportunity to discuss stem cell donation with pupils.

In April 2018, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that the Government would make no further changes to the national curriculum and to existing GCSEs for the rest of this Parliament. This announcement was made to promote stability for schools and teachers.

In order to continue providing lifesaving support for those who need stem cell transplants and find the best possible matches, the Department for Health and Social Care supports Anthony Nolan and NHS Blood and Transplant to continue to grow both their cord blood banks and their bone marrow donor registers. In particular, they aim to increase the numbers of BAME donors and cord blood units on the register that are available for patients from BAME backgrounds that are in need of a stem cell transplant.

Named day
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