Schools BANNED from ‘left-wing brainwashing’ as BLM and British Empire bias rows explode
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Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has issued rules on how to approach the teaching of sensitive issues. It aims to stop activist teachers from imposing their own opinions on issues such as Black Lives Matter or the British Empire on pupils.
Schools are already required to teach in a politically impartial way but this guidance seeks to stamp out those failing to follow the requirement.
Some teachers have been accused of enforcing a woke ideology on young pupils.
In a diplomatically worded statement, Mr Zahawi said the guidance would help avoid “promoting contested theories as fact”.
Under the new rules teachers will be told to tackle matters such as racism but stay away from promoting groups like Black Lives Matter.
“When teaching about racism, teachers should be clear that it has no place in our society – but should avoid advocating for specific organisations that have widely contested aims or view,” it says.
And with criticism from some left-wing activists of war hero Winston Churchill, the document from the Department for Education (DfE) added: “When teaching younger students about historical figures with contested legacies, it may be advisable to focus on what these figures are most renowned for and factual information about them, if teachers think pupils may not be able understand the contested aspects of their lives, beliefs and actions.”
Meanwhile, after a school in Nottingham last week asked year six pupils to write letters to Boris Johnson telling him they were angry at him “for the allegations he broke lockdown rules”, teachers will be reminded to keep their political views to themselves.
“Teachers absolutely can talk about politics – and they are encouraged to do so.
“What they shouldn’t do, though, is present their own, or anyone else’s, political views as fact,” the DfE document states.
“As a general principle, they should avoid expressing their own personal political views to pupils unless they are confident this will not amount to promoting that view to pupils.”
The Education Secretary said the new guidance has been introduced to help teachers.
He said given political impartiality was already a requirement, the rules aim help clarify how teachers can best carry out their duties rather than introducing extra requirements.
Mr Zahawi said: “Over the last few years, there has been much discussion about political impartiality in schools, often in the context of specific political issues and movements.”
He added: “I know that this has at times been difficult for school leaders, teachers, and staff, as they navigate how to handle and teach about these complex issues sensitively and appropriately.
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“That is why I’m pleased this Government is publishing clear guidance explaining schools’ existing legal duties on political impartiality.”
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the Government’s new document saying it would help teachers “to navigate this difficult territory”.
He said: “It never been more important to facilitate and encourage discussions about political and contemporaneous issues as it is now.
“Young people are exposed to a swirl of misinformation online, and an increasingly toxic discourse on social media as well as in political debate among those who should know better.”
“Schools have a vital role in providing a safe space in which young people can examine and understand controversial issues.
“The vast majority of teachers are very good at managing these discussions in a way that is balanced and impartial.
“We welcome anything which helps them to navigate this difficult territory.”
He added: “However, we are keen that this should not be over-prescriptive as it could have the unintended consequence of deterring open discussions.”
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