CRAIG Williams is right to say that education lies at the heart of combating racism (Opinion, 27.06.20), but education can take many different forms.

While the removal of certain statues will not put an end to racism, the toppling of Edward Colston’s in Bristol, followed by a symbolic knee on its neck and then being thrown into the harbour from which his slave ships sailed, and from the decks of which many sick slaves were thrown into the sea, far from ignoring some of our history, seems to have achieved a great deal in terms of public education about Britain’s role in slavery and the slave trade.

Although explanatory plaques could also help to educate people, local authorities and others seem to have great difficulty reaching agreement on their wording, especially when the descendants and beneficiaries, in terms of inherited wealth and possessions, are allowed a say.

And in a wider sense Britain as a whole is a beneficiary of slavery and the slave trade because of the wealth it generated to be invested in industry and commerce.

Nor is it just slavery and the slave trade which should be part of this educational process.

Imperial and colonial history must also be part of the curriculum along with other aspects of local, Welsh, British, European and world history, and should cover the contributions of people from all over the Empire and Commonwealth, including their role in the two World Wars and their experience of institutional and embedded as well as blatant racism.

Nor must the rich histories of different parts of the world before European colonisation be neglected.

As a retired history teacher I know that teaching time is limited but different aspects of history could be combined in a study of, for example, Powis Castle which could include a critical study of Robert Clive and the East India Company as well as aspects of the Mughal Empire and issues of land ownership and social relationships in Wales.

This could be done in cooperation with the heritage industry.

Duncan Toms