Schools Should Stop Teaching ‘White Privilege’ as a Fact, Says Education Secretary Zahawi

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi arrives at 10 Downing Street on September 2, 2019 in London, England. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has threatened to sack Tory MPs who fail to support his government in the battle over planned legislation designed to block a no-deal Brexit.(Photo …
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White privilege and other tenets of leftist ideology should not be taught in school as “fact”, Britain’s recently installed Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, has pronounced.

Responding to the Parliament’s education select committee report on how the white working class has been disadvantaged in British education, Mr Zahawi said that “contested theories” need to be contextualised with countervailing opinions in schools.

In his response to Parliament, the Education Secretary wrote that schools must not “promote partisan political views” and should not “teach contested theories and opinions as fact”, including “contested views on ‘white privilege'”.

“Political issues relating to racial and social justice can be taught about in a balanced and factual manner, just as pupils are often taught about a range of different views on other topics,” Mr Zahawi wrote.

The Iraqi-born education secretary said that the Department of Education should take measures to ensure that young pupils are not “inadvertently being inducted into political movements when what is required is balanced”.

Some have argued that promoting Critical Race Theory ideas is a breach of political neutrality laws and is a potential violation of the 1996 Education Act, which states that schools must provide “a balanced presentation of opposing [political] views”.

Zahawi also warned that by teaching white privilege as a fact, schools may be violating the requirements of the Equality Act of 2010.

“The Department should issue clear guidance for schools and other Department-affiliated organisations receiving grants from the Department on how to deliver teaching on these complex issues in a balanced, impartial and age-appropriate way,” he wrote.

In June, the education select committee’s report found that the white working class in Britain has been one of the most disadvantaged demographics in the country’s education system.

The report found that just 16 per cent of working-class white children continued onto higher education last year, the lowest of any demographic apart from gipsy/Roma and Irish-background travellers. The white working-class is also by far the largest group to be disadvantaged, with 982,950 white students being eligible for free school meals in 2020, compared to the next biggest group of 139,720 Asian students.

The committee said that terms such as white privilege can be “alienating to disadvantaged White communities, and it may have contributed towards a systemic neglect of White people facing hardship who also need specific support”.

The committee suggested that tax-payer funded charities, which promote such divisive ideologies, may be in violation of the law, and therefore may be subject to losing government funding.

The children’s charity Barnardo’s was specifically singled out after it published a blog post entitled, “White Privilege – Guide for Parents” last October.

“For the one in five Barnardo’s service users who are Black, Asian or minority ethnic, the colour of their skin is an additional factor that negatively affects them and their families in a multitude of well-documented ways,” the guide claimed.

The charity continued: “Helping children and those who nurture them, to understand what white privilege really means will not only prevent future generations from growing up to ignore race as an issue – but to be actively anti-racist through their actions.”

In April, Conservative MP Tom Hunt called for education institutions and charities which push white privilege to be stripped of their funding, saying: “We need to help all disadvantaged children whether they are white black or Asian.”

Teachers unions have attempted to push back against stopping such indoctrination, with Natalie Arnett of the National Association of Headteachers saying, according to The Telegraph: “We need to trust schools to have the conversations with pupils that are right for their contexts and communities. Simplistic diktats like this from central government are unhelpful.”

The move from Secretary Zahawi was hailed by others, however, including education campaigner Chris McGovern, who told talkRADIO: “We’ve got a problem in this country, it’s white underprivileged.”

“Three cheers for the immigrant community, but they are doing quite well,” Mr McGovern added.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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