Teachers told to keep THEIR political views out of the classroom under new guidance
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They will be told they are not be allowed to promote “partisan views” or organisations such as Black Lives Matter in classrooms.
In lessons about historical figures, like Sir Winston Churchill, they should focus on their major achievements rather than other issues, such as claims about the wartime leader’s views on race.
And when teaching contentious topics, such as the legacy of the British Empire, the guidance warns schoolchildren must not be given one side of the issue.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “I know one of the reasons many teachers feel so passionate about the profession is the remarkable role they play in young people’s lives, helping them understand more about themselves and their views of the world.
“I don’t want any barriers, real or perceived, to teachers’ vital work… which is why I am reinforcing that no subject is off-limits in the classroom – as long as it is treated in an age-appropriate way, with sensitivity and respect and without promoting contested theories as fact.”
He added: “Clearer guidance on political impartiality is just one part of my wider work to give children the best possible education.”
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The guidance comes after a Lancashire school yesterday faced a furious backlash for banning meat to “help the planet”. Another school, in Nottingham, came under fire last week after it got pupils to write angry letters about Boris Johnson.
Schools will be told teaching differing political views is essential.
But teachers should not oppose fundamental British values, such as freedom of speech and protection from crime.
On the subject of racism, they should be clear it has no place in our society, but must avoid backing organisations that have widely contested aims or views.
Schools bosses last night welcomed the new guidance.
Star Academies chief Sir Hamid Patel said it “provides helpful clarification on securing impartiality” and “will support teachers in their decision-making about the curriculum and its delivery”.
Martyn Oliver, chief of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said: “This guidance does not seek to limit what schools can and should teach, but helps them when faced with teaching contested events and navigating ‘fake news’ and clashing opinions and truths”.
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