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17th Feb 2022

Teachers warned against giving ‘woke’ lessons in classrooms

Danny Jones

Teachers warned against 'woke' lessons

The Education Secretary said schools should not be encouraging kids to ‘pin their colours to a political mast’

Teachers are being warned not to communicate ‘woke’ ideas and push agendas on political issues in classrooms.

In a new set of guidance on political impartiality in schools published on Thursday, the Department for Education has reiterated that schools have a legal obligation to “prohibit the promotion of partisan political views” and approach contentious issues in a “balanced” manner.

Education minister Nadhim Zahawi said that schools should not be encouraging students to “pin their colours to a political mast” or take a particular stance on certain issues.

Citing issues like racism, colonialism, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and even veganism, Zahawi said that while they will undoubtedly present challenges in the classroom, the aim is put forward “a balanced presentation of opposing views on political issues, so that the complexity of many of these important questions is understood”.

Reacting to the story of a Nottingham school that was criticised for showing its pupils a Newsround episode that discussed the Partygate scandal and writing to the PM asking him to resign, Zahawi told The Sun: “I want to make sure that each and every child is given the opportunity to come to their own opinions without being swayed by what others think.”

Barrowford Primary School in Nelson, Lancashire was hit with similar complaints from parents after headteacher, Rachel Tomlinson, began serving vegetarian-only school dinners and even asked families to make meat-free packed lunches.

A dossier compiled by the Free Speech Union late last year claimed to contain proof that schools around the country had engaged in “politicised teaching”. The union, according to a report in the Express, submitted its findings to Zahawi.

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